Malware exists for Android, as it’s the world’s most popular OS, but downloading directly from the Play Store and other trusted sources is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay safe. Avoiding strange text messages with links and reading through app permissions also help keep the threat largely at bay.
Still, at the end of the day, malicious code can and sometimes does get through. The good news is that Google is reportedly preparing to make a change to its Verify Apps service that will help reduce the problem.
For those who don’t know, Android already has a feature in place that scans your newly downloaded apps for malware before fully installing them. In the next Play Services update, this scanning feature will no longer run just one time per app, and instead will constantly run in the background.
What’s the purpose if they’ve already been scanned once? The idea is that some apps might have unidentified malware that sneaks by the first time it is installed, or you could even download an malicious app appears innocent at first scan, but could then later be downloading malware in the background. A continuous scanning approach would come in handy both of these scenarios..
Of course there’s also the question of whether such an approach would negatively affect battery life. While it’s possible it could have a small effect, we would imagine the overall impact would be pretty minor, though obviously we won’t know for sure until the new version of Play Services rolls out.