Android 4.2 ‘Verify apps’ security feature explained by Google
Since we inevitably keep talking about malware in the Android ecosystem, and since we have already told you a bunch of times that Android 4.2 comes with some enhanced anti-malware security features, it’s time to look at Google’s official explanation regarding one of the new Google Play security protections that has been built into the new OS version, app verification.
Even before Android 4.2 became official, we heard that Google may be looking to improve the security of its app ecosystem by introducing new security measures in Android 4.2 meant to better protect users against unwanted attacks.
Those features were confirmed once Android 4.2 was announced, and can be taken advantage of right away by any Android 4.2 device user, including the apps verification process.
As long as it’s enabled – because it can be disabled by the user and it’s not mandatory to be used – the new security feature will scan the apps you want to download against Google’s database of apps. In case Google finds the apps to be harmful in any way, installing them will not be possible. Such a feature is especially useful if you plan to install lots of apps from other sources than Google’s own Play Store.
What data does Google get when communicating with your handset? Google explains:
Important: When you verify applications, Google receives log information, URLs related to the app, and general information about the device, such as the Device ID, version of the operating system, IP address, and one or more cookies.
Even though the feature is enabled by default on the device, it won’t transmit any data until you expressly agree for it to do so. A dialog message will appear asking for permission the first time you install an app for an unknown source.
In order to manage apps verification, you can head to Settings > Security > Verify apps on your smartphone or tablet running Android 4.2.