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New Google Play Feature Can Alert Users About Phone Hacking Before They Notice

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The growing number of hacking incidents involving smartphones continues to spike with threat actors becoming more advanced with time.

But a new feature on Android can actually provide smartphone user alerts about their device being hacked before they even begin to notice. This is all thanks to Google Play who mentioned on Tuesday the exciting news.

Tools being incorporated into the Integrity API on Google Play are designed to provide developers with a clear heads-up regarding Android apps and how they could be operating through untrusted devices. And we’re covering them for you in detail below.

For starters, users can get alerts about access risks for an app. Android would alert the specific app in cases when another one could be taking part in screen recording. Similarly, it would alert the platform about any overlaying content and take control of their device.

In case you did not know, these happen to be the most common means for conducting attacks linked to smartphone malware. Next, the company has launched accessibility software that’s curated to assess risks at hand and recognize those apps involved in providing access.

There is also a system that is designed to ensure the device’s security screening software remains active at all times. This would further go on to ensure if malware was recently detected or not. Meanwhile, developers will also now have the power to detect any activity seen on the device recently. So if anything peculiar is activated or any bizarre requests are generated, it’s clear that something is not right.

Play Protect is even designed to roll out alerts to users directly in such instances but users ignoring them is another matter altogether.

To assist developers on this front, Google has spoken about augmenting a new console that can manage software kits that cover extra SDKs and display previews of the platform checks behind a certain interface.

Such security updates arise as a lawsuit that alleges abuse linked to market power by enabling Google to expand the firm’s openness while competing with a host of app stores. This includes sideloading from developer pages directly without exposing devices more to malware. And this was revealed by Google last year where it mentioned how Play Protect would scan any sideloaded applications through automated means.

This gives developers also the chance to bypass service fees to the company that usually go up to 15% of their first $1 million made in a year’s timespan.

Meanwhile, other changes to be seen on Google Play that were unveiled at the latest tech conference I/O were ways for developers to capture users’ attention through efforts like customized listings on the Play Store. This is through screengrabs, reviews, and lists for ratings that are specific to a particular phone due to various variations that can take center stage.

In the same manner, developers could tweak listings depending on which terms are added to users’ searches with previews of immersive experiences featuring customized recommendations and other kinds of marketing.

Last but not least, we’re hearing about Google Play News adding more options for payments that entail support for various modes like Pix seen in Brazil, or the chance for loved ones to pay for apps outside Google through text and email requests as seen in India.

Developers are also given the chance to price things on Google Play for $999 but we might not be a fan of spending so much on digital products. What about you?

Image: DIW-Aigen

Read next: Google Unveils Useful AI-Powered Experiences For All Android Devices
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