Android 15 will make sideloading apps safer


One of the benefits of Android over iOS is that you can sideload apps. This means that you can download apps individually outside of the Play Store and install it on your phone. This gives users access to apps that might not otherwise be approved by Google. But there are security and privacy risks involved. This is why Google is making changes to Android 15 that will affect sideloading apps.

According to a report from Android Authority, Android 15 will be getting an “Enhanced Confirmation Mode”. The feature isn’t live yet, but according to Mishaal Rahman, digging through the code has revealed how it could work.

This is basically an expansion on Restricted Settings that was introduced in Android 13. For those unfamiliar, this is a feature that prevents users from enabling features like Accessibility or Notification Listener services for apps that were sideloaded. This new feature takes it further and also blocks a potential loophole in the form of session-based installation APIs.

What happens here is that when users want to enable Accessibility or Notification Listener services, Enhanced Confirmation Mode steps in and blocks it. It is unclear if users can exempt apps from this, but since the feature isn’t live yet we’ll have to wait and see. Basically, it will help prevent apps from accessing certain sensitive permissions on your phone.

It’s a good idea, but we’re not sure how it might be received. Epic has recently proposed some changes to the Google Play Store. They want sideloaded apps or apps downloaded from third-party app stores to be treated the same as apps downloaded from the Play Store. These restrictions seem to go against those proposed changes.

Tyler Lee
A graphic novelist wannabe. Amateur chef. Mechanical keyboard enthusiast. Writer of tech with over a decade of experience. Juggles between using a Mac and Windows PC, switches between iOS and Android, believes in the best of both worlds.

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