Google has announced a new feature to better protect Android devices. Google Play Protect is essentially an antivirus app built directly into the operating system. It’s meant to run in the background and scan apps as they run to ensure that no malware is lurking on the system.
Google Play Protect will be part of Google’s own suite of apps; allowing it to be automatically updated through the Play Store. The idea is that this will remove the need for Android users to remember to keep their malware databases updated and allow Google to push critical updates out faster.
Ideally, Google Play Protect is meant to guard against third party apps installed from outside the Play Store. According to Google the 50 billion apps on the Play Store are scanned daily, and it wants to extend this protection to those who opt to sideload apps n their own.
The Protect feature is being rolled out in stages to Android owners, although it might take a while for those who are stuck relying on their carriers or OEMs to push the update.
In the mean time, Google has also released a new Find My Device app. It’s meant to be released as part of Google Play Protect, but can also be found on the Play Store for manual download. This particular app is capable of locating lost smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches; and can also remotely lock or erase the device in case of an emergency.