Android 15 could get a new security feature ‘Quarantine App’

Google released Android 15 Beta 1 last week, boasting a new security functionality under development – Quarantine App. We discovered this feature in the recently discovered code, hinting at a more granular control over app installation.

Currently, Google relies on App Permissions and Google Play Protect to detect potentially harmful apps. It looks like Android 15 is getting more serious with unauthorized installations.

According to the stack, the Quarantine App automatically quarantines an app based on a few parameters. However, this quarantine is not rigid as it also allows the un-quarantine of the application. We’ve spotted the given code strings, hinting at the potential security measure:

<string name=”quarantined_apps_title” translatable=”false”>Quarantined Apps</string>

<string name=”unquarantine_app_button” translatable=”false”>Unquarantine app</string>

The code snippet suggesting this feature comes from what appears to be an internal development build and is not publicly available yet. This is evidenced by the Flags.quarantinedEnabled() check.

On delving into the script, we found a few classes that define a custom preference type for displaying information about quarantined apps. This includes the App Title, Icon, and also a type of toggle – that might be used to Unquaratine the app.

Another class checks if the package is Quarantined. In case of quarantine, the app details are filtered from the system app list. Looks like these are options from Developer Settings.

Other than this, we were not able to extract much of the information. However, this Quarantine App feature is expected to work like a similar mechanism available on MacOS. The Quarantine feature on MacOS automatically marks potentially harmful applications and hinders installation from unauthorized sources. However, based on the user’s interest, it allows the installation.


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