Google will start issuing "certified Android devices" with Google Play Protect branding in the form of a badge, the Alphabet-owned company said on Monday. While the expansion of its consumer security programs was announced by the Indian division of the tech giant, the initiative seems to be available worldwide, with all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) being eligible to submit their devices to Google for certification and have them labeled with the firm's Google Play Protect badge. Devices labeled as featuring such certification are guaranteed by Google to have authentic apps from the company which were both developed and signed by it, the Internet giant explained, suggesting how one of the goals of the initiative is minimizing the chances of consumers buying smartphones, tablets, or other Android-powered hardware with fraudulent software which could compromise their data or general privacy.
Google's latest announcement comes five weeks after the Google Play Protect service started rolling out to Android devices all around the world, though devices labeled with its badge will run the software solution out of the box and thus feature a broad range of recently debuted mobile security functionalities like automated app scanning and other anti-malware mechanisms, Google said. The company isn't claiming its solution is the ultimate answer to all malicious software that's currently circulating the World Wide Web but is positioning it as the step in the right direction which is understood to be expanded upon in the near future. While the chances of buying a non-certified device with fraudulent apps in the West aren't nearly as high as they are in some developing countries, the firm is still seeking to offer this additional protection layer to consumers around the planet.
From a consumer's point of view, the latest change indicates that Android devices will soon start featuring the Google Play Protect branding on their retail boxes, with Google encouraging them to specifically look for this badge when shopping for a new smartphone or tablet. It's currently unclear whether all OEMs will opt to have the branding featured on their product packages even if they're eligible for it, though that seems like a relatively probable scenario.