Allowing Apps from unknown souces – Why?
You may not be clear on the why’s and wherefores of having to allow apps from unknown source on your Android device. I thought I would take this opportunity to have a brief run through and give you an outline. I will try and keep it in basic terms in the hopes of helping you to understand. When you first get home from buying that shinny new S9 you have been so excited to get your hands on it comes locked to only being able to install apps that come from its built in App store, which is The Google Play Store.
What is the difference between Google Play Store and an APK Store?
The major difference is that if you only use Google Play Store which is probably the safest source for apps, especially if you don’t know enough to be able to take the necessary measures to protect your device. Keep in mind , all the personal & financial information you will store on it. For more information on which measures to take please see here.
Even Google Play Store can get it wrong.
That being said. even with the Technolgy and resources available to a Google Play Store they too still have more than their fair share of malicous software that sneaks in to their store. Even with their very stringent testing and security checks. The fact is that nobody nor nothing online can ever be gauranteed to be 100% safe. There are just too many variables that make in impossible to be able to fully protect every aspect of each peice of software online. The vast scarle only being one. The other major reason is that everything that is online or connected to the internet is hackable.
Why would you want to risk deviating from the safer option of allowing only one Source supply your apps?
There are many reasons why Android users decide to open their device up to alternative sour sources to take care of their own spacific requirements. That’s why most Android users opted for Android as their choice of operating system. It’s open source freedom to be able to chose for themselves if they wanted to take control of their devices security and if they were willing to take any extra risks their maybe to download software from other sources. Maybe the Android user finds it necessary to seek alternitive sources of software to help them download an app for some of these reasons
An app they use thats no longer in the Play Store,
To help them get around any regional restrictions the may face.
To allow them to have the option of getting discounted game bundles
To allow they to download software they can’t afford to buy from playstore.
To get apps containing content not allowed on Play store
They are Android android enthusiast who enjoys testing new releases
To install a specialist app for a local service they make use of
To use on a Firestick/Box
As long as common sense is applied is it really such a big risk?
There are many different views on this topic. From a those thinking from a device security stance it’s understandably seen as too much of a risk. From a development stance it’s not. For me it’s not a problem as long as each user applys common sense before doing anything. There is no excuse for not putting the effort into some basic reseach on the Pro/Cons and the benefits/drawbacks theses days. I don’t think that anyone today does not have, or can not get access to Google Search. Then just look for search results from a well known and respected source of information. Read at least a few for differing opinions. Then you can at least make an educated more educated decision.
Allowing apps from unknown sources on your android device
Should you decide that you are happy to take responablity for the safety of your device and the apps you want to download you need to follow just a few simple steps.
On your android device go to the main settings menu (For devices running below android 7)
Unknown Sources (Ensure the box is ticked)
For Devices running Android 7 and above
Lock screen & Security
Install Unknown Apps
You are now in full control of where and when you download apps. Be wise in your choice of sources.
There are many APK stores that are available which are well known are seem trustworthy. They are not, within every APK market there are plenty of APKs which on first glance will look completly genuine and safe to download. Do you really think a half decent hacker is going to go to the trouble of hacking an app to add malicious code into it then not ensure the app will appear innocent and genuine? For you own protection please be wise and scan each apk before downloading them unto you device. For more information on scanning apks see here