Android 15 could 'quarantine' rogue apps for your safety

 Android 15 home screen.
Android 15 home screen.

What you need to know

  • Android 15's code offers more details on the software's upcoming "quarantine app" feature.

  • The code suggests that the software's service, like Play Protect, could be responsible for quarantining a malicious or "misbehaving" app to protect users.

  • A quarantined app can no longer offer notifications, ring the device, and many other features that have become commonplace.

Shortly after the start of Android 15's first beta, signs in its code seem to point toward a new "quarantine" feature for rogue applications.

According to Mishaal Rahman (Android Authority), Google appears to be working on a new quarantine feature that isolates an app that could be dangerous. Rahman noted that quarantining an app in Android 15 functions similarly to disabling an app in Settings or suspending it through Digital Wellbeing.

In testing, the safety protocol will still display the app's existence on your home screen; however, it will disable all notifications from it. Pre-existing instances (windows/activities) of the app will be "hidden" and it also loses its ability to ring your Android device.

Rahman discovered that a quarantined app cannot "receive broadcasts" from the OS or other apps on a device. Furthermore, services cannot query it, but it seems that the app's activities still can.

Google is likely working on a new "QUARANTINE_APPS" permission toggle for users to grant services like Play Protect. This could mean that Android will be responsible for confining apps away from the rest of a user's system.

It's still unclear if this app quarantine feature will drop with Android 15 or some time after. Rahman states that neither Play Protect nor the Play Store have the appropriate feature at this time. Once available and when called to action, Android 15 may alert users that it has quarantined an app "for your safety."

An old mockup of how Android 15's
An old mockup of how Android 15's

Google's Android 15 development continues as the software crossed its first beta milestone on April 11. The beta's opening allows eligible Pixel owners and more developers in on the software's testing to begin preparing apps for its official launch. The first beta included additional assistance for app creators developing products for large devices like foldables.

The company also included support for app archiving and unarchiving, while improving TalkBack's support for braille displays.

According to its development timeline, Google's first beta timing arrived right on schedule. Interested testers are in for a couple more betas before Android 15 moves into "Platform Stability" toward the summer.