Android Oreo Ditches the 'Allow Unknown Sources' Setting, But Don't Panic

By Tom Pritchard on at

We've been hearing a lot about Android Oreo over the past several months, but like any new piece of software we won't hear about some of the finer details until it gets released. Case in point: the fact that Google has removed the 'Allow Unknown Sources' setting that lets people install apps from places that aren't Google Play.

But as the good book says, don't panic. It's not gone, just changed slightly.

Google's changed the system so that it's done on an app-by-app basis, rather than a blanket setting that lets any manner of things get installed on your phone - no matter where they came from. The idea is for increased security, because if you allow unknown sources for everything there's nothing stopping a dodgy app from installing as much malware as it likes` under the pretence of an update.

In the past there has been a setting that lets you enable the Allow Unknown Sources function for a single install. That means once that app is installed, Android will go back to blocking anything that hasn't come from Google Play. Unless, of course, you deliberately enable it again.

Now, though, the process of installing unknown apps comes as a user permission which developers will have to enable. That means users get a warning every time they install a non-Google Play app, and the permission is checked every time. It also means you can revoke permission whenever you like, and revoke it if necessary.

It's a reasonable compromise that enhances user security without turning Android into an iOS-like closed system. It might not be as convenient for people who use a lot of third party apps that aren't dodgy as hell, but it should help to stop stupid people from filling their phones with shite. It probably won't do app pirates any favours either, but whatever. [Google via Slashgear]

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