The Google Play Protect is a system of protection against malicious software that is preinstalled in the official Android devices. During 2019, it reportedly blocked more than 1.9 billion downloads of malware from unofficial sources (eg third-party stores).
In 2017 and 2018, the number of malware detected and blocked was 1.6 billion.
An increased number in 2019 can mean two things. The first scenario is that Play Protect has been improved and is more effective at detecting and blocking malware.
The second scenario is that more and more Android users are cheating and trying to install malicious apps found outside the Play Store.
In Google Play Protect has improved in recent years
The ability to scan and detect malware when downloading non-Google applications was added to Android in May 2017.
Before this addition, many users installed were malicious applications from third-party app stores, but also on sites for adults, sites gaming, etc.
In fact, Play Protect comes with many features and functions. Its basic function, however, is to provide protection to the devices. And the truth is, it’s pretty effective at that. It acts as an integrated antivirus program for Android devices that have been certified to run official Google applications.
Initially, Play Protect scans (regularly) all applications installed on an Android device to make sure that the updates do not install malware. It also scans the new apps you want to install and come from the Play Store. Finally, it scans for applications coming from third-party stores.
In 2017 and 2018, Google said Play Protect was scanning 50 billion applications a day.
However, in November 2018, Google upgraded it, improving the database with samples of known malware.
So, it started scanning the entire internet for APK (Android app) files and malware as a precaution, unlike the previous period, where users were passively waiting for a malicious program to download.
Now, Google says the number of apps scanned daily has doubled. Play Protect now scans over 100 billion Android apps a day.
It is expected that its capabilities in detecting and blocking malware will be further enhanced by Google’s significant milestone in November 2019. The company is partnering with ESET, Lookout, and Zimperium to create the App Defense Alliance, a partnership for improved malware scans for the Play Store and Play Protect.
According to Google, Play Protect is currently pre-installed on more than two billion Android devices.