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Android might be getting a “panic button” for bad apps

by Eric Frederiksen | July 11, 2017July 11, 2017 9:30 am PST

Most of us won’t fall for clicking on the junky ads that pop up on our phones when we’re browsing the internet. But thanks to shady implementation, they’re getting better at appearing under our fingers as we scroll and tap around. Creative use of permissions is also giving bad apps more and more ways to hijack our phones. A currently-disabled feature in Android 7.1 could be on the way to help us fight against bad apps and popups pretty soon.

According to XDA Developers, Android 7.1 features a “panic button” like function. The function works like this. If you press the “Back” button four times in quick succession, the phone interprets that as you trying to quickly close an application.

Pay attention

The feature is currently disabled, but the code is there, so it’s possible Google has decided not to implement this feature or that it’s simply testing it.

As XDA Developers notes, most of the things that would cause problems like these can be prevented by inspecting permissions when you install a new app on your phone. It doesn’t take long, and it’s usually pretty obvious when an application is asking for permissions it shouldn’t have. But we’re only human, and it’s possible to miss stuff here and there. This tool is small, but it’s a good way to give users a quick way out when things go sideways.

XDA Developers

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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