Android has had a bad reputation for security against malware. While Google does its best to weed out malicious apps, it only does so via its proprietary Google Play system. Android’s open nature, however, means it’s possible to install apps from “unverified” sources. While Google does have a system in place to at least reduce the impact of that freedom, it seems that Android Q will be taking it further and potentially annoy users enough to give up trying.
Android has always had a toggle to prevent the installation of apps from outside of Google Play Store, be it individual APKs or through third-party, non-OEM app stores. Over the years, Google has made it less convenient to flip that switch, like having to authorize each app that tries to install unknown apps instead of just one switch to rule them all as shown above.
At the same time, however, Google has also made it somewhat convenient to flip those switches. Instead of having to dig through the Settings app, Android will warn users and take them to the appropriate settings to make the change. That’s pretty much all they have to do but Android Q will change that in a small but significant way.
Changing that setting usually sticks after the first time you change it but based on the latest Betas, that might not be the case for the next Android version. Each time you’re prompted and make a change, Android Q will revert back to disallowing installation from unknown sources. The one case where the change becomes permanent is when the user explicitly goes into settings without being prompted to.
It might annoy the hell out of those who regularly install from unverified but official app stores like F-droid, but such users can always make the changes themselves. For most users, it could give them a few seconds to pause and think before installing what could be a potentially harmful app.