What are the unknowns?
Unknown sources specify a location other than the Google Play Store where you downloaded the app. Google considers its own Play Store to be the only trusted place to Install Unknown Apps on Android.
However, there are situations when you want to download unknown sources such as apps from third-party marketplaces or apps that are currently in beta testing. Platforms like Apkupline allow apps to be distributed outside the Play Store and require such permission. This distribution method is also called partial loading.
Since it is the first version of the Android operating system, users must support unknown sources as indicated in the settings.
So if you try to install a downloaded application without this setting, you will get this message:
How to Install Unknown Apps in Android?
Follow the steps below to download apps from unknown sources
For Android versions (4.0, Lollipop 5.0, Marshmallow 6.0, Nougat 7.0)
- Go to Android Settings > Security
- Check the Unknown sources option
- Click OK on the pop-up message
- Select Trust for Android version (4.0, Lollipop 5.0, Marshmallow 6.0, Nougat 7.0).
If you are using Android 9.0 and above, you will need to disable the source for any application that wants to install the application file. For example, if you use two browsers such as Chrome and Firefox, you may want to allow Chrome and Firefox to add unknown sources.
For the new versions of Android like Oreo, Pie, Android 10, 11 and 12….
- Follow steps: Go to settings > Apps & Notifications
- Select Advanced or the three dots in the top right corner; Users can see each option depending on their device
- Choose a special application option
- Select Install unknown apps
- Select the apps you want to allow to download APK files
For security reasons, it is recommended not to trust where you install the application. Google introduced this restriction to prevent the spread of malware. Since Google can guarantee the safety of apps from its own Google Play Store, you should only leave unknown sources:
- from trusted sources (i.e. developers or websites).
- once after installing the application. You can disable this feature after each use of unknown sources.
However, you are still protected. Google has added a security feature to all Android phones called Google Play Protect. It aims to protect the entire device with three functions: anti-theft, web browser protection and app scanning. Although it is supported on all devices, you can check its status in Google Play Store > Play Protect.
App monitoring means that Google not only monitors apps that are publicly available through the search engine, but also monitors apps that users download to their devices. This feature allows threats to be detected on all devices. For example, if you try to download an apk file that Google Play Protect has identified as dangerous (either because of its thorough analysis or because other users have reported the file), the information will be displayed with caution.
This means that even if unknown areas are updated, there is still a safety net.
An unknown location in the field
While anonymous sites are often used to download apps for the public, companies may also be interested in keeping apps outside the Google Play Store for their users or partners.
Companies face two options for distributing Android apps:
- ask users to enable unknown sources for app installation only from the company’s app store
- Implement a mobile app management system with Google Play for Work
- Share this unknown company applicationAndroid application management enables the hosting and distribution of Android applications to users.
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