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Google CEO Pichai Warns Android Users Against Sideloading Apps

One big difference between iOS and Android is that the latter operating system will allow users to sideload apps on their devices while iOS doesn’t. When you sideload an app, you are installing it from a third-party app store and Apple doesn’t allow this because it is unable to vet apps that come from outside of the App Store thus increasing the possibility that you might install malware on your iPhone.

Those who complain about iOS being a “walled garden” should understand why Apple doesn’t allow sideloading. However, many of you might feel that you’re old enough to decide whether to take the risk of installing code designed to steal the login to your banking and financial apps. Nonetheless, the three letters that keep Apple CEO Tim Cook up all night, DMA (the EU’s Digital Markets Act) could force Apple to allow sideloading, at least in the 27 EU member countries.

As for Android, to paraphrase the iconic Dr. Ian Malcom (played splendidly by Jeff Goldblum) in Jurassic Park, just because you can sideload apps on Android it doesn’t mean that you should sideload apps on Android. According to News18.com, those words of wisdom come from none other than Sundar Pichai, the CEO of both Alphabet and Google. This past Tuesday, during the U.S. via Google trial, Pichai was testifying and said (under oath, we should point out) that he tells Android users not to sideload apps on their phones.

Pichai said (and may I remind you that he’s under oath), “We don’t want to allow you to completely compromise your phone. It can install malware on your phone. It can really compromise your safety, very significantly.” This, of course, is the reason Apple gives for not allowing sideloading on iOS. Some might say that the difference is that Google is treating Android users as adults capable of making up their own minds.

On the other hand, tech-naive users who might not be familiar with the concept of sideloading or understand what malware can do to their bank account, might be happy to know that Apple is keeping iPhone users from making an unwittingly dangerous choice. This was the late Steve Jobs’ main concern about the App Store from day one. Considering that apps these days can pass a scan only to be loaded with malware via an update, your best bet is to avoid installing apps from developers that you’re not familiar with.

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