You’ve probably seen a headline or two on your favorite technology sites about a new bug that was discovered that affects 99% of Android devices. Let me make this easy for you to understand: It’s bullshit. Yes, the bug exists, it’s real, but there’s a huge catch. In order for you to catch the bug, you need to download applications from somewhere other than the Play Store.
By default, all Android phones will refuse to let you install any applications that aren’t beamed directly from Google’s servers. You have to manually enable the ability to install applications from “untrusted sources”. If you do that, then chances are you’re installing a pirated application, which means I have no sympathy for you.
This isn’t the 90s, when software came in boxes and cost $99. Most apps cost less than $5, and that’s probably what you spend on silly energy drinks so you can stay up all night trolling Apple blogs.
Are there legitimate times when you should turn off security? Yes. I use two apps that aren’t in the Play Store: TubeMate, which lets me download YouTube videos; and now Falcon Pro. When I need to download and install those apps, I grab them from the official servers, then I disable security, install the app, then immediately turn security back on.
Don’t be stupid and you’ll be fine. Then again you should all know that.
Update: It’s been (rightly!) pointed out to me that in countries like China, there are anywhere between 20 to 30 competing app stores. Most of them are probably riddled with pirated applications, but they’re also likely filled with apps that are highly relevant to the local market. To people who have to use those app repositories, I don’t know really know what to tell you. Sorry.
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@WhatTheBit Not true in China. 20-30 other app stores
— Benedict Evans (@BenedictEvans) July 4, 2013