Sideloading apps has long been one of the most desirable features of the Android ecosystem. It’s one of the biggest things that sets the platform apart from Apple’s iOS, which only allows users to install apps via the company’s official App Store. However, the practice of sideloading apps on Android devices isn’t without its risks. Installing a bad APK could result in malware landing on your Android phone. To avoid this from happening, Xiaomi is reportedly testing a new feature for MIUI called “Pure Mode.”
According to ITHome, Xiaomi is currently recruiting internal beta testers for MIUI’s Pure Mode. The feature will allow users to block sideloading of Android apps on their Xiaomi phones. Once enabled, users won’t be able to install APKs from unofficial sources and app repositories. Pure Mode can also be disabled at any point.
According to Xiaomi, 40% of the APKs downloaded on its phones don’t pass its security audit. Meanwhile, 10% of downloads are recognized as risky applications.
The main purpose of the new mode is to prevent risks caused by accidental APK downloads, misoperations, and background installations. It’ll give users more control over the apps they choose to install on their phones and ensure they are getting those apps willingly from legitimate sources.
There’s no word on when the new Pure Mode will make its official appearance on MIUI. For now, it seems that beta testing will be restricted to China. We’ll update this article when and if we hear more about Pure Mode.