Q: Is it safe to download apps from websites instead of app stores?
A: With more and more Android devices moving away from the Google Play Store, downloading apps through a web browser is becoming very attractive.
The first set of devices that come to mind is Huawei, but many Android devices, like Amazon’s Fire tablets, also don’t come with Google Play services installed, so the audience of third-party platform applications increases.
There are a lot of bad actors out there, so knowing where to look is the most important aspect of this. Huawei has selected platforms like Pure APK, which it deems safe for third-party apps that are not available through the Huawei App Gallery. For added peace of mind, it also scans apps for malicious code before installing them.
Some app developers distribute installation files directly, so this is the first prize when installing third-party. These include WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal.
It is important to keep these apps up to date, so from time to time search for the app again, either through the app gallery if on Huawei or through the app’s website, and install the latest version for bug fixes, security enhancements and new features. Always use anti-malware software on your device if you download from third-party sites, for added reassurance.