Android users know the panic of having their phone become unresponsive when they try to exit a particularly unusual app. This sometimes when you download an app infected with malware or a really buggy app. When this happens, it surely would help to have a fail-safe that returns you to the Home screen and closes the app immediately. Google is working on such a panic button in the latest release of Android 7.1.
The feature is simple. By default, all you need to do to trigger the panic button is press the back key four times. However, according to XDA Developers, you can modify the number of presses in Android’s SystemUI APK. SystemUI controls the notification shade, status bar and navigation buttons.
Once the system detects four presses on the back button in quick succession, it shuts down the offending app. However, this feature has not been enabled for any devices yet. Anyone tech-savvy enough can enable the panic button themselves; however, it is unclear how reliable the feature is right now. Google has not formally announced it either.
Well, this feature is certainly good news for Android users. Google has made huge steps in stamping out malware in the Play Store; however, the open nature of the Android market ensures that there will always be a certain element of risk. Now, Google has a face for its built-in security suite, called Google Play Protect. This is in addition to the numerous security patches pushed out by the company in the last few years.
In spite of this feature, users should still be careful about their app downloads. More methods of mobile data theft have been revealed over the last few months, and there are still more being crafted right now. Therefore, it is quite possible that hackers will find a way around this panic button feature with time. However, Android users can breathe easier just knowing that there’s a way out of the “unresponsive app” situation.