Google is working on a new ‘panic’ feature for Android.

It’s designed to protect you from malware, and will let you escape an infected app when it tries to take over your phone. 

Most people’s natural reaction after they first realise that they’ve opened a dodgy link or launched a malicious app is to return to where they came from by repeatedly bashing the back key.

Google appears to have built new functionality specifically around that instinct.

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The feature, called ‘Panic Detection’, was first spotted by , and recognises when you desperately want to close an app.

By default, it will be activated when you hit the back button four times in quick succession, and will take you back to the safety of your home screen.

If a program attempts to hijack your device and prevent you from closing it, for instance, panic detection will let you quickly override it and shut it down.

Once you’ve escaped, you’ll be able to find out what went wrong and get rid of the dodgy software.

Panic Detection appears to be a work in progress for now, and hasn’t yet started rolling out to users.

Once it’s ready, it should prove extremely useful, though it isn’t clear if it will work on older versions of Android, or just Nougat. 

The feature will likely arrive this summer, ahead of the launch of .

It will soon be named after a sweet treat, and will focus on improving battery life for users and tweaking notifications.


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