AT&T has apparently decided there is a malware issue on Android, and in turn, has partnered with Lookout to bring new security functionality to its line of devices.
Lookout is an antivirus app on Android that offers protection "to your phone and tablet against malware, viruses, loss, and theft". According to the company there are more than 40 million people using the app. The user base is about to get a bump thanks to the deal Lookout has struck to ship the app on all future Android phones and tablets sold by the carrier. The pre-loaded functionality doesn't sound too different from the Lookout app available on Google Play, currently boasting a 4.5/5 star rating.
While they appreciate being protected from viruses, users may not welcome the additional bloatware from AT&T. This has often been a gripe from US customers, who frequently find themselves constantly loaded from bloat software from US carriers. In reality, Sprint, Verizon and AT&T all do it - and it can drive a new smartphone user crazy.
Beyond scanning for bad software on your handset, Lookout also has a premium feature that can be enabled for $3 a month to add safe browsing, phone lockdown and wipe, and additional privacy protection features. Thanks to the partnership, AT&T will add it the charge to your monthly bill.
Why is a virus scanner needed on a smartphone? Given the openness of Google Play, some tricky developers could sneak in harmful software on the app marketplace. Of course, you shouldn't experience any shady apps while browsing the popular pages filled with well-known developers, but if you dive into the deep-depths of Google Play, some raunchy apps could surface.