Fortnite for Android reminds users to be safe, and to block installation from unknown sources

Fortnite is finally on Android, and it caused a huge fuss (over nothing) about supposed security risks that it would expose users to. Google has already taken the unusual step to remind users searching for Fortnite on the Play Store that they won’t find it there, and now Epic Games is prompting users to remain safe, too.

In a nutshell, the issue is that Epic Games distributes Fortnite for Android outside the Play Store, which is a bit unusual; virtually all popular Android apps are on the Play Store, and this does keep users (somewhat) more safe. To install Fortnite, users have to allow installation from unknown sources and install the .APK file directly. This caused a bit of upset.

To help users stay protected, Epic added a reminder to the installer application. When you install Fortnite, a notification comes through a minute or so afterwards reminding users that they had to enable a few permissions to get Fortnite to install, and to click on the notification to wind those same privileges back:

It doesn’t change the security model and how Epic’s distribution fits within it, but it does remind users to make sure their devices are protected as much as they can be.

Chris Rowland :Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since. Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

View Comments (5)

  • Not "Connecting With" any app for obvious reasons....but, I've been into Android hard for a few years now and have experienced MOST unwanted effects or disabling/obtrusive effects, not to mention deceiving technology or even malware from apps FROM the Play Store. Usually ram or speed boosters, media players and "cheap" or "plain" apps. On the other hand, I frequently use .apk files to install apps. Sometimes "cracked" "patched" and the like. I don't need a moral fiber talk, either. Rarely do I get any corrupted files or viruses/malware or fake apps. However it does occasionally happen.

    Sent from my OnePlus 5 running Havoc ROM with Magisk 16.0 and Xposed systemless 90.2-Beta3. Stay Human - Phoenix

  • What's the reason to distribute outside playstore? Does epic just want to pocket the 30% cut that playstore takes?. There is no valid reason to ask a users to go thru this. Seems like epic really does not want to support android and this way they can stop since there would not be much installs.

    • That did seem to be the main reason; that 30% cut might not seem like a lot, but if you're doing $1m a month in gross revenue, that's $300k out the door for very little. They make a good argument; Google's Play Store cut doesn't scale well, and at higher revenue levels, it really doesn't make sense.

      I don't think Epic is in any danger of losing users because of this move. Their game is stupidly popular, and will do just fine whether it's on the Play Store or not.

  • Still having issues with this beta on my Samsung Galaxy S9+. In the end I went back to Creative Destruction and Crossfire.