Microsoft Defender, the built-in antivirus software that you would typically find baked into Windows, is coming to iPhone.
Defender has already started making its way to macOS, where it provides full virus protection and the ability to scan your system for any malicious software. We’re expecting a very different experience on iPhone, however.
I know what you’re thinking. Antivirus software for iPhone? Isn’t that about as useful as a seatbelt on a bicycle? Not only are iOS devices all but immune to viruses and malware by default, but Apple doesn’t allow apps to scan for them.
So, what exactly will Defender for iPhone do?
Microsoft Defender en route to the App Store
That’s the question we’re all asking. Microsoft isn’t offering a whole lot of detail at this point, but we do know Defender will help iPhone users — particularly those using enterprise devices — avoid phishing attempts.
Defender will likely be more useful on Android (it’s coming to Google Play, too). Android is more susceptible to viruses as a result of Google’s relaxed approach to Play Store approvals, and the ability to easily side-load unapproved software.
Furthermore, Android, unlike iOS, does allow antivirus apps to scan the system for malware and other malicious content. So if you like to download from dodgy websites, it might be pretty useful.
The Verge notes that Defender for mobile is likely to be exclusive to enterprise users, rather than general consumers — much like Defender for macOS. We’ll know more when it’s closer to release, whenever that might be.