How to Protect Apps against Abusing Android 'Developer Options'

Last updated April 8, 2021 by Alan Bavosa

Learn how to build your app with Appdome’s Detect Developer options feature in order to protect an Android app from malicious and unintended use of the Android Developer Options setting.

We hope you find it useful and enjoy using Appdome!

Appdome’s “Detect Developer Options”   

The Appdome platform is a self-service, easy to use no-code mobile security and integration platform for customers to implement mobile app security and/or 3rd party SDK/APIs in any iOS or Android apps without development or source code changes.

Using Appdome, there are no development or coding prerequisites or specialized skills required. Developers and non-developers can implement security features such as RASP, code obfuscation, data encryption, and more, and/or automate SDK implementations (including mobile threat, anti-fraud, anti-bot, and other SDKs and APIs) into any iOS or Android app built in any framework. There are no Appdome SDKs, libraries, or plug-ins required. For more details check out this KB article to learn how Appdome works. 

This KB describes how to use Appdome’s simple ‘click to build’ user interface to quickly and easily build Detect Developer Options into any Android app – instantly, no code or coding required. 

Android Developer Options Explained

Developer options is an Android setting that enables developers to configure system behaviors for administrative and troubleshooting purposes. It’s designed to help developers profile app performance and run debugging options. For example, developers can turn on debugging over USB, generate a bug report, enable visual feedback for taps, and render 2D graphics using GPU. Unfortunately, this setting is often abused by hackers, who try to enable and exploit it for malicious purposes. With Appdome’s Detect Developer Options feature, if Appdome’s technology detects that Android Developer Options is enabled on a mobile device, the app will not run. Instead, the app will display a customizable In-app message to the user before it exits.

How to Protect Apps Abuse of Android ‘Developer Options’

Follow these step-by-step instructions to add the “Detect Developer Options” feature to an Android app.

Upload a Mobile App to Your Account

Please follow these steps to add a mobile app to your Appdome account.
If you don’t have an Appdome account, click here to create an account.

Select the Build TabNote: a blue underline will appear showing the step is active
Beneath the Build Tab, you will find several service options. Select SecurityNote: a blue highlight will appear showing the category is active. 

  1. Click on the toggle to enable Detect Developer Options
  2. Configure a message or use the default populated message under App Compromise Notification
  3. Click Build My App
appdome's detect developer options feature. no code or coding
Appdome’s Detect Developer Options

The technology behind Build My App has two major elements – (1) a microservice architecture filled with 1000s of code sets needed for mobile integrations, and (2) an adaptive code generation engine that can recognize the development environment, frameworks and methods in each app and match the app to the relevant code-sets needed to add MicroVPN to the mobile app in seconds.

Congratulations! You now have a mobile app fully integrated with “Detect Developer Options” protection enabled.
Detect Developer options success message on appdome


Completing Projects – What to do After Building your App?

After building your app Appdome, you need to sign the app in order to deploy it. You can also brand or customize a built app on Appdome. Read this Knowledge Base article to learn what to do after you successfully built an app. It explains both optional steps and required steps.

How Do I Learn More?

To zoom out on this topic, visit  Appdome for Mobile App Security on our website.

Or request a demo at any time.

If your application built with Detect Developer Options isn’t detecting a device that has the setting enabled, reach out to Appdome Support. If you have any questions, please send them our way at or via the chat window on the Appdome platform.

Thank you!

Thanks for visiting Appdome! Our mission is to make mobile integration easy. We hope we’re living up to the mission with your project. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for free.  

Have a question?

Ask an expert

AnnaMaking your security project a success!