Because the antitrust lawsuit between Epic Video games and Apple over the latter’s management of the App Retailer on iOS and the app ecosystem involves a detailed, Google has defined its plans to convey higher help for third-party app shops with the arrival of Android 12, which was unveiled at Google I/O.
Final yr, Google had responded to claims by Epic Video games about how the Play Retailer platform and Apple’s iOS brought on points for third-party app shops, by stating that its upcoming Android launch would include higher help for app shops that didn’t ship with a specific gadget – for instance, the Epic Video games Retailer. The corporate has now defined the way it plans to implement higher help in its developer documentation, as noticed by XDA.
Additionally learn: Watch out for third-party shops! Safety agency finds app retailer contaminated with malware
So as to higher help third-party shops, Android 12 has made adjustments to the REQUEST_INSTALL_PACKAGES permission, which is utilized by all apps that need to set up one other Android Utility Package deal (or APK), comparable to a file supervisor like Stable Explorer, or a browser like Chrome. With the adjustments which might be made to the permission, app shops will be capable of set up apps with the identical ease because the Play Retailer.
As of in the present day, customers who obtain a third-party retailer like F-Droid, or the Epic Video games Retailer should first permit that retailer to “request the set up of packages” after which manually affirm the set up of every bundle. It is a safety measure to stop a malicious retailer from putting in apps with out notifying the consumer. Nonetheless, on Android 12, third get together apps will be capable of entry a brand new methodology known as setRequireUserAction which is able to permit them to robotically set up apps.
To ensure that this to work correctly, Google has put some safety measures in place. Any app retailer that desires to make use of this methodology might want to goal Android 10 or increased, and request the brand new UPDATE_PACKAGES_WITHOUT_USER_ACTION permission. As well as, they are going to solely be capable of robotically replace itself or set up updates to a bundle it initially put in. For instance, for those who downloaded Fortnite from the Epic Video games Retailer, will probably be capable of replace robotically, however when you have the older model from the Play Retailer put in, you can be prompted to put in the replace manually the primary time.
Learn extra: The way to obtain and set up Android 12 public beta
It’s simple to see how this method might be misused by malicious actors, given how even a widely known third-party app retailer like APK Pure was just lately contaminated with a malicious trojan and doubtlessly contaminated customers with older, insecure variations of Android. Nonetheless, this addition is clearly Google’s try of discovering a option to placate Epic Video games, which is at present doing battle with Apple in america. It stays to be seen how third-party shops work with Android 12, though it seems that the method of updating apps ought to be so much simpler than it’s in the meanwhile.