In a blog post today, Google laid out future plans for Google Play, touching on subjects like how they’ll bring clarity to billing policies, what they think can be done to help developers communicate with customers, and how they’ll bring equal treatment to all apps that are promoted on the platform. One of the other topics specifically addressed developer concerns over 3rd party app stores and how Google hasn’t always made them easy to install. With Android 12 next year, that should change.
Google acknowledged feedback from developers about the process while pointing out that they fully support distribution of apps outside of Google Play, noting that apps like Fortnite (lol) can be distributed directly to users or through another marketplace, including Samsung’s app store.
Still, installing a 3rd party app store that didn’t come preloaded can come with its own set of issues. With Android 12 (which is launching in 2021), Google plans to “make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place.” They say they are “designing all this now” and will share more details in the future.
It’s an interesting idea for Google to now so openly acknowledge after all these years this is something they are super cool with. Not that I’ve ever thought Google was against 3rd party markets (many phones come with more than Google Play pre-loaded), but part of the reason no one promotes them is that you have to worry about security issues. And we all know how big of a deal security and public perception can be with mobile.
Anyway, Android 12 news!