Google’s easing up on the Play retailer’s app stranglehold with Android 14

New APIs are a extreme win for third-event app shops


Google was just recently ordered by the opponents Committee of India to basically change a pair of of its anti-aggressive practices, and we’re lastly starting to see some exact-life outcomes with a set of latest APIs in Android 14. These additions are primarily aimed in direction of serving to third-event app shops like Amazon, APKMirror, and F-Droid attain function parity with the Play retailer.


XDA’s Mishaal Rahman dug up a set of modifications inside the Android 14 API documentation, which helps app builders study to make the most of latest devices being made out there inside the forthcoming OS mannequin. After Android 12 lastly made it doable for third-event app shops to routinely replace the apps they set up, Google’s 2023 launch is in search of to enhance the expertise for clients and app shops alike.

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the largest change is Android 14’s new mild Updates API, which permits third-event app shops to be sure you’re not using an app earlier than routinely updating it inside the background. App shops can now look at that the app being up thus far isn’t presently on the computer screen, working a foreground service, or interacting with you in any strategy. they will additionally look at to confirm your system isn’t presently in Doze Mode or making a telephone name earlier than updating an app.

whereas every of this stuff is in all probability checked manually by third-event app shops, Google recommends that builders use the presets it supplies for this new mild Updates system to search out out if it’s a very good time to replace an app — in spite of the whole lot, years of Play retailer telemetry knowledge can’t be too far off base. And regardless that this information may already be gleaned from numerous older Android APIs, this new system doesn’t require app shops to ask for entry to delicate permissions with a view to know when it’s protected to routinely replace an app.

There’s additionally a mannequin new replace possession API that lets a third-event app retailer develop to be the solely supply for future updates to an app that it initially put in, resolving a doable battle the place an app put in by the third-event app retailer might very effectively be up thus far by the Play retailer’s automated updates system. This should be useful for shops like Obtainium, which sends out updates for open-supply apps instantly from the developer’s releases website and would possibly typically outpace the Play retailer on releases.

as quickly as an app retailer is up thus far to make the a quantity of the mannequin new API, it ought to routinely be granted the ENFORCE_UPDATE_OWNERSHIP permission required to make the most of these new options. nonetheless, third-event app shops should declare possession of updates when first placing in an app, so this wouldn’t work for current apps you’d possibly have put in by the app retailer — in completely different phrases, you’d want to reinstall an app earlier than the replace possession API would develop to be out there for it.

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lastly, a person Preapproval API lets third-event app shops current a immediate earlier than placing in an replace to an app. This should be useful when an app has a extreme function overhaul or supplies granted-at-runtime permissions that the app retailer thinks probability is you will want to focus to earlier than an automated replace takes place.

It should be famous that these and one other new APIs aren’t going to be finalized till June 2023, in accordance with the Android 14 launch timetable. So these options may change as a end result of the mannequin new mannequin strikes from developer preview builds to beta releases, however we wouldn’t count on Google to outright drop the APIs contemplating the authorized strain it’s dealing with.

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