Android 14 removes some boundaries for third-party app shops
Why it issues: Global regulators have lately sharpened their criticism of Google and Apple for his or her tight controls on cellular software program distribution. Unlike Apple, Google technically permits third-party app shops on its Android working system, however at an obstacle in comparison with the official Google Play retailer. Android 14 goals to eradicate a few of these shortcomings.
According to XDA Developers, the code within the Android 14 developer preview means that the working system will allow smoother operation of third-party app shops. The modifications contain how alternate app shops set up and replace software program.
Apps from exterior the Google Play Store or different pre-installed app shops achieve the flexibility to make use of Android 12 to passively set up background updates, however can’t examine when safety updates are made. For instance, they cannot simply inform if somebody is at the moment utilizing an app, so having background updates threat disturbing customers. This could make automated updates of software program from third-party distributors troublesome and even unattainable.
A brand new API in Android 14 lets Google’s system examine if an app is within the foreground, on display screen, interacting with the person, the person is on a name, or the gadget is in sleep mode. Developers used to have the ability to add such checks, however OS updates make issues simpler by letting the system deal with every little thing.
Another change in Android 14 prevents the pre-installed app retailer from mechanically updating apps from third-party shops. When a person allows “Update Ownership” when putting in software program from an exterior supply for the primary time, it prevents the Google Play Store or different first-party shops from updating the app with out the person’s permission. Additionally, third-party app shops in Android 14 can ask customers for permission earlier than mechanically updating apps, which might make some apps safer.
Changing how alternate app shops are up to date might make them extra viable. These new options could also be in response to rising regulatory strain to make cellular platforms extra open.
Governments in Europe, North America and South Korea have spoken out towards Apple and Google’s restrictions on smartphone software program and cost processing. The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) added guidelines towards “gatekeepers” working walled gardens, amongst different issues.
If the EU implements a DMA on the corporate within the subsequent few years, Apple might quickly permit sideloading or apps from third-party app shops. Google’s modifications to Android 14 might be an analogous response.