Is Google banning ‘uncertified’ devices?

Recently reports telling that Google is banning several devices which are not certificated which means you won’t get any apps or updates trough the official Google Play Store – the criticism is here that this might also bans several ROM’s from receiving apps and their updates. But is this story really true?

Google Apps

Conspiracy theories (yet again)

Some people argue that Google wants more control, while others saying this helps to improve the overall security because 99% of all malware coming from manipulated apps (the rest 1% is coming directly from certificated apps while the integrated SDK was ‘compromised). This is not new and not shocking, the problem on this story is that several ROM’s with installed or pre-installed Gapps (Google Apps package) might won’t receive updates or Apps anymore. Google itself provides a workaround for this, so you can register your IMEI here, in order to register your device. The Device ID or Google ID you receive when your install a ROM or update your ROM, has no affect so even if you restore it, it won’t help and this brings a lot of people about theories why Google want to do that – maybe to catch your IMEI?

The simple truth

Abusing any services is not new and people are always thinking there smart, making quickly money or bypassing things to ‘beat the system’, however, this only results in stronger regulations which means on the other hand that we all need to suffer even if you are a ‘good guy’ which only wants to get updates or apps from the Google Play Store. People tried over the past years always to bypass Googles security mechanism, they installed ‘cracked’ Play Store versions or Magisk or Xposed modules in order to ‘hack’ the things which helps you to get less malware, some people doing it because they want more freedom others to test new apps or to abuse several things.

The problem here is that such people which abusing every system are thinking there smart – there not, in fact because of those few people we all have to pay for it. Remember the Spotify story? More regulations now. Same story.

However Google is not to blame here, there trying to protect their hosted apps from malware and this is overall a good thing, what people can complain about here is the fact that there is no API or signing process for custom ROMS in order to implement some kind of a whitelist which means your IMEI/ID gets scanned and if it doesn’t match with Googles ‘rules’ you see the massage that your device is uncertified.

What you can go about it?

There are many things to bypass this (still) and I not recommend the following tips due several security reasons, but you’re the boss.

  1. Install a cracked Google Play Store version
  2. Register your Device/ROM
  3. Install apps from APKMirror (aka sideload your apps)
  4. Don’t install a custom ROM, it’s a dying horse anyway as long as your device is still supported.
  5. Ask Google to integrate a mechanism to ‘whitelist’ custom ROMS (might be coming soon but unconfirmed).
  6. Use alternative Stores like F-Droid/Aptoide/Yalp etc.
  7. Do not use any Gapps or other Store apps (sounds impossible right?! Depending if you only use your phone to make calls etc)

Conclusion

Abusing things is never a good thing, and yet again everyone has to pay for it. At the end you shoot yourself in the food and it’s only a matter of time until Google blocks sideloading and other Stores if the story continues – don’t think there not already aware of the alternatives, they are! They don’t take action because it (according to them) affects a handful people. However, the point is that the OS should be secure as possible and because it’s challenging it needs rules, otherwise you know what happens. I see this with a laughing eye and a whining one because for advance users this is pain in the ass while I believe the normal user gets less malware because Google regularly scanns all apps and even if you’re infected the app will automatically uninstalled in case it violates the rules.

I’m not sure when all of this ends and no one can predict the future but I think we getting much more rules over the next years if people stopping to crack or bypassing everything. In my own opinion if you really use your apps daily, just honor the developer and pay for it then you won’t run into sideloading malware because you download apps from russian forums with people without a face behind.

Much stronger security related rules are coming and I’m 100% sure on this, it will end like Apple were you only can get from official Store.

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