Google, blocking uncertified devices from running Google apps, custom ROMs being an exception

Android is an open-source OS, so in addition to the “blessed” version that Google distributes to big-time manufacturers, a whole lot of other forms have come out. If the Android device of any user is Google certified, you are allowed to distribute Google’s official Android apps like the Play Store or Maps. However, if it is not certified, for devices such as the Amazon’s Fire OS tablets as well as most phones used in China, those apps are not supposed to be shipped. Technical users generally take the alternative of sideloading Google’s apps when they want them, yet there are some manufacturers of less repute that ship Google software without permission.


As a result, Google now checks the build date of Android system images when users make an effort to run Google apps. Individuals with an uncertified device running a version of the Android OS compiled after the 16th of March, 2018, the Google apps won’t work.

Luckily, for custom ROM users who like to download a bespoke version of Android to match their specific tastes can now register their device with their Android ID to allow Google apps run in the device. There is a 100 device limit for each user which may be a problem for creative ROM testers. However, it should be enough for most people.

It will be good if this means Google will eventually make it easier to run its software on custom Android versions rather than uncertain forums and through filesharing. If Treble turns out to be all it is said to be, the custom ROM life could get a whole lot securer and forthright in the future.

One thing still remains uncertain and that however is how this will affect people who want to run Play Store on their Fire OS Tablet or any other “uncertified” device running software from the manufacturer.



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