Android 12 gets better support for third-party app stores


Google will provide better support for third-party app stores from Android 12. This should improve security. The downside to the plan is that Google will tighten payment rules in its own Play Store.

Google is making it easier for developers to use third-party app stores in Android 12. Details about what that exactly means are still missing. The focus seems to be mainly on safety. Android 12 allows users to use third-party app stores without compromising security systems built into Android.

Payment problem

The move is in response to the ongoing discussion about payments in Google’s Play Store itself. Google wants in-app payments to be made through its store via the Google Play payment system and allows hardly any exceptions. The rules have already made Fortnite no longer available through the Play Store. Gamers can download the application in other ways. Android is already compatible with alternative app stores today and allows users to install their own APKs that come from the internet. The downside of this is the impact on the security of the OS.

Like Apple, Google wants its share of the cake when it comes to app sales of applications that users brought in through its own store. Google does make an exception for certain companies. These are organizations that offer non-digital services via in-app payments as a result of the pandemic. Think of the rental of an apartment by AirBnB. Such companies should not adhere to Google’s payment policies for the next year.


Apart from the payment problem, better support for external app stores is good news for Huawei. After all, it no longer has access to Google’s Play Store after sanctions imposed by the US. It therefore puts forward its own App Gallery as an alternative. It looks like Android 12 will be more suited to deal with such stores.

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