Google Changes Play Store App Updating Policy

Last week, Facebook rolled out some updates to its Home software directly to users, bypassing the Google Play Store. Normally, updates to Android apps are pushed through the Play Store. Users who had the “Unknown Sources” box checked on their devices received an update straight from Facebook, without passing through the Google Play Store. Currently, only apps that are “side loaded” or installed outside of the Google Play Store are allowed to update without going through the Play Store.

In an attempt to curb malware, viruses and trojans, Google has updated its “Dangerous Products” section of the Google Play Developer Content Policy, stating:

“Apps that collect information (such as the user’s location or behavior) without the user’s knowledge (spyware), malicious scripts and password phishing scams are also prohibited on Google Play, as are applications that cause users to unknowingly download or install applications from sources outside of Google Play. An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play’s update mechanism.”

The new terms and conditions mean that Facebook and other apps can no longer push notifications straight to their users. How Facebook will respond to this change is unknown at the moment, but if they decide to stick with the Play Store for app rollouts and updates, they are going to have to play ball with Google’s new terms.

[Via: Android Spin]

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