If you have a spotty internet connection, or perhaps the charges are too high, or connection completely unavailable. Then you probably appreciate the fact that you don’t have to get all your apps from Google Play Store all the time.
You can just wait for your family and friend to share the APK with you using one of the numerous offline sharing options. There is Xender, SHAREit, and now even Google’s Files Go can be used to share apps and games through APKs.
Well, Google does not like it when you get apps outside the Play Store. They made that clear four months ago when they announced that they will be “adding a small amount of security metadata on top of APKs to verify that the APK was distributed by Google Play.”
Earlier this week, Google made good of those promises, and as the company wrote on their developer blog. The company is starting a test program that will enable Play Store in all Android devices to be able to authenticate whether an app or game gotten by a user through peer-to-peer sharing was originally obtained from the app store.
At this point, it is important to remember Google tries to keep all Android apps safe for use using the recently introduced Google Play Protect. A somewhat ‘antivirus and anti-malware’ baked into one, which Google uses to scan all apps on Play Store to ensure not only they are safe but fall in line with international best practice standards in terms of privacy and how it affects your device’s resources.
That is not to say that Google will stop you from getting apps and games from others sources; shared from your family and friends. This new development will only verify the source of the given APK and whether it is safe for use; from a security and privacy point of view.
If the APK was from Play Store, Google will make it possible for the app to receive future updates from the app store. It seems Google understands that in some circumstances, downloading apps from the Play Store is not the best route for everyone and all the times.
There are times when one wants to conserve their mobile data and getting an app or game they need through peer-to-peer APK sharing options makes sense.