Google has updated its “Dangerous Products” section of the Google Play Developer Content Policy, with a mind to preventing developers from pushing updates without going through the Play Store.
This comes in the wake of Facebook sending updates to its Facebook Home application directly to users who have the “Unknown Sources” box checked on their devices. The update states:
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.
Which leaves very little wiggle room for developers. The core idea behind the “Dangerous Products” section of the policy has been to prevent users from unknowingly downloading or installing applications outside of the Play Store, thus hopefully preventing the spread of malware or viruses.
Facebook has yet to respond to the changes, but it looks like Google hasn’t given them much of a choice regarding which route to take when updating Home.
This could also affect other apps; Nova Launcher for example, allows users to download the latest beta version without visiting the Play Store. So we could end up seeing more beta versions of apps in the Play Store.
Will Facebook comply with the updated Policy? Or will we see them breakaway and move to another appstore? Amazon?
Source: Google Play Developer Policy