Google is turning Android into IOS and getting full control over devs to save you some KBs

Luis Hernández
3 min readJul 2, 2021
It is a requirement to use Play App Signing in order to publish on Google Play

Well played Google, so App Bundles gives you full control of developer private key (they won’t ever have access to that signing key), will force devs to deal with multiple official signatures making distribution more difficult.

So far a user can get either app from any legitimate source and be done with it. Now, if that same developer wants to distribute that app on another app store, they’ll have to use their own key, which won’t match Google’s.

On top of this, installing an APK specific to your device means it’s harder for you to just copy it to another device and install it without issue. Users don’t have the whole app anymore and it makes legitimately archiving apps more difficult.

What could possibly go wrong? A government or any Google-related project needs full control of any app? no problem. Adding a surveillance backdoor into the app’s code? Google could do this.

Wait, wait. But Google has promised that it does not and will not inject or modify code!.

The problem with the App Bundle process is that it has the power to do so.

The most popular and biggest games distribution on Android is via APK. Microsoft’s new Windows 11 support for Android apps is based on APKs. Google will make less secure and more complex this interoperability.

From this point on, who knows what other essential operating system functionality Google will lock behind Google Play for no technical reason, but just to disadvantage competing stores.

This is sad. Google will move away from open APK format to a proprietary Android app format locked to Google Play to save you an average size of 15% versus a universal, easy to distribute, secure and full controlled by the developer itself APKs :(.

Why Google Play’s APK replacement is scaring some security experts:

Uncomfortable Questions About App Signing:

So Telegram Messenger @facenbook or @EpicGames, you won’t be able to distribute your own apps on your site and update the Google Play version. And what is more, you won’t ever be sure if the Google Playversion is exactly your code. @google will sign it for you to all intents and purposes

I cannot believe everyone agrees on this, no pressure from competitors, big games, and app developers. Google is basically turning Android into IOS, and getting full control over devs, to save you some KBs. Crazy

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