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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Here is how sideloading (and extra) will change after Google’s settlement

Google Play Store January 2023

Joe Hindy / Android Authority


  • Google has revealed settlement phrases following a lawsuit introduced in opposition to it by US states.
  • The corporate will simplify app sideloading and increase different billing as a part of the phrases.
  • The search large can even pay about $700 million right into a fund for customers and states.

Google settled a lawsuit in September between itself and over 30 US states concerning its Play Retailer and Android practices. The phrases of the settlement weren’t disclosed on the time, however the firm has now revealed them.

Google confirmed on its weblog that it might make sideloading apps simpler on Android. It will additionally replace the language used to warn customers about potential dangers. 

We requested Google about these adjustments and the corporate informed Android Authority that two “move” screens will likely be mixed into one.

The search colossus additionally informed us that it may use the next language or a “substantial” equal:

Your cellphone at present isn’t configured to put in apps from this supply. Granting this supply permission to put in apps may place your cellphone and knowledge in danger.

Google at present affords a pop-up menu whenever you try and sideload an app by way of one other app (e.g. Chrome, Recordsdata). This menu doesn’t immediately allow you to allow sideloading, as a substitute that includes a “settings” button that takes you to a second display screen the place you possibly can allow sideloading. So it looks like these two screens will likely be consolidated, which ought to make for a extra user-friendly expertise. 

Various billing and different settlement phrases

Simpler sideloading isn’t the one time period within the settlement. The corporate additionally confirmed that it might now supply different billing choices within the Play Retailer for in-app purchases. It’ll permit builders to point out completely different worth choices inside the app too (e.g. affords by way of the developer’s web site or a third-party app retailer).

Google reiterated that it had been piloting different billing within the US for over a yr. Nonetheless, it’s value noting that this pilot together with different billing in different markets got here after a wave of stress from regulators and politicians.

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Third-party app shops have lengthy been out there by way of Android units, and Google mentioned it’s all the time allowed these Play Retailer alternate options to be preloaded on units.

“The settlement with the attorneys common makes clear that OEMs can proceed to offer customers with choices out of the field to make use of Play or one other app retailer,” the corporate asserted on its weblog. It additionally highlighted adjustments in Android 14 to enhance performance for third-party app shops.

Lastly, Google confirmed that it might be paying roughly $700 million as a part of the settlement. The corporate says $630 million will likely be paid right into a settlement fund for customers whereas $70 million will likely be paid right into a fund for the states.

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