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Following a $700 million settlement, all modifications to Google Play and sideloading will be implemented.

Google said today that it would pay $700 million as part of a settlement with the United States Attorney General over a Google Play Store case. In addition, the business has committed to implementing specific safeguards concerning Google Play payment, sideloading, and how sideloaded applications are updated.

Here is a list of the adjustments Google has promised to make. All of these provisions will be in force as of the day the settlement becomes effective.

Side-loading and third-party app stores
Google will support app installations on Android outside of Google Play in various ways, including third-party app shops, for at least seven years.
For at least four years, Google will not compel developers to debut their applications on Google Play at the same time or sooner. This includes avoiding getting into an arrangement with developers to sell a more feature-rich version on Google Play.

Google will allow third-party firms to utilize APIs to automatically update applications, employ “split features” to have a portion of an app downloaded on demand, and offer a permission method to prevent apps from upgrading while an app is in use for the next four years.

Google should also enable preloaded applications or third-party app stores to retain “exclusive” rights to app updates until the user decides to update from another source. Developers may, however, opt out of allowing users to update the program from a separate source.
When you attempt to install programs from unofficial sources, Google now displays a warning message. Users must then hit the settings icon to enable the installation of programs from other sources. Google will have to integrate both of these windows into one for at least five years, with the warning “Your phone is currently not configured to install apps from this source.” Giving this provider access to install applications might jeopardize your phone and data.”

Billing alternatives
Google must allow developers to provide alternate invoicing systems for in-app purchases for at least five years. Furthermore, it cannot compel developers to give the best pricing via Google Play billing.
If a customer selects another payment method, Google can only acquire the bare minimum of data from the developer. Furthermore, the corporation cannot utilize this information to compete with the applications.
For at least six years, Google will have to enable developers to contact customers outside of the app—using information acquired from outside or within the app with agreement—for price and billing promotions.

Developers might offer discounts to advertise various billing systems and display them in the app. Furthermore, Google cannot prevent them from showing payments associated with Google Play or Google Play’s billing system.
For the next six years, Google will allow developers to show information about alternative buying choices, such as “Available on our website for $9.99,” without linking to them.

OEM provisions
For at least five years, Google cannot engage in an agreement with phone manufacturers to have Google Play as the sole app store on smartphones in order to position Google Play on the home screen.
During the same time frame, device manufacturers will not be required to seek “consent” from Google in order to preload a third-party app store.
Google will be required to provide preinstalled applications via OEM installer privileges for at least four years.

While these changes seem to be significant, they may be minor for Google. As we saw during the Epic vs. Google experiment, the 4% reduction Google gives on user choice billing may not be sufficient for developers to move to another payment processor if the expenses outweigh the savings. Furthermore, additional app shops must provide sufficient incentives and a broad audience for developers in order for them to profit from these app stores.

Eltrys Team
Author: Eltrys Team

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