Discover New Security Metadata to Authenticate Play Store Apps
In December 2017, Google announced some important updates to app security to help verify product authenticity from Google Play. Every small amount of security metadata on top of APKs to verify that the APK was distributed by Google Play matters, so here I am to encourage you to take your time and discover more about this addition to solidify app security and authenticity.
Google is therefore adding security metadata on top of each APK to verify that it was officially distributed by Google Play. This will also benefit app developers and people who constantly share apps via peer-to-peer channels, with the metadata ensuring the apps will be handled by the Play Store even if they are passed from one handset to another.
Even more, this change will also let Google ascertain app authenticity while a device is offline, add those shared apps to a user’s Play Library, and manage all app updates when the device comes back online. As for developers, this can provide a Play-authorized offline distribution channel and, since the peer-to-peer shared app is added to your user’s Play library, the developer’s apps will simply become eligible for app updates from Play.
Google makes its intentions clear on its blog, its main wish being “to help developers reach a wider audience, particularly in countries where peer-to-peer app sharing is common because of costly data plans and limited connectivity” and all of us need such changes.
Worry not, since this doesn’t actually require any sort of action or change from the developers or users. Instead, it will be inserted into the APK Signing Block, not affecting in any way the app’s functionality. Google will be the one carrying the responsibility to be increasing the APK size in order to insert the security metadata within the package. Finally, this metadata is expected to act as a Play badge of authenticity for the Android app.
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