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Google makes it harder to send fake apps to Play Store

(Image credit: Image Credit: Pixel Fantasy / Flickr)

Google is looking to improve the security of all Android apps with some important changes to its Play Store.

The company is set to add a string of security metadata to all Android APKs. That way, it wants to make sure all apps are authentic, and that they’ve come from either the Play Store, or another verified source.

In other words, it will become harder to upload and install fraudulent and malicious apps.

All apps will get the metadata through the latest APK Signature Scheme, which, at some point, Android will require to be present in order to install any app. Google says this way apps will be verified even if they didn’t come from the Play Store, and will later be able to get updates from the official source, as well.

“No action is needed by developers or by those who use your app or game,” Google explains.

“We're adjusting Google Play's maximum APK size to take into account the small metadata addition, which is inserted into the APK Signing Block. In addition to improving the integrity of Google Play's mobile app ecosystem, this metadata will also present new distribution opportunities for developers and help more people keep their apps up to date.”

How while most of the users in the western world download apps from the Play Store, people in developing countries with limited connectivity don’t necessarily have that luxury. Many turn to unofficial channels, exposing themselves to various risks.

Image Credit: Pixel Fantasy / Flickr

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.