Google's apps and services will now require your phone to be certified

UPDATE: Google has officially announced its certification program, which ensures your device is legit, does not contain any malware, and comes with pre-installed Google services.

To make sure they're legal and legit, Android device makers have to go through Google's CDD (Compatability Definition Document) and CTS (Compatability Test Suite). After passing those tests and paying a license fee for the use of Google services, manufacturers would be allowed to preload Google's full suite of apps on their devices.

However, some companies have a history of forgoing this processes, opting instead to ship their device with their own application storefronts and services, like Amazon, as well as many Chinese phone vendors. With such devices, consumers would often 'sideload' Google's services, which used to work seamlessly afterward. However, these times may be coming to an end, as it looks like Google is gearing up to restrict the access of such non-Google-certified devices to their services. Multiple users have posted that they've been getting notifications informing them that their access to Google services has been stopped because their device or the software on their device isn't certified.

What can you do in case you've been using just such a device with sideloaded Google apps and you start getting restricted access notifications? Well, you really have one of two options:

  1. E-mail the device manufacturer and demand a new, certified device.
  2. If you are running a ROM (custom version of Android) on a certified device, you can enter your Android ID here to get it certified. You can find out your Android ID by downloading the Device ID app, entering ##8255## in your phone dialer, or going into Menu > Settings > About Phone > Status.



1. An.Awesome.Guy

Posts: 636; Member since: Jan 12, 2015

So the heat between Amazon and Google isn't over yet. Google thinks that: Youtube shouldn't be on any Amazon device whatsoever

2. AdeelSoomro

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 26, 2017

Status "Official"

3. libra89

Posts: 2298; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Ah, so this what that meant. I always wondered...

4. Zylam

Posts: 1817; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

It's great to see how "open" Android and non "Evil" Google is.

10. yalokiy

Posts: 1057; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Did you know there is quite some difference between (Android) OS and (Google) apps? Try running a third party app-store on iphone.

15. kiko007

Posts: 7513; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Ummm... AppValley ring any bells? I have it installed on all my iPhones, and unlike s**tty third-party Android appstores, it doesn't install malware to my phone.

16. yalokiy

Posts: 1057; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

You still miss the point. You don't even need an appstore to install apps on android. But if you need, there is good choice like F-Droid open source store with clean apps and no ads/malware/etc. This article is about google apps, it has nothing to with android becoming less open source. You can even download play store apps and install them without using the play store. Try that on your precious iPhones.

17. tokuzumi

Posts: 1929; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Android is open source. Google services are not. Huge difference.

5. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Android slowly removing features and locking down the ecosystem. Requiring makers to pay Google for the privilege of making a phone. The comments are pretty silent, where is the mob of fandrones to defend this? God knows thereā€™d be dozens if this was an Apple article.

6. yalokiy

Posts: 1057; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Just enough of apple fanboys though.

7. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1270; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

smh... Android is Open-Source.. Google Apps are NOT. It is closed source... To use Google's Apps, oems has to follow their terms.

9. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Android is near worthless without Gapps and the play store. I've tried it before on CyanogenMod without any gapps, just sideloading, and it's horrible. Unfortunately there is no better, or even remotely comparable ecosystem for Android than Google's. An Android phone without Google would just not sell, so while Android is open source, Google is still yanking the chain

11. yalokiy

Posts: 1057; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Not true. Many prefer F-Droid app market that has great open source alternatives. e.g. Youtube without ads - Newpipe. You can also install play store apps without actually using the play store.

12. yalokiy

Posts: 1057; Member since: Aug 01, 2016


8. lyndon420

Posts: 6834; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

You haven't been here long so I'll bring you up to speed. When apple screws up we come in to trash it, and when Google screws up you guys chime's how it works here - easier to be aggressive and opinionated when it's someone else's product/platform. Yes... Google is becoming more like apple and it totally blows, but it doesn't mean we will all jump over to apple once Google is on level ground with them. YouTube sucks because of the censorship they're doing now...waiting for a better alternative.

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