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.

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