India’s Competition Committee Influences New Android Changes (Here’s a Few)

It was only a couple of week’s ago that India’s Supreme Court ruled against Google regarding anti-competitive behavior. The ruling sent shockwaves through the tech world and symbolized yet another brick in big tech’s stronghold toppling.

You can read more about the original India decision to force Google into change here.

Today, change is most definitely in the air. Following the Competition Committee’s decision, Google is launghing new API documentation with Android 14. The new documentation softens a variety of rules that typically have limited third-party app developers.

Pretty much immediately, Android 14 API documentation allows third-party apps to update in a device background. However, there’s a catch – the app can update even while the user is using the app. That’s super inconvenient and frustrating for a user.

Until now.

Android 14 API documentation will now allow “gentle updates” which only auto-update when the user isn’t using the app. Further, the update intelligence will make sure the user isn’t involved in other tasks that could be detrimentally affected, such as talking on a call.

Moreover, third-party app developers can make sure that their dev team is the only dev team that can update their apps. Wait, what? In the past, Google Android could technically update any third-party app without permission from the developer. Now third-party developers can sign off that they won’t to be the lone updater. This is termed the ENFORCE_UPDATE_OWNERSHIP permission. The bad news is, the ownership declaration is made during the development phase so all current third-party apps don’t make the cut.

These fresh APIs will be available in June of 2023 unless delays occur. Google’s response to the changing legal climate in India is now pronounced and obvious and we expect a plethora of changes in the future. Overall, these changes should be healthy for third-party app developers.

Now, if only iOS could get on board. What do you say, Apple?

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