Last September, Google confirmed that it will be making changes with the upcoming Android version to allow users to use other app stores on their phones without compromising the safety measures of the Android operating system. However, the company had not revealed what changes they were going to make to Android.
In a recent development, the search engine giant confirmed that the upcoming Android 12 will let you easily use third-party and alternative app stores to update applications on your device, reveals developer documentation.
To enable this functionality, Google has updated the PackageInstaller.SessionParams class by a new program called setRequireUserAction. This method indicates whether user actions should be performed before allowing the app to be installed.
By default, this is true for any application with REQUEST_INSTALL_PACKAGES permission before launching any application to sideload it to an application outside of Google Play or any pre-installed application store installation session on the device.
Our folks at XDADevelopers explained that user action won’t be required for an app install/update if all of the following conditions are met:
- The installer opts into the new behavior.
- The app that’s being installed targets API level 29 (Android 10) or higher. (Google notes that the target API level requirement will advance in future Android versions, a policy that’s in line with Google Play policy on API target requirement.)
- The installer is either updating itself or installing an update to an app it first installed.
- The installer declares the UPDATE_PACKAGES_WITHOUT_USER_ACTION permission.
Therefore, when the app store tries to start an installation session and use this new API, it should be possible to update without the user manually accepting the update. This will make batch updates of apps faster and make the experience more in line with the Google Play Store.