Alphabet Inc Class A (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has started using a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to Android APKs in a bid to improve app security. Even though DRM is something that is mostly associated with streaming music and videos it is a system that works similar to signed drivers in Windows.
Google admitted that it has been adding a small amount of metadata on top of APKs to verify that the APK was distributed by Google Play. Although the technology company is not referring to the new feature as DRM its main aim is to improve the security of Android users. The feature will ensure that users are using original apps that have not been tampered with in any way. This will go a long way in preventing malware from finding its way on Google Play.
Google said that it will make it possible to verify an app even if someone is offline. The company stated that it is making it possible to officially add that title to your store library whereby, you can receive updates through Google’s portal when the device comes back online. This will enable people to gain more confidence when using Play-approved peer-to-peer sharing apps.
Developers too have a reason to smile because they will also benefit from the introduction of this feature since it is capable of providing an offline distribution channel authorized for use with Google Play. Google stated that one of the reason it has introduced the technology is to help developers reach a wider audience particularly in countries where peer-to-peer (P2P) app sharing is common as a result of expensive data plans as well as limited connectivity.
A developer can update apps from Play. Since the feature offers a Play-authorized distribution channel, and the peer-to-peer shared app is added to your user’s Play library then your app will be eligible for app updates.
Google seems to be majorly targeting the developers with this new feature. The company stated that in addition to improving the integrity of Google Play’s mobile app ecosystem. The metadata will also present new distribution opportunities for developers.