Google has faced a myriad of antitrust allegations in the US in recent months. The main issue of which being that the bunch kinda have the monopoly when it comes to Google Search and Android. If you use an Android device, you’ve got very little choice which services you use.
We were really only introduced to app store alternatives when Huawei lost access to Google Mobile Services, which includes Google Play Store. At that point (like… late 2019), Huawei’s AppGallery wasn’t fully stocked with all the apps we need on a daily basis. This opened up our small little world to third-party app stores, of which there are many.
Something new in store
Now it seems future Android smartphones may give native app stores the proverbial back seat for a bit, allowing other services and options for users. In a recent blog post, Google explained that Android 12 will give users more choice in that it’ll bring accessibility to more app stores. “We will be making changes in Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place,” the post reads.
They were quick to point out that Android phones don’t just ship with one app store at the moment. Which is… technically true. But how many of us use the Galaxy App Store or… what others are there? Not a helluva lot.
The announcement is likely a bid to look like they’re open to more competitive terms, giving other app stores the opportunity to grow and take their place on people’s app grids. But until another app store really brings its A-game, it’ll be hard to dethrone Google Play.
Also, don’t get too excited by this feature… We’re still waiting for Android 11, so we’ll probably only see this implemented in the next generation of Android, in a year or so.