RuStore will offer Mobile App Developers to opt out of Google Mobile Services
RuStore will soon check apps for the need to connect to Google Mobile Services (GMS) and will offer developers to switch to Russian equivalents (not yet specifying which ones) or alternatives to Google’s suite of apps and APIs. For example, use Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) if you install the app on Huawei smartphones.
Until developers update applications, RuStore will warn users that programs may not work properly on a device without GMS. RuStore has not explained when it will implement this limitation for developers.
The Association of Commercial Companies and Manufacturers of Home Appliances and Computers (RATEK), which includes Huawei, M.Video and other companies, sent an appeal to the Ministry of Digital Development in mid-July with a request to implement the principle of “technology compatibility of programs hosted in a single store” in RuStore applications, with the operating system.
The problem is that when using RuStore on Huawei smartphones without GMS, some applications from the store do not work correctly, give errors (no synchronization, problems accessing geolocation and other options) or are not installed. Developers can create both GMS and HMS compatible apps at the same time, but these apps cannot be uploaded to the Google Play Store.
So far, developers are in no hurry to license individual components from other companies to replace GMS. For example, mapping can be obtained from Yandex or 2GIS, but this option increases the initial volume of applications and the cost of their development.
Industry experts explained that so far there is no component package on the Russian market that looks exactly like the GMS and HMS. In their opinion, the developments of the Yandex.Store project could be used for this, but the company closed it in the fall of 2020.
VK commits to automatically verify the operation of applications on devices without GMS in the future: “Developers will be able to switch to Russian services similar to GMS, and users will be warned that the application may not work correctly on the device.” About which developments there is a speech, the company did not specify.
Previously, experts analyzed 1014 mobile applications in the RuStore store and found that 88% of them (820 applications) had at least one tracker in their code. Potentially dangerous permissions requested by mobile apps were also found. In total, 106 different third-party internal trackers were identified.
On May 25, VK, with the support of the Ministry of Digital Development, launched an open beta test for a domestic Android mobile app store called RuStore. The store has more than a thousand different mobile applications, including banking applications, for example, Sberbank and VTB, which Google removed from the Google Play Store due to sanctions.
A month after its release, VK reported that the RuStore had over 500,000 downloads. This is the third project to be released in Russia after RuMarket and NashStore.
On June 28, VK launched a program to support third-party Android mobile application developers. They will be able to get more by showing ads in their apps on the RuStore store.
On August 2, a breakdown of mobile games by category appeared on the RuStore.
On August 24, pre-moderated reviews and app reviews opened on the RuStore.