Google has started cracking down on uncertified devices by removing their ability to run Google apps.
These uncertified devices are phones and tablets that run forks of Android, like Amazon’s Fire OS or other custom Android ROMs.
When users of uncertified devices try to start up and sign into Google they will now be greeted with a screen that says “device is not certified by Google” along with options for what to do if you bought an uncertified phone (perhaps unwittingly), if you’re a manufacturer or if you’re a custom ROM user.
If you bought an uncertified phone, you’ll be prompted to get in touch with a manufacturer and ask for a phone that is certified. If you are a manufacturer it prompts you to apply for an Android licence. If you use Custom ROMs Google prompts you to register your device and get added to a whitelist.
This wont prohibit users from using the phone with its preloaded apps, but anything that requires Google to log in won’t work, including the Play Store.
This move from Google has mainly raised questions about what happens to Fire OS and other forks of Android that are used in countries like China.
A story from Ars Technica mentions that importers and resellers of Chinese phones often load a new ROM that has the Google apps suite installed, so Google could be cracking down on these actions.