Sameer Samat, vice-president for Android, has announced in a blog post that Android 12 will facilitate the installation of applications from app stores other than Google Play. Google's plan is to allow developers to distribute their applications via the stores of their choice, and to give smartphone owners trouble-free access to these platforms. Let's not forget, however, that Android 12 is not due to drop until the fall of 2021.
Google believes that developers should be able to choose how they distribute their applications without necessarily having to go through Google Play. All the more so because Google plans to generalize its 30% commission on all applications available via its online store (as well as on purchases within these applications). It follows that publishers who do not wish to accept these conditions must be offered an alternative and, above all, internet users should not suffer as a result. Huawei's AppGallery, Samsung's Galaxy Store and Amazon's App Store immediately come to mind as three of Google Play's main competitors.
This latest communication also amounts to a scathing critique of the policy pursued by Apple, which is currently in conflict with many publishers (including Epic Games, the developer of "Fortnite"). Google has made it clear that it has other plans and does not want to penalize Android users by depriving them of applications they love.
Let's not forget, however, that the rollout of Android 11 has only just begun, mainly on Google's Pixel-branded smartphones for the moment. We can expect an initial presentation of Android 12 in the spring of 2021, ahead of full-scale distribution in the fall of the same year.