Xiaomi, one of the largest phone manufacturers in China, wants to prevent APK files from being extracted from Android devices, but fortunately, Google disagrees with this idea.
Over the years, the ease of extracting and sharing APK files (used to install apps) has been a huge benefit to the Android ecosystem. For example, if a recent update of an app causes major problems, you can go to a group website like APKMirror to download an older version until the issue is resolved. Or, if you only have a limited amount of data, you can ask a friend locally to send you a game APK or update the app to install it. Our APK Insight team will also use these same files to find hints about unreleased features.
However, not all companies seem to feel the same about people who look at the app’s code and files. It was also shared by Mishaal Rahman today TwitterXiaomi developer has submitted a proposal to the Android Open Source Project that will completely prevent Android device owners from copying APK files from their phones. The reason cited is the desire to protect “private resources”.
Don’t allow shell to get apk of data
The Apk may include some private resources, so we should not allow others to check it out.
Instead, the Xiaomi developer suggests that the apps should only be available from the Google Play Store or another trusted app store. Fortunately, Google seems to be directly opposed to the proposal, but not always for the reasons you might expect.
A Google employee takes the time to point out the flaw in Xiaomi’s proposal, which would and should only prevent APK files from being extracted on a regular (“user”) version of Android. In this case, Googler assumes that enthusiasts will simply install the Android debug build and continue extracting APK files as normal. By this reasoning, they are against Xiaomi’s protection method because it won’t In fact protect anything.
Going even further, several Googlers have spoken out against the idea that the contents of an APK file can be considered confidential at all.
Can an APK be considered private at all?
I don’t think there should be an expectation that the contents of an APK file will remain confidential. I’m not sure why we would, and even if we wanted, there’s no way we can guarantee it, even with this change
In general, it seems quite clear that Google is not receptive to the idea of making APK files more difficult to extract from your device, which is a good sign of the open future of the Android app ecosystem.
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