It appears as though Google is starting to actively prevent users from using Google apps, such as Google Play Store, Google Play Music, Google Maps, and others on Android devices that are not certified by Google. While Android is an open-source operating system that can be used by anyone without Google’s involvement, manufacturers must follow strict certification guidelines in order to distribute Google’s apps on their devices. Many users of uncertified Android devices, such as Fire TV and Fire Tablet owners, choose to sideload the Google apps they need. That may no longer be possible for newer devices.
According to a tip received by XDA-Developers, Google as started “entirely locking out newly built firmware from accessing Google apps” on uncertified Android devices. The change apparently affects devices running Android with an OS build date of March 16th or newer.
If this is true, it could mean that future Amazon hardware and possibly future software updates to existing Amazon hardware will not be able to sideload Google apps. The “Device Not Certified” message being displayed in various Google apps has been appearing for about a year, but, in the past, it has been possible to circumvent the message by simply clearing Google Play Service’s data. That may no longer work for devices running newer Android builds.
It’s too early to know if this will affect Amazon hardware that can currently run sideloaded Google apps, like Fire Tablets. Since Amazon heavily modifies Android on their Fire devices, those devices do not qualify for Google certification. If Fire device owners want access to Google’s apps, their only option is to sideload the apps.
There is, however, one shred of hope. Google provides a page where owners of uncertified devices can register their devices in order to restore access to Google’s apps. The page is meant for developers and users running custom ROMs on their devices. If Google’s apps stop working on Amazon devices, restoring them may be as simple as registering the device’s Android ID with Google. The Android ID can be retrieved by connecting to the device via ADB and running the command: