Back in March we reported that Facebook was testing silent updates for its Android app. Silent update means that Facebook would have circumvented the Google Play Store and app updates would have been downloaded in the background while a device was connected to a Wi-Fi network. User’s wouldn’t be notified that an update is available, the update would have been automatically downloaded and then the user would have been prompted to install said update. Google apparently doesn’t want developers following in the footsteps of Facebook, so its has updated the Play Store policies and barred apps from circumventing the Store for updates.
The change in policy says that: “app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own APK binary code using any method other than Google Play’s update mechanism.” Google has implemented this Play Store policy change soon after word of Facebook’s silent Android app updates got out. If other developers follow suit, this would radically decrease dependence on Play Store, and by the looks of it, that is not something that Mountain View is too excited about.