Google has started blocking installation of the Google Play app suite on uncertified devices. The Google Play App Suite includes Google apps like Gmail, the Google Play Store, and the Google Play Services framework that so many apps tie into for essential services like maps, notifications and payments.

Devices from Chinese OEMs like Xiaomi and LeEco, when purchased from third-party traders often lack support for the Google Play Store due to Chinese policies. Users are often expected to manually download and install Gapps packages from the web, or elsewhere.

Some, like Meizu, redirect users to a Google apps package download as part of the setup process despite not being certified by Google. Google has made a change to the Google apps setup process, blocking installations from devices which aren't certified by Google. Google will instead redirect users to a page, warning them that their device is uncertified and letting OEMs know how to apply for a GMS certification.

"Certified Android devices offer users consistent experiences when using apps from Google and the Play Store, as well as various security benefits through Google Play Protect." Google told tech news site Android Police in a statement, "We acknowledge that some manufacturers are building and selling devices that have not been certified by Google. Please see the website for more details."

Google has a workaround for non-commercial users who have installed a custom ROM. The firm will allow you to submit a Google Services Framework ID (GSIF ID) which is unique to your device. Upon doing so, your device will be registered with Google and Google Play Services will be installed.

You have a limit of up to 100 exemptions, and factory resetting resets your GSF ID, in many cases so caution will be required when taking this route. This process is neither clear nor is it convenient, as the firm intends to discourage users from installing Google apps on uncertified devices or purchasing the latter. Google is also trying to stop sellers and manufacturers from shipping uncertified Android phones with the lure of a post-purchase Play Store install. It is possible to use Android devices without Google apps, and alternative services like the Amazon App Store exist. Realistically for many, Google's Play Store is the only game in town.

via XDA Developers