Galaxy Wearable app breaking Google’s rule to sideload Samsung Pay on non-Galaxy smartphones
Samsung’s smartwatches work with Android smartphones from other brands, but users are required to download multiple apps to make them work. For Samsung Pay to work on the watch that’s paired to a non-Galaxy device, Samsung is breaking Google’s Terms of Service and sideloading the Samsung Pay APK (watch plug-in) by bypassing the Play Store.
When a Samsung smartwatch is used with a non-Samsung Android smartphone, the Galaxy Wearable app retrieves the Samsung Pay (watch plug-in) APK from an AWS (Amazon Web Services) server while setting up the company’s mobile payments service. Then, the app asks the user to allow the Galaxy Wearable app to download and sideload APK files, breaking the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement (section 4.5).
Earlier, Samsung used to redirect users to the Samsung Pay plug-in on the Play Store, but it seems to have changed the behavior recently. Google hasn’t removed the Galaxy Wearable app from the Play Store yet for breaking the terms of service, but it could do so soon if Samsung doesn’t change the app’s behavior. The internet search giant usually removes a lot of apps from time to time for breaking such rules.
When the Galaxy Wearable app is installed via the Galaxy Store on Samsung phones, the app uses Galaxy Store’s APIs to install Samsung Pay without user interaction.
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The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active2 Plugin app does not have Samsung Pay Plugin as part of the apk and does not sign the app. It, instead, downloads a fully built and signed apk off AWS then prompts the user to install it.
This action breaks Google Play TOS. pic.twitter.com/VOmnUrMtlT
— Max Weinbach (@MaxWinebach) June 9, 2020