The Google Play store makes it a snap to check for and install updates, but the degree to which Google had automated the process has been causing problems for some users. The actual issues users would face depend on a number of factors, but the crux of the matter was that the Play store was assuming that all apps on your phone, including sideloaded titles, were downloaded through Play. Users intentionally trying to update those apps through Google Play saw their attempts fail, and in extreme cases, like the one concerning the email app on Samsung phones, Play mistook the app’s package name for another in its store, and replaced the existing app with this one. The good news is that this all appears to finally be behind us, with users reporting no longer running into the same problems after the newest changes to the Play store.
With Play store versions since 3.5, the store is now keeping better track of which apps were downloaded through it, and which came from alternate sources. Users who have been complaining about this issue for months, starting back when we still had the Android Market, are now posting follow-ups that show this problem resolved. Google’s also been directly reaching-out to those users who contacted it regarding this, and is emailing them to inform them of the steps its taken to fix things.
If you’re still noticing any odd behavior, make you sure you update to the latest version of the Play store.