Some Chinese manufacturers playing around with Android have plans to sell beyond domestic borders. But they don’t really have the tools or approval to do so. One of those tools is Google Mobile Services, a standard set of apps (which include the Google Play Store) that are available on every Google-approved Android phone.

Sure, the manufacturer, a middle person or you can decide to hack them in, but Google doesn’t really like seeing devices it has not certified on its rolls. Importantly, an uncertified device has not gone through the Android compatibility testing that certified devices have.

The latest version of the Google Play Store app makes that clear… through a small item that labels your device as “certified” or “uncertified” at the bottom of the settings menu. You know, the place where it really matters.

Android Police reports that the notation has been in the works since version 7.1 of the APK and has had a shaky start to implementation in the latest version, 7.4.12 — mainly because Google Pixel users are seeing their device as “uncertified”.

Tapping on the item takes you to a Google Play support page where you should know that:

  • Uncertified devices may not be secure.
  • Uncertified devices may not get Android system updates, or app updates.
  • Google apps on uncertified devices aren’t licensed and may not be real Google apps.
  • Apps and features on uncertified devices may not work correctly.
  • Data on uncertified devices may not back up securely.

If you find that your device is uncertified, Google wants you to write your congressman! Or, rather, write your manufacturer and “ask for a fully tested, Google certified device.”

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