If these Facebook beta updates fix the app from crashing on my phone, stop making every other app crash on my phone, and finally enable the app to transfer to the micro SD card; then shame on Google.
If the Facebook update does not fix these issues, WELL DONE GOOGLE! Stick it to Facebook!
"and the move is understandable given the nature of Android's open-source focus"
What? That is completely not understandable. An open source focus means that users and app developers are free to do whatever they want with their operating system and software. Forcing users to user a revenue generator for Google is NOT part of the FOSS philosophy.
Not so. Devs can post their apps on different markets, but they have to abide by the rules of said markets. They still have control of their own apps. There are plenty of apps that are available on gPlay, Amazon Appstore and others. You can pick the market that suits your needs, so can developers.
@Shin-san I'm mixed. I can understand Google's position, but the whole point of Android is that you can use whatever service you want. They could make it a manifest permission
Android is open and you can still do anything you want BUT, and this is a big but that most forget, Google is NOT Android and their services have never been Open Source. If you choose to go through the Play Store then you must abide by their rules. Facebook was bypassing the API's in place and Google didn't like that seeing as if there were any problems they could not deal with it but would get the blame. What if a dev made a benign app and put it in Play Store but used the outside updates to turn it into a virus or an information stealer? Google can't help there at all but they will get the blame since the person installed it from the Play Store.
To be honest it makes sense...
Look at it this way, if people choose to download apps outside the play store, they do so knowingly and also take on the inherit risk that the app may not be safe. For people who don't want to worry about malware and other risks, play store makes sense, its a place for the general consumer who wants to be able to download whatever they want, without incurring risks, a place where they know someone is controlling the content that is available and ensuring it is safe to use.
Apps purchased via the play store are screened for things like malware, similar to apple's (though much less stringent) approval process.
Its basically a security measure, if you want to sell your app via the play store and have it scrutinized by Google, then obviously all updates to that app should be subject to the same checks.
People complain about this, but the fact is that you can easily download apps from sources other than the play store without any modifications to your phone, something that can't be done on IOS without jailbreaking...
So yeah, Google wants to control the content they distribute, its completely understandable, if a developer wants to sell their app outside of Play, they have that ability, they're not being forced to sell it on Play... Facebook could just as easily provide a link to their app on their own site (Sirius radio does this for Canadians, its a direct link off the Sirius website, no play store involved).
Its not monopolistic behavior in any way, since other options are available.
"These app beta updates were only performed over Wi-Fi, and only on devices that allowed the installation of non-Play apps."
If you really value safety first, and only install apps from Play, this doesn't even affect you. So I don't know about mass panic, I think most people installing from non-Play sources are probably at least somewhat tech savvy.
They title is misleading, really it's not true at all. The news is that Google is not allowing developers to release apps on Google Play that, once installed, have their own way of getting updates within the app, that's completely independent of Google Play. Developers can still release anything they want on their web site as an apk and any well trained monkey can still install it.