The war between Amazon and Google is heating up and it could affect anyone that is running Android on a device that is not certified by Google. The two have been at war ever since Amazon stopped listing Chromecast, Apple TV, and other devices that directly compete with Amazon’s Video Streaming service. Unfortunately, that means all devices that run Amazon’s Fire OS. This includes devices such as Amazon Fire Tablets and Amazon Fire TV and Fire Sticks.
The XDA Portal team has reported that Google is now blocking the installation of the Google Play Store, as well as any of the Google Apps Suite of applications on devices that are not certified by Google. If the device has already passed Google’s compatibility and certification checks, there will be no change. However, Amazon runs a forked version of Android that is NOT certified by Google. This also affects users using custom ROMs on their Android devices, but Google appears to be offering those users the option of registering their device for continued access to Google’s services.
In the past, installing the Google Play Store on an Amazon device was a simple and well-documented procedure, that anyone could perform. Amazon’s Fire OS allows for easy sideloading of apps, including the Play Store. However, this will be coming to an end if Amazon will not certify these devices with Google.
Going forward, if the device’s OS has a build date of March 16, 2018, or newer, then apps will begin checking to see if the device is certified. Android uses a built-in SafetyNet feature that provides a set of services and APIs that help protect app against security threats, including device tampering, bad URLs, potentially harmful apps, and fake users. SafetyNet is not available on Fire OS devices. So, as soon as your Fire device gets an update from here on out, Google Apps, will stop working. That includes the Google Play Store. Instead, users will get a warning.
Any third-party apps that you have already installed through the Google Play Store will continue to work, but the store itself will no longer function. The only sure-fire way around this issue is if your device is rooted. In that case, you can use an application called Magisk that can trick Google into thinking that the device has been certified. Unfortunately, none of the newer generation Fire TV devices are rootable by any normal methods.
Currently, the only easy method of circumventing this issue without rooting is to install the Yalp Store. Which, at least at the time of this writing, allows you to install apps from the Play Store on a device that is not certified. It isn’t the best solution, but considering the alternatives, it’s virtually the only way to install apps.
Google has also provided a method so that those users that have a custom ROM installed on their device can sort of register their device. Google will allow you to certify your device by submitting your “Google Services Framework ID” or GSF ID on this page. You have to sign in using the Google account that will be used on the phone or device. Once the ID has been entered, your device will be authorized to log into Google Apps. You are limited to 100 activations per account. That may not seem like much, but if you are flashing ROMs a lot, you may want to
What is a GSF ID and where do you get it? The GSF ID is a unique identifier that is created for a device by Google Play Services. Every time Google Play Services is installed on a device, this identifier is generated. So, if you reinstall your ROM or factory reset your device, your GSF ID could change. With this method, you are limited to 100 activations per Google account. That may not seem like much, but if you are flashing ROMs a lot, that may be a problem.
So, how do you get your GSF ID? On Android devices that still have access to the Google Play Store, you can download apps that will show you your GSF ID. The names are not that creative, but they do what they say. Here are links to a few.
Device ID – Get your GSF ID (Android ID), Device Codename and Account Emails
Device ID – Get your Device Info/ID/local IP/MAC addresses & Serial
Device ID (Android ID) – Retrieve your Device ID (Android ID), IMEI, SIM serial, etc.
How Will This Affect Kodi
Since Kodi is not installed via the Play Store on Amazon Fire TV devices, there should be no effect. If you are running Kodi on an uncertified Android Streaming Device, you will either have to sideload Kodi or go through the process of certifying your device. If you are using an Android phone or Tablet, those should already be certified.
Now that you know about Google Blocking Play Store on Fire TV Devices, be sure to secure your connection with a VPN to keep your ISP from slowing you down, spying on you or blocking you. For more information, be sure to check out our article What is a VPN? Why do I need it?