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Google Play Protect may prevent application installation. Please note that the circumstances in which this occurs are not published, so the following information may be incomplete and/or inaccurate.

Issue

  • When installing an application, an alert message with “Blocked by Play Protect” appears.

  • Selecting “Install” will complete the installation.

  • However, subsequent installations will fail, with the following message displayed:

“App not installed” or “Application not installed”

Workaround Options

Sign the app using the automatically generated debug.keystore

  • This problem does not occur in builds signed with $HOME/.android/debug.keystore, which Android Studio (Android Gradle Plugin) automatically generates.

  • Typically, debug builds use the certificate above to build apps.

  • When conducting a release build with debug.keystore, it’s possible to create a release build using debug.keystore with ./gradlew buildReleaseDebugKey by implementing the following settings in build.gradle. (When using the Gradle DeployGate Plugin, executing uploadDeployGateReleaseDebugKey will complete all the steps up to and including upload.)

android {
  buildTypes {
    // After defining debug, release, add the following    releaseDebugKey {
      // Use the release setting
      initWith release
    }
  }  signingConfigs {
    releaseDebugKey {
      // Use the debug signature
      initWith debug
    }
  }
}

Disable Google Play Protect

  • This method should only be performed on devices that are used exclusively for testing and verification of apps under development.

  • For instructions, please visit the Google Account Help page, “Help protect against harmful apps with Google Play Protect.”

  • Google Play Protect protects against the installation of malware and other security threats. Be aware that by disabling Google Play Protect, you will lose this protection.

Upload the same build to Google Play

  • Uploading the same APK to Google Play seems to remove the block.

  • Unpublished artifacts that have not been published to a track are also unblocked.

  • Unblocking may take several hours to one day.

Appeals Process

  • Submitting an appeal to Google Play through the App verification & appeals process might result in the block being lifted. (Response time is approximately 2 weeks and results are not guaranteed.)

At DeployGate, we continually strive to remove barriers that affect the installation of apps under development. We apologize for the inconvenience, but at this point, the only solutions that we’ve found effective are outlined above.


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