Jide Technology, the company behind “the world’s first true Android PC”, the Remix Mini, has been seeding a firmware update to the device that disables access to Google Play once installed.
Google Play is the one stop shop for applications, books, games and videos and barring access to it doesn’t look like the most brilliant decision. More so since it makes it easy for users, even the less tech savvy ones, to find and install apps.
The update also removes Google applications already installed on the device like Google Docs.
This is what the company is saying about the decision to pull access to Google Play in update 2.0.402:
The reason this update removes Google applications, is to ensure a consistent experience across all Android devices for all apps. We are committed to bringing you the ultimate Android experience, and will continue to dedicate our resources to do this.
With no access to Google Play, users of the Remix Mini will be forced to turn to third-party application stores, something that may not be really safe as some of those stores could be sources of malware.
Users can continue enjoying unlimited access to Google Play by opting not to install the update. However, Jide warns, this will result in them never receiving any future over the air (OTA) updates or even bug fixes.
Source: Jide support pages
I have since learnt that the decision to remove Google Play from the Remix Mini was arrived at so as to comply with Google’s guidelines which state that Google mobile services (GMS) should only be installed on mobile devices. The Remix Mini doesn’t exactly fit the definition of a mobile device according to Google and as such had to be excluded if its makers were to continue being in compliance with Google’s terms for licensing Android in the first place.
Jide, in a new update on the Facebook page of Remix OS, acknowledges as much and clears the air over that ambiguous “to ensure a consistent experience across all Android devices for all apps” statement.
There is a quick method to get back Google Play services on the Remix Mini posted on XDA Developers.
In the meantime, Jide says that it is working with Google to resolve the matter. So there is hope support for Google Play services will be restored at some point.