Facebook may build an app store in case it’s booted from Google Play

galaxy s6
Facebook and Google might seem like allies on the surface, but the Information’s sources say that tension is growing between the two Internet giants. The report suggests that Facebook already has contingency plans in place, should it ever be removed from the Google Play Store. One of those plans involves Facebook building its own app store, so users are able to bypass the Play Store.

So far, neither Google nor Facebook have commented on the report, and it seems unlikely that Facebook would create its own app store any time soon. In fact, the Information writes that although its sources say the relationship between the two is rocky, Facebook doesn’t intend to act on these backup plans unless it has to.

Supposedly, Facebook is just preparing for the worst-case scenario in which its app is removed from the Play Store for violating Google’s app policies. The idea is that as the social network pushes more secretive tests on its users, Google might start to crack down on the social network’s behavior. Future changes to privacy, security, notifications, and app privileges might also force Facebook to make changes outside of the Play Store, the Information noted.

Facebook has supposedly already tested to see if users would bypass the Play Store, asking a small group to download the Android app from a Web link. The test “wasn’t disastrous,” but there were struggles trying to get users to trust mobile links.

Other contingency plans include using the Oculus VR app store, which is pre-loaded on Samsung devices, or working with OEM partners to stay alive on Android, says the report. Interestingly, the openness of Android appears to be a way for Facebook to skirt around a potential ban, something it would be incapable of doing on iOS, which might be why it is performing these tests on Android users.

The report goes into a lot of detail about the various plans, but it’s unclear whether these plans — if they are real — will ever be put into action. It is hard to see how Google could ever remove one of the most popular apps on its store, and Facebook seems equally unlikely to leave the Play Store voluntarily. The report sounds even more unlikely when you consider that Facebook owns Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger — three of the most popular apps in the world.

Mobile

Netflix is testing a cheap mobile-only subscription tier in some markets

Netflix is trying to reach potential subscribers in emerging markets. To that end, the company has begun rolling out a cheaper, mobile-only subscription tier, which comes at around $4 per month -- half the price of the Basic subscription…
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Wearables

Check out 25 of the best Wear OS apps for your smartwatch

Looking for some ways to spruce up that new Android smartwatch of yours? Here are the best Wear OS apps to download and use with any Android smartwatch, including a few specially enhanced for Wear OS 2.0.
Computing

Our favorite Windows apps will help you get the most out of your new PC

Not sure what apps you should be downloading for your newfangled Windows device? Here are the best Windows apps, whether you need something to speed up your machine or access your Netflix queue. Check out our categories and favorite picks.
Mobile

Keep on clicking with the 10 best browsers for Android

Browsing the web on an Android device should not be a pain. Check out our picks for the best browsers for Android, so you can surf the web with greater ease and access a trove of unique features.
Mobile

Samsung will reportedly announce its folding smartphone at MWC in February

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Get ready for more V-series phones: LG trademarks names up to the V90

It looks like we should get ready for more LG V-series phones. LG has trademarked names for the LG V50 all the way up to the LG V90. We may have to wait some time before we see these phones; the next LG flagship is expected to be the LG G8.
Mobile

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.
Mobile

Text messages are disappearing on Pixel 3s, but a fix is on the way

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are arguably the best Android phones out there right now -- but they aren't perfect. Users have reported a number of issues and problems related to the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. Here's how to fix them.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Deals

All the best Amazon Black Friday deals for 2018

Amazon may be an online-only retailer, but that doesn’t mean its Black Friday sales are anything to sniff at. In fact, due to its online status, Amazon has huge flexibility with the range of products and deals it can offer. Here's our…
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.
Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Mobile

Google rolls out Night Sight to Pixel 3 and 3 XL camera app

Google's latest flagships, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, are now official and we have all the details from the October 9 event in New York City and Paris. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.