Google goes to war against “Sideloading”

Over the last few weeks, Apple has engaged in an attack on people being able to install software on their own computers. Apple — along with other companies opposed to humans being able to install software on the computers they own — have chosen to rebrand “installing software” as “Sideloading”.

In case you had any doubt that the other major Operating System companies planned to follow in Apple’s footsteps…

Google has just announced that, as of August of 2021 (read: next month), no applications will be allowed onto the Google Play store in the APK format. Instead all Android applications must be submitted as an “Android Application Bundle“.

Why is this a big deal?

Android Application Bundles (AAB’s) cannot be installed outside of the Google Play Store.

Google is, quite literally, killing off the ability to install software outside of the On-Line store which they have 100% control over. They are locking the platform down in order to restrict your ability to use your computing devices as you see fit.

Note: The phrase “Sideloading” is a dirty tactic, employed by both Apple and Google, to re-frame the simple act of “Installing software on the computer you own” — a basic concept that has always existed in computing — to be a bad, evil, dangerous thing. Don’t let them get away with it. Call them out on this dirty scheme to restrict your freedom.

Mark my words, this is only the beginning. Expect Google, Apple, and others to ramp up their “Sideloading” rhetoric over the coming weeks and months.

Bryan Lunduke

Former Deputy Editor for Linux Journal magazine. Former Technology Journalist for Network World. Former VP of Technology. Former Linux Marketing Director. Former Dishwasher.