Monday, July 2, 2018

PSA: Latest Play Store update breaks license verification for paid apps

google play store license verification

Google offers a number of tools to developers to protect their applications and ensure that pirates can't easily sideload the premium versions of their apps. One of these tools is LVL, the License Verification Library. Many applications on the Play Store use it such as Substratum and our own XDA Navigation Gestures App. But there's a major problem: In the latest version of the Google Play Store, version 10.7.17 and above, access to this library seems to be broken. This is causing a lot of people who purchase apps to suddenly see their apps tell them that their paid license is no longer valid.

google play store

One user faced this issue when launching Substratum // Source : XDA Junior Member theninjew

XDA Recognized Developer flar2, the developer of EX Kernel Manager, confirmed that this bug has affected his apps personally and he also reports seeing the bug on his daughter's device for numerous applications. He states that paid Toca Boca apps, like Toca Life: School and Toca Life: City won't open as they get stuck with a blank screen and rotating progress bar. flar2 confirmed that downgrading to Google Play Store v10.6.x fixes the issue. Another developer facing the issue is XDA Recognized Developer arter97, and the Open GApps team has acknowledged that flashing back an earlier version fixes the issue.

For most applications though, problems won't show up immediately. While EX Kernel Manager checks the license on every launch, many cache the license and only check periodically. Users of these applications will not notice any issues until the license is re-checked, at which point the verification will fail.

There is now a post on the Google issue tracker, though a Googler has yet to respond. We urge users not to comment on it as it notifies everybody in the chain. This is a crucial bug that needs to be fixed by Google as soon as possible. We've reached out to Google for comment and will update this article if we hear back.



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