The search giant says updates for apps on its Google Play Store will come via the Play Store or not at all, in an effort to cut down on common Android hacks that can irritate users with ads, gain access to private photos or even compromise financial information, TechNewsDaily reported Monday.
"An app downloaded from Google Play may not modify, replace or update its own [code] by any method other than Google Play's update mechanism," guidelines in the Google Play store now read.
Malicious apps equipped with automatic self-updaters can easily present themselves as a safe download in the Play Store, then automatically apply malicious updates as soon as users install it.
Google now lists apps that allow self-updates in its "Dangerous Products" category, intended to be forbidden in the Play Store.
Google has always banned "applications that cause users to unknowingly download or install applications from sources outside of Google Play," but it has now expanded the policy to include updates.