The more I see of Android, the less convinced I am that Google only hires the smartest and the brightest

Today I log into Play to check on my apps. I am greeted by an updated design, twice as slow as the previous one, but hey, at least it’s material design now and I can waste some additional time on getting my bearings. What do I find after stumbling around for a bit? A menu item named Release Management|App Signing, where I can upload my APK signing key! Are you freaking kidding me?!

APK signing is already utterly broken with Android. The only reason for still bothering with it was so that no government could tell Google: “We want to wiretap user X. We know he uses app Y for communication. Here is a trojaned version of Y, push it to him as an update.” As long as Google didn’t have the signing key, they could simply tell any government: “not possible” and that would be it. Now they can (at least for those apps, where developers are stupid enough to relinquish their keys).

I can kinda see why Google added that feature to Play. Key management is a hassle and most Android “developers” are gold diggers with inferior technical skill who don’t understand cryptography. Those developers who actually do understand how app signing works, rather don’t want to bother with a broken by design system. The sensible solution here would have been to slowly phase out app signing, not to break the system even more!

Posted in Android, Rants