iPhones and iPads get the item the app first (or even just). It's a sad fact of the mobile life that Android users have accepted. Heck, even if YouTube's own dark mode, just started rolling out to Android today. It's also true for fans of the Battle Royal Game Fortnite who have been waiting for the mobile version to land on Android. That day may be approaching, but if this last trip is true, the game can cause confusion and could be a security risk waiting to happen.
It all sheds down to how Epic Games can distribute the game. According to XDA, it's not possible to use the preferred way all certified Android devices get their games and applications. Instead, Fortnite Mobile will require users to download an APK from their site and install it manually as a third-party application. Which of course requires users to allow installation from unconfirmed sources.
XDA theorizes that this strange arrangement is about money, not surprising. Fornite has purchases in app and epic prefer not to share revenue with google or apple. But on iOS, it's really no choice, since it can only distribute officially through the iTunes Store, so Apple must provide 30% of revenue, even for IAP. Android is less stringent and Epic has found a potential loophole.
It's not so hard to sidelay an APK. It only takes a few cranes to allow necessary permits. It's also as easy for users to install potentially harmful apps, or as Google will call them, "PHAer." Some users may only get infected APKs they were given by friends, users can get phished, and sites may be hacked and legitimate APKs replaced by malware-bearing versions. And so, the fact is that some users will forget to disable installation from unconfirmed sources to open to malicious software installed in the background.
Epic may also end up deploying Fortnite Mobile both on Google Play and via APKs, although it will be a confusing system for both Epic and players. Here's to hope that Epic will not threaten their own customers just because it will not pay Google due.