In Russia, an increasing number of Android Google Chrome users are experiencing problems installing the newest version for the web browser. The number of complaints is growing by the day, yet the root of the problem is still unknown and unaddressed. The problems began on May 9th, 2022, when Google launched Chrome version 101 for Android, according to Russian news sites and several user complaints on the Play Store.
Moreover, the error message doesn’t make clear the reason for the failed update, whether it is due to sanctions or a technical problem. At the same time, Google’s support agent on the Play Store suggests that Russian users find a solution in the Support Community discussions. BleepingComputer has reached out to Google for a comment or a clarification on the situation, asking for an explanation of the update issue for users in Russia. We are yet to receive a response and will update the article when we get it.
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Those who attempted to install the latest release got an error saying, “Fail to install Google Chrome”. The message further advises the user to try again and to follow troubleshooting tips if that doesn’t help. Users who thought the problem might get a fix by removing and re-installing Chrome denied adding the browser to their device. Google had announced that Russian users and developers would be blocked from downloading or updating paid apps from the Play Store starting on May 5, 2022. However, Chrome is free, so it should be outside this new policy.
Downloading a the Chrome APK and installing it manually might work fine but users should get the package from a trusted source. Obviously, the situation creates the perfect conditions for setting up scams and malware-dropping sites that pretend to offer Russians the latest version of Chrome. Using a VPN to update the device with the latest version of Chrome may be the safest way to get the app, although it violates Play Store’s terms, so it could have your account banned. Additionally, the few VPN products still available legally in Russia may not work even after clearing the Play Store app’s cache.
Considering the above, if switching to a different browser is not desirable, sticking to the older version is likely the surest option to keep using Chrome in Russia. Bill Toulas is a technology writer and infosec news reporter with over a decade of experience working on various online publications. An open source advocate and Linux enthusiast, is currently finding pleasure in following hacks, malware campaigns, and data breach incidents, as well as by exploring the intricate ways through which tech is swiftly transforming our lives.
- In Russia, Google Chrome updates do not work on Android smartphones
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