Last week, some users of Android phones reported that they were shown a message, blocking users out of using Google Apps. This was happening particularly to those who were using smartphones with unlocked bootloaders or running a custom ROM.
Today, Google has confirmed to Android Police the statement in which it acknowledged this practice.
Certified Android devices offer users consistent experiences when using apps from Google and the Play Store [ as well as Google Play Protect]. We acknowledge that some manufacturers are building and selling devices that have not been certified by Google.
This means that from now on, devices that are not certified with Google will be explicitly exempted from signing into Google Apps. In order to save them the hassle, some sketchy smartphone manufacturers either dont adhere to Googles hardware guidelines or simply would rather not go through the trouble of certifying devices for whatever reasons.
Cost isnt one of these reasons, as getting hardware certified doesnt cost manufacturers anything. Some of these manufactures might be more concerned about pumping out low-quality devices and would rather skip out on getting them certified.
This would include smartphones that are running custom ROMs, since they arent officially sanctioned by Google. Using a device with an unlocked bootloader might trip Google as well. In order to continue using a device with Google services that is running unofficial software, you will have to acknowledge that your device isnt certified and Google will let you exempt your device by submitting a request with an IMEI number or the Google Services Framework ID from your phone.
Google will only allow you to use 100 exemptions per Google account, so its possible that factory resetting a custom or unofficial ROM will count against your 100 allowed exemptions.
The reason behind Google cracking down on unofficial devices or software is simple. Google wants devices that carry the Android name to consistently adhere to Googles guidelines. It would also help consumers identify counterfeit smartphones or those that may pose a security threat.
Check out Android Polices post in the Via link for more specific details on how to exempt an uncertified device.