Google Play works fine as application browser, but fails to install any app when OpenVPN is active. The same problem repeats on 3 phones from different vendors.
How to investigate?
To answer the "How to investigate?":
Enable ADB (Android debugging) on your phone.
Connect your phone to a PC and install adb on there.
apt-get install adb
pacman -S adb
adb binary. You might need to replace the
adb below with
./adb.exe on Windows.)
adb devices to make sure your phone shows up. Confirmation on phone might be required.
adb shell to get a shell into your phone.
logcat *:W (without the
*:W for more verbosity).
You will now get a lot of log entries, the
*:W shows only warnings and "worse". Without disconnecting USB or closing the shell, try to get something from the Play Store now. Watch the log window on your PC. Try to look for anything related in there.
My guess is that Google simply blocks downloads from your VPN (logcat should show this clearly), so have this workaround aswell:
F-Droid is an alternative App Store that has a lot of really nice open source applications.
But I want an app that isn't on F-Droid
Check out Yalp Store on F-droid!
I personally do not use Google services and removed everything Google from my phone. Nor do I have a Google account. Whenever I do need an application that's only on the Play Store though, I use Yalp. You don't need an account, you can browse apps just like in the Play Store and they install just as easily. It's kinda like a proxy to the Play Store. APKs are being downloaded from Google, not some fishy weird websites, so it's safe to use.
Depending on how Yalp works exactly, it might try to access the APK from Google's servers using your IP, which means it might still get blocked. But it's most certainly worth a try and might very well work!