Google updated the Google Play developer policies, with an obvious intention of regaining control of the ecosystem. Apart from the typical guidelines and cancellation policies, Google made a few updates in some very important points that are worth mentioning:
- Restricting the use of names or icons confusingly similar to existing system apps in order to reduce user confusion
- Providing more detail on the kinds of dangerous products that are not allowed on Google Play. For example, apps that disclose personal information without authorization are not allowed.
- Giving more examples of practices that violate the spam policy.
- Adding a new section that addresses ad behavior in apps.
The first two points are the most obvious ones, specially with many apps claiming to be other ones by just putting a fake name like it happened with Temple Run and many others. this should just flat-out ban these developers.
But Google isn’t stopping there, the last two point are amazing, they’re tightening the grip on apps that generate spam or bad ad behavior (spamming notifications ad anyone?)
Don’t think that this will close the Play Store like Apple’s tight grip on the AppStore. No, that’s not the case, this is just a case of pest control and that’s good for everyone.
Google announced these changes by sending the email that you can read below in case you’re interested:
Hello Google Play Developer,
We are constantly striving to make Google Play a great community for developers and consumers. This requires us to update our policies when we launch new features, like subscription billing, and also when we see unhealthy behavior, like deceptive app names and spammy notifications. This email is to notify you that we’ve made some changes to our policies which are highlighted below.
- We’ve added clearer details to the payment policy, and guidelines on how we will handle cancellations in our new subscription billing feature
- We are restricting the use of names or icons confusingly similar to existing system apps in order to reduce user confusion
- We are providing more detail on the kinds of dangerous products that are not allowed on Google Play. For example, apps that disclose personal information without authorization are not allowed.
- We are giving more examples of practices that violate the spam policy.
Additionally, we are adding a new section that addresses ad behavior in apps. First, we make it clear that ads in your app must follow the same rules as the app itself. Also, it is important to us that ads don’t negatively affect the experience by deceiving consumers or using disruptive behavior such as obstructing access to apps and interfering with other ads.
Please take a look at the Google Play Developer Program Policy at http://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html to see all the changes and make sure your app complies with our updated policies.
Any new apps or app updates published after this notification will be immediately subject to the latest version of the Program Policy. If you find any existing apps in your catalog that don’t comply, we ask you to fix and republish the application within 30 calendar days of receiving this email. After this period, existing applications discovered to be in violation may be subject to warning or removal from Google Play.
Google Play Team
via: Android Central