Google Play Store app rules updated to deter abuse

Google has issued letters to Google Play Store app developers which contained a stern warning outlawing abuses such as impersonation, spamming and deceptive advertising. Google highlighted that it would not tolerate “unhealthy behaviour, like deceptive app names and spammy notifications.”

Most of the changes appear very obvious such as if an app discloses personal data without permission the app will be no longer be permitted along with those that too closely resemble other apps an Android system apps in name or form. It will be interesting to see how Google manage this as this appears a rather ‘grey’ area for me. A quick glance in the Play Store and it will not take long to see that there are apps that will be in breach of the ‘warning’ letter.  Google is also stressing that anything that spams will be excluded along with products or the ads they contain also must not mimic functionality or warnings from the operating system or other app.

In addition, developers must not divert users or provide links to any other site that mimics or passes itself off as another app or service. How will Google police this? Bouncer maybe? Google continues to say that apps must not have the names or icons that appear confusingly similar to existing products, or to apps supplied with the device i.e. Messaging. Maybe they will be reviewing each app manually like Apple does? 🙂

In-app ads will also have to conform to the same standards as the app they are bundled with, which means developers will have to coordinate more closely with various software elements. More obvious in the letter was that Google will not allow apps with a connection to bullying, sexually explicit material, gambling and ‘hate speech’ which are already banned.

Google is only making a point of highlighting to all of us and the app developer community that app principles still apply with Android.  They will not accept app abuse nor developers who attempt to obfuscate their code. Developers and malware authors take note.

Safe surfing folks!

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