Google Play Fixes App Policy

Monday, August 6, 2012 @ 05:08 PM gHale

In all its time in business, Google never instituted a vetting process for the apps submitted to its Android app store.

Instead, the company counts on Bouncer, an automated scanning service that analyzes apps by running them on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulating how they will run on an Android device. This is how the company plans on catching and banning malicious apps and developers.

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The problem is Bouncer can catch just so many bad apps, so Google is tightening its developer app policies in an effort to crack down on rogue and potentially malicious apps proliferating on Google Play.

The company sent an email detailing the changes to all developers and has given them a deadline within which they must fix and republish any application that breaks the newly given rules.

The changes include: The restriction of the use of names or icons similar to existing system apps in order to reduce user confusion; more details about the type of apps not allowed on Google Play; clearer examples of what constitutes developer and app spamming behavior; and a new section addressing 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,” the Google Play team said in the letter.

“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,” the team said.

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