Google cracks down on notification tray ads and in-app billing in new Play policies
Android may be an open platform, but the Google Play Store does have rules that developers must follow; and today, Google updated those policies. There are a number of changes and clarifications to the policies, and some are very welcome changes. The biggest new change is that Google is now banning apps that generate ads masking as notifications.
Google has added a new "System Interference" section to the policy which will crack down on apps that "make changes to the user’s device outside of the app without the user’s knowledge and consent." This means apps will no longer be allowed to either make ads in the notification tray or place an ad on your homescreen in the form of a shortcut. Google has also clarified the gambling policies to be more comprehensive, and that apps will not be able to offer incentives for rating the app. Additionally, an app cannot have ads that are impossible to dismiss without triggering the ad.
Hate speech regulations have been broadened both in what constitutes hate speech, and also in that the regulations will apply to everything that is publicly displayed though Google Play. Lastly, Google is saying that all games must use Google Play's in-app billing system.
All apps and updates will have to follow these rules starting today. If an app is found to be in violation, the developer will get an e-mail about the issue, and have 30 days to fix whatever was wrong. If the issue isn't fixed in 30 days, the app will be pulled from the Play Store.