Google stiffens app policy

Google stiffens app policy
Google Play is probably the fastest growing app market in the world, trailing close behind Apple’s App Store. Last, we heard it has 600,000 apps, just 50,000 short of the App Store, but it was notorious for its more open policy towards apps that would often allow suspicious or plain raw apps. Now, this changes as Google has tightened up its app policy in terms of payment policy, advertizing, privacy and the looks of an app on Google Play.

Here go all the changes in Google’s app catalog policies:

1. Payment Policy. Now, all transactions for Google Play apps should go through Google’s very own payment platform. The exception is for material goods or content outside the app store. There is also an interesting paragraph where Google warns that app makers shouldn’t mislead users. That’s a pretty vague wording, but might help you if you accidentally purchase an app that doesn’t do what it claims it should.

2. Naming/Icons. Google is now enforcing stricter rules for the looks and names of an app on Google Play. That’s good news for users and bad news for copycats - there is a ton of games and applications that just slightly tweak the name of a popular game and use that to mislead users into downloading their stuff.

“Don’t pretend to be someone else, and don’t represent that your app is authorized by or produced by another company or organization if that is not the case,” Google says.

What’s more, an app is forbidden from having its name or icon appear “confusingly similar” to others.

3. Privacy. Strangely, Google hasn’t clearly stated that viruses and trojans are forbidden. Now, it’s all in the terms: “Don’t transmit viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, malware, or any other items that may introduce security vulnerabilities to or harm user devices, applications, or personal data.”

4. Spam. The Google Play store now clearly defines what’s spam and this would include repetitive content, misleading product descriptions, manipulated ratings, apps that forward users to websites that are not affiliated with the app itself, and of course apps that send unauthorized messages from a phone.

5. Advertizing. Finally, Android’s app catalog now has very clear rules on advertizing, so now developers carry all the responsibility for how ads behave.

Interested? Check out the full explanation of the changes below.

source: Google Play via TechCrunch



1. Rocksteady unregistered

This step from Google is welcome, from my point of view, Quality is more important than quantity. All the best wishes Google.

8. fraydoe

Posts: 57; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

i think google should make some incentive for making apps for their playstore (or somehow attract more devs) , because apple's appstore just kills the app game.

9. Rocksteady unregistered

more incentive needed, true. apple's garbage store doesn't kill the app game, since it's dedicated to 2 devices: iphone and ipad. Google store deals with wide range of devices, thus checking compatibility is important. Now I know apple fans will start with the "fragmentation" thing, but that's just not their damn business. Have a good day.

10. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

apple's appstore "garbage"??? lol now thats funny!!! -1

12. Rocksteady unregistered

You can put all the -1s you want, that's my opinion and i'm sticking to it. Until apple changes their silly act and dirty attitude. Have a nice day.

2. McLaren unregistered

Thumbs up to you GOOGLE. I'll rate the terms from jerk to human. Good for you Spams and ads...

3. CharlieAtInfinity

Posts: 253; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

Good, its a welcome change :)

4. Phullofphil

Posts: 1822; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

i just hope they will enforce that cause 500,000 apps is a lot of area to police all the time. I would guess it would be up to users to report violations so please if you see shananigans afoot please report them asap

5. soshi

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 08, 2012

I wonder if we could told people: “Don’t transmit viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, malware, or any other items that may introduce security vulnerabilities to or harm user devices, applications, or personal data.” I think the more you forbid them the more they do it, and they became happier by disobey it. Is it that mean, icon should has the same size too? because it looks bad when some icon bigger than the other

7. fraydoe

Posts: 57; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

that statement is as effective as enforcing an illegal firearms law... criminals dont follow rules lol more like google saying "come on guys, don't be a d**k"

6. ibap

Posts: 867; Member since: Sep 09, 2009

Finally. Now if they would just improve the search feature within it. Kind of funny, since it is Google. And the original text spells it "advertising".

11. zhypher_23

Posts: 195; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

Google is steping closer to improving their ecosystem, Good Job Google.

13. fongy

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 09, 2010

As a technology lover, I have an Android mobile and an iPad - I could never live with the restrictions Apple impose on a day-to-day basis re: my mobile - it would drive me crazy! Equally though, there's no getting away from the fact that the appstore is still miles ahead of Play - and I think it will remain that way for the next few years easily... until Android (eventually) spawns a champion that topples the iphone in terms of sales (5 years perhaps? GS10 maybe?!?) we won't see any shift in developers moving platforms any time soon...

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.