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

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