Tired of those ads that resemble notifications
on your Android device? That is the price you pay for picking the "free" version of a game from the Google Play
Store. But Google isn't content to let this be, and kudos goes to the Mountain View based search firm for changing its policy on ads. Additionally, a new feature on Android 4.1 allows you to put an end to ad notifications by long-pressing on the notification itself.
Example of Airpush ad imitating Android notification
We don't have anything against developers looking for a way to fund free games. After all, it allows many Android users to play a game that they might not want to spend money on. The problem comes when the ads start simulating notifications or become so numerous as to interfere with game play
. One Android user we know recently downloaded some live wallpaper from the Google Play Store. This might have been one of the worst offenders as ads crudely disguised as notifications started popping up. Another friend, (we do have more than one, you know!) recently installed the free version of Alec Baldwin's favorite airplane time killer
Words With Friends, and found an ad displayed after every turn.
The new Ad Content policy from Google requests that each ad make it clear which app it "belongs to". Ads should not add bookmarks, shortcuts, icons or change default settings without the user's knowledge and consent. The user should be able to reverse the changes. More importantly, Google now says ads cannot ape notifications or warnings
. Hopefully this means that Android owners can install live wallpaper without fear of getting bombarded with notification-style ads.
"It must be clear to the user which app each ad is associated with or implemented in. Ads must not make changes to the functioning of the user’s device outside the ad by doing things such as installing shortcuts, bookmarks or icons or changing default settings without the user’s knowledge and consent. If an ad makes such changes it must be clear to the user which app has made the change and the user must be able to reverse the change easily, by either adjusting the settings on the device, advertising preferences in the app, or uninstalling the app altogether. Ads must not simulate or impersonate system notifications or warnings."-Google Play Store Ad Content Policy