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Google's new developer policies will help foster a safer Play store

Florence Ion | Aug. 26, 2013
Google is finally changing the rules to provide a better app experience for users.

Google's policy for this particular type of intrusive advertising used to be very lenient.. Android Police points out that the old policy allowed ads to display just as long as they were not simulating or impersonating "system notifications or warnings," and were explicitly denoted as an ad. With this new policy in place, only notifications for promotions and deals that are directly related to the app will come through.

Google has also put restrictions in place for spam in the store that will keep apps from pretending to be another app that they're not. Developers also can't use irrelevant, misleading, or excessive keywords in their apps descriptions, titles, or metadata to get users to download their application, and they can't manipulate the ratings and reviews or offer incentives for downloads.

According to the official email that went out to developers, those who currently have apps published in the Play store have 30 days to comply. "Our aim is to foster a high standard of app behavior," Google wrote in its email to developers. Google doesn't vet apps quite the same way Apple or Microsoft does, so we won't presume to know how well these new rules will be enforced. If the company remains vigilant, it could help change the misconception that it's entirely too unsafe for newbie smartphone users, and give it a boost it needs to be taken more seriously. After all, you wouldn't allow this kind of behavior on your desktop computer, so why should you put up with it on your mobile device?


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