Google has updated the developer program policies for Google Play today, and in turn have introduced some much needed revisions to many different guidelines. Google is committed to updating the policies to match the evolving ecosystem, so as to provide a better experience for developers as well as the users themselves when inside the Play Store. Among the many highlights and changes that they have made to program policies, Google is taking a more aggressive stance against sexually explicit materials, or rather made some updates to clarify where they stand on sexually explicit apps within the play Store. This is in hopes to provide a better user experience for minors, as well as everyone else. It doesn’t take much browsing through the play store before you start to notice an overwhelming number of apps that have sexually explicit content contained within them, and Google seems to want to lay down some form of ground rules for that.
They have also made it so that apps that contain ads, have to clearly state that ads come along with the app, which means it has to be explained in the apps description. With so many different apps on the play store, there are undoubtedly a large number that may not have explained that the app was ad supported. New to the developer program policy, is Google’s introduction of an app promotion policy, which explains to developers which types of tactics to promote your app on the play store are allowed. The policy also contains a new provision that requires a developers to notify users of when certain features that are advertised in an apps description need payment through an in app purchase. This is most likely due to the negativity that Google has received recently about kids spending large amounts of money within apps, although Google didn’t specifically state any sort of reasoning as such.
In addition to revisions they made to the policy regarding adds and IAP, they have also updated the spyware section of the policy so that they could address any surveillance or tracking apps. The entire policy can be found at the Google link below, so if you’re a developer you can see all the changes that have been made. Google states that all developers need to make sure that their apps are in accordance with the changes, and if anything is out of place, they give a 15 day window to update app before it gets removed from the play store. If new apps come along after this statement, they’re bound to the guidelines of the policy immediately.