This week Google announced new changes to their Developer Program Policy, alerting app developers of these changes in an email. Developers are encouraged to un-publish their apps to make changes before they are banned within the new few weeks.
The new policy dictates to developers what content they are permitted to display, as well as additional changes to rules regarding ads. Developers are now held accountable for ad networks or affiliates who remain engaged in these now banned practices.
App developers are not to use deceptive ads on websites, apps or other properties including simulated service, app notifications or alerts. Additionally, promotional install tactics that direct the user unknowingly to Google Play are no longer allowed. Ads that use the smartphones SMS functionality without getting explicit user consent are no longer allowed either.
All of these ad practices are misleading for the user, deceiving them into purchasing a new app or update without full consent. Many developers take advantage of these capabilities without the consequence of how it may impact consumer decisions.
Additional changes that will overall improve Google Play include the banning of apps which contain viruses, worms or other malware, or linking to them, banning dangerous products as well as other explicit materials.
Apple is known to have enforced a stricter app review policy, and from the changes Google is now making it seems they are headed in this direction. For greater app store optimization view Google’s improved policy at https://play.google.com and continue to check PreApps for the latest in mobile news.