Google announced a set of rules that will try to stop annoying ads and identity theft in games and apps for Android.
Android users have to deal with app copies, games that show random ads, and malware as part of their daily lives. But that could soon change because Google has changed its rules for developers.
The company announced a set of rules that are meant to make it easier and safer for people to use the Play Store to get apps. With the new rules, full-screen ads won’t pop up out of nowhere, especially in video games. Developers won’t be able to fool users by using app images, descriptions, or names. Or by leveraging limited capabilities like the exact alarm.
The rules will apply to all apps and games in the Play Store, both new and old. Developers will have 30 days to make any required changes. Each guideline has a different date when it goes into effect. But Google has focused on fixing the most important problems right away, like advertising and copycat apps.
No more annoying ads in Google Play Store apps
Google will not allow full-screen ads that pop up out of nowhere. This is to make the user experience better. This will work for static ads, videos, GIF files, and any other type of file. Ads can’t be shown while the game is being played, at the start of a level, or at the start of a content segment. Also not allowed are full-screen video ads that show up before the loading screen of an Android app.
Remember that annoying 15-second ad that takes up the whole screen and can’t be closed? After the score screen, which is when you finish a level, is the only time game developers will be able to add ads that last longer than 15 seconds.
Better Ads Experiences for Android makes exceptions
The rules won’t apply if you agree to see ads in exchange for something. For example, Candy Crush may show you an ad if you run out of lives and must watch one to continue. However, Google will not block in-app banners or videos.
From September 30, 2022, the new rules will be in place. Here are some kinds of ads that you won’t see in the Play Store anymore.
Google will put an end to identity theft
The second important change has to do with Android apps that try to trick users by having titles, descriptions, or icons that look like those of other apps. Google said that it will not let people use apps that trick people by pretending to be someone else. Be careful not to use icons, app descriptions, app titles, or in-app elements that could confuse users about how your app is related to another person or app.
Apps and games can’t use icons that imply a connection with another company or developer after August 31, 2022. People won’t be able to copy a company’s logo to trick people. This will remove hundreds or thousands of apps with Twitter, YouTube, and other official icons.
Android apps can’t claim to be related to Bitcoin sites, TV series, or celebrities if there’s no link. On the Play Console help site, Google has given examples of what not to do.
More Android policy changes
In addition to these two rules, Google also said they won’t accept Android apps that spread false information about health.
Developers won’t be able to use the exact alarm feature if their app isn’t an alarm, timer, or calendar app that shows event notifications. They won’t be able to offer other ways to get around FLAG SECURE either. This statement stops data from being saved when a screen is captured and is used by applications that stream video.
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App developers offering subscriptions must advise users how to manage or cancel them. Apps must have a means to discontinue service online, accessible through the user’s account settings.
The new rules can be found on the website for developer help. Those marked in yellow are the most recently changed.