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Google Updates Its Developer's Policy

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, August 17, 2012
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Bangalore: Google recently sent out an e-mail to its app developers informing them about some major updates concerning the submission of apps to its store. Most of the updates address spam and other malicious behavior such as "deceptive application names" and "spammy notifications".

“We are constantly striving to make Google Play a great community for developers and consumers. This requires us to update our policies when we launch new features, like subscription billing, and also when we see unhealthy behavior, like deceptive app names and spammy notifications,” according to the e-mail.

The Google Play team also mentioned that apps which disclose user personal information without any authorization will not be allowed in the app store. The policy also bans apps which access the phone SMS, e-mails or other messenger services without the knowledge of the user with regards to the content.  Recently, “Find and Call”, an app which was reported to have sent user contact lists and spamming contacts with messages was removed by Google and Apple from their respective app store.

The team will also block apps which diverts the traffic to a website or which provides a web view of a site that is not administered by the developer or the user. With regards to the payment policy, Google added some clearer details and also provided important guidelines on how they will handle cancellations in their new subscription billing feature.

Google Play also added a new section that addresses ad behavior in apps.  “Additionally, we are adding a new section that addresses ad behavior in apps. First, we make it clear that ads in your app must follow the same rules as the app itself. Also, it is important to us that ads don’t negatively affect the experience by deceiving consumers or using disruptive behavior such as obstructing access to apps and interfering with other ads.”

Here are the major changes that Google brought forward in brief
1.    To reduce confusion, Google Play will restrict the names or icons which are similar to any available apps.
2.    It bans apps that disclose user personal information without authorization from the user.
3.    Practices that violate the spam policy have been clearly illustrated with examples.
4.    It added a new section that addresses ad behavior in apps.

According to the Google team, the update is with immediate effect from the day they had sent the e-mail. “Any new apps or app updates published after this notification will be immediately subject to the latest version of the Program Policy.  If you find any existing apps in your catalog that don’t comply, we ask you to fix and republish the application within 30 calendar days of receiving this email.  After this period, existing applications discovered to be in violation may be subject to warning or removal from Google Play.”

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