Google's Revamped Play Store Policies Explained: What Every Android User Should Know

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Google has some new policies for developers when it comes to the Google Play Store that target bothersome ads, copycat apps, and more. The company says the policies will take effect at different times in order to give developers plenty of time to adjust.

Malicious Android apps infecting mobile devices have littered the headlines as of late. Reports have ranged from nefarious apps that have stolen cash from millions of devices, to an Italian Hermit spyware. Now, Google is stating it is in the process of instituting new policies when it comes to its Play Store to improve user security and app experiences.

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Image Credit: Google

One of the most aggravating parts of some apps are the annoying in-game ads that popup constantly. Well, Google wants to try and improve that experience with one of its upcoming policy changes. The new policy will prohibit any full-screen ads that are not closable after 15 seconds (5 seconds would have been better). One exception, however, is in terms of opt-in ads which can exceed this time limit. Full-screen interstitial ads that appear before the app's loading screen, as you start a level or during gameplay, will be prohibited as well. This policy will go into effect on September 30, 2022.

The recent pandemic brought about a lot of misinformation with it. Google is looking at curbing this with one of its new policies that will take effect August 31, 2022. The new policy will ban apps that argue against the widely accepted medical consensus, or gives out any type of health advice that could prove harmful to users. The tech giant gave examples of apps that advocated for unapproved medical treatments, and vaccine misinformation.

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Image Credit: Google

Another new policy looks to get rid of copycat apps. The aim is to crack down on unauthorized apps that imply an association with governments, companies, and businesses. An example would be an app that used a national symbol in order to make users think it was associated with an official app. Developers will also not be allowed to utilize icons to indicate they are somehow officially affiliated with a company or other entity they are not authorized to use. This policy will also take effect on August 31, 2022.

Other upcoming policies include changes to the FLAG_SECURE toggle, ability to track user data through VPN services, and exact alarm permissions. You can find all of these new policies and exactly what they entail on Google's website.

Top Image Credit: Google