Google has tightened its noose on the Android developers in a bid to deal with the deceptive content on Google Play, its official Android app store. In a mail to the Android developers, Google has detailed a series of policy changes, which is designed to take care of malicious applications by implementing stricter checks and guidelines.
Google Play just got stricter for developers
The Google Play Developer Program Policy page has also been revised and some strict clauses are added to take care of the spam, sexually explicit material and duplicate/similar applications. Droid Life gives an insight into the mail and reports that the mail highlights four important topics in bullet points to show the areas that need the most attention. The terms mentioned by Google are:
- We’ve added clearer details to the payment policy, and guidelines on how we will handle cancellations in our new subscription billing feature.
- We are restricting the use of names or icons confusingly similar to existing system apps in order to reduce user confusion.
- We are providing more detail on the kinds of dangerous products that are not allowed on Google Play. For example, apps that disclose personal information without authorization are not allowed.
- We are giving more examples of practices that violate the spam policy.
The revised Google Play Developer Program Policy details everything in straight and strict words and cautions developers to abide by the guidelines, while submitting any applicqation on Google Play.
“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 behaviour, like deceptive app names and spammy notifications,” Google said in the email.
The revised policy also takes a tough stance on advertising and spam and placement. This clearly means that Google is serious, and it has made its intentions even more clear by declaring that any violation of Google’s new rules will result in the apps being removed permanently and the guilty developer will be banned from submitting applications in the future to Google Play.
Google has taken a right step in the right direction at the right time, because the current state of affairs at Google Play is anything but perfect. There have been numerous instances of malicious softwares found embedded in the apps in recent times.
Last month, it was revealed that the trojan Android.Dropdialer, which racks up expensive charges from forced phonecalls to premium numbers, was found in two separate apps that weren’t identified for weeks. This was reported in a blog post on the Symantec website by Irfan Asrar,a researcher with the antivirus provider. The apps “GTA 3 Moscow City” and “Super Mario Bros.” were carrying the trojan and generated as many as 10,000 downloads, though Asrar didn’t mention if that figure was for separate titles or in sum. “What is most interesting about this Trojan is the fact that the threat managed to stay on Google Play for such a long time, clocking up some serious download figures before being discovered. Our suspicion is that this was probably due to the remote payload employed by this Trojan,” Asrar wrote.
Anyway, let's hope Google sorts this messy situation out with the revised policy and strict guidelines it has adopted. Click here to view the updated Google Play Developer Program Policy.