Google is finally making some much needed and long overdue changes to some of the policies in Android’s Google Play store. After years of malicious apps plaguing the Android ecosystem, Google has taken steps to cut down on one of the most prevalent issues with Android.
Spam and placement in the store has become rampant over the years, but repetitive content, misleading product descriptions, loading keywords, submitting multiple ratings to affect ranking, using an automated tool to create an app, and driving affiliate traffic to a website are no longer allowed. Apps are also not allowed to send an SMS, email, or any other type of message without user consent.
Google is also preventing impersonation of other apps and developers. “Don’t pretend to be someone else, and don’t represent that your app is authorized by or produced by another company or organization if that is not the case,” it says on Google’s policy page. The use of icons and names similar to those already in the marketplace is forbidden, and products and ads cannot mimic the functionality or warnings from the OS or other applications.
“We are constantly striving to make Google Play a great community for developers and consumers,” Google said in an email. “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.”
These are all positive steps toward making the Android platform a safer place. Violating any of the terms could result in a permanent ban, and that should hopefully deter enough developers from spreading malicious apps and loading Google Play with spam. We can only hope that these changes make the Android marketplace a more enjoyable experience for all with some peace of mind there to comfort you.