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Google Play Tightens Security Policy

1 min read
August 4, 2012

Google Play seems to be in the middle of cleaning up. Previously, because the freedom offered by Google, said apps market for Android is pictured as a no-rule wild area. As consequences, many artificial, fake, spam and even malware apps are circulating in it.

Last Wednesday, in a letter to developers, Google started to apply several policies to change the wild image of Google Play. Google gives 30 days time for developers to tidy their apps up to meet the regulation or said apps will be removed from Google Play.

As reported by PC World, Google’s step to only recently apply the policy after the harm is done, is Google’s strategy to compete with Apple’s apps store. The freedom previously given by Google was aimed to rapidly boost the number of apps available on Google’s Play which amount rivals the apps for iOS on iTunes.

Now that the quantity of apps on Google Play are not far behind iTunes (600 thousands compared to 650 thousands), by implementing this policy, Google is trying to improve the quality of existing apps in order not to lose to the quality of apps for iOS.

The new rule, which you can read here, is thorough, covering app naming, icon used, payment, privacy, spam and ad setting. For example, with app naming and icon used, apps with such name as Angry Pigs or Crazy Pigs which use Angry Birds-like icon, must immediately changed or will be removed from Google Play.

The new rule requires app developer to use Google’s payment system for paid apps as well as in-app purchase. Exclusion is given for physical goods or services (eg tickets) purchasing and digital goods that can be used outside the app.

With this rule, Google applies strict rule regarding spam. Starting today, developer is not allowed to send content repeatedly, using repeated words in the description of an app and gives repeated rating to one app. Apps that send text messages, email or other messages also have to give an option to the user to review and edit the message.

In this new rule, Google also explicitly forbids content that contains virus, worm, Trojan, malware or similar content that endagers safety of devixe, app or user’s information.

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