If you or your company makes Android
apps, which is a lot of us these days, then there are important
changes happening to the Google Play Store policies. A recent email
sent by Google to all developers outlined the changes, two of which
are fairly major, and told folks that they had 30 days to comply.
Apps on Android that are found to be in violation of these new
policies after the deadline passes will be removed from the Play
The first change involves ads. If you
publish ads on Android or if your app uses ad networks, then those
ads will be more restricted than before. They won't be able to change
device behavior, such as display ads in the notification screen or on
top of the app icon, things that used to happen and annoyed users.
This isn't to say that advertising on Android will become less
interesting, but it certainly is a change that will likely lead to a
lot of statistics and research.
The other major change is how in-app
purchases are done. Google has had a system to handle in-app
purchases through its own Google Play network for a while, but it
didn't require you to use it. For example, you could sell
subscriptions or additional bonuses in a game, and allow the user to
pay directly through a credit card, PayPal or anything else. Now
however, all apps will be required to go through Google's system to
handle in-app purchases. This certainly removes some of the freedom
apps used to have, but it's hardly a surprise. Both Facebook and
Apple work the same way for apps on their platforms.
So if you fall into these categories,
you should probably get back to the drawing board and come up with
ways to change your app, or risk being pulled from the biggest
smartphone market out there.