Google sent out a letter to its Android app developers informing them that it is making several changes to tighten its developer app policies on Google Play covering; "naming apps, app icons, payments, privacy, spam and advertising."
"Android developers will now be required to meet the new policy; and apps that are seen to violate these rules, will have 30 days to comply with them, or risk app store ejection," Google says.
"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," Google writes in its terms. Going a bit further: an app cannot have a name or icon that appears "confusingly similar" to existing products, or those supplied with the device. So that will include Camera, Gallery and Messaging, Google says.
"Don't transmit viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, malware, or any other items that may introduce security vulnerabilities to or harm user devices, applications, or personal data." Will naming it make a difference to the issue? The amount of Android viruses has been a major issue for a while now and only seems to be growing.
- Repetitive content.
- Product descriptions that are misleading or "loaded with keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy in the Store's search results."
- "Gamed" ratings: those that have been rated multiple times; ratings that have been acquired by "offering incentives to users."
- Apps created by an automated tool or wizard still need to be submitted by the developer, not the operator of that automation tool.
- Apps that drive affiliate traffic to a website or that provide links to a website that is not the developer's own.
- Apps that send automated SMS or email messages without confirming first with users.
Here is the full Google letter:
Hello Google Play Developer,
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 behavior, like deceptive app names and spammy notifications. This email is to notify you that we've made some changes to our policies which are highlighted below.
- 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.
Additionally, we are adding a new section that addresses ad behavior in apps. First, we make it clear that ads in your app must follow the same rules as the app itself. Also, it is important to us that ads don't negatively affect the experience by deceiving consumers or using disruptive behavior such as obstructing access to apps and interfering with other ads.
Please take a look at the Google Play Developer Program Policy at http://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html to see all the changes and make sure your app complies with our updated policies.
Any new apps or app updates published after this notification will be immediately subject to the latest version of the Program Policy. If you find any existing apps in your catalog that don't comply, we ask you to fix and republish the application within 30 calendar days of receiving this email. After this period, existing applications discovered to be in violation may be subject to warning or removal from Google Play.
Google Play Team
In other Google news, Google's Nexus Q, that wast announced at the last month's Google I/O conference alongside the Nexus 7 tablet and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, seems to be lacking some solid functionality, as the company has postponed the release citing "work on making it even better".
For those, who pre-ordered the device, Google is for now shipping out a free Nexus Q developer unit.
Check the full Google email sent to pre-order customers:
We have an important update about your Nexus Q pre-order.
When we announced Nexus Q at Google I/O, we gave away devices to attendees for an early preview. The industrial design and hardware were met with great enthusiasm. We also heard initial feedback from users that they want Nexus Q to do even more than it does today. In response, we have decided to postpone the consumer launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better.
To thank you for your early interest, we'd like to extend the Nexus Q preview to our pre-order customers and send you a free device. If you had other items in your order, your credit card will be charged for those items only.
Your Nexus Q will be on its way soon and you will receive a notification and tracking number from Google Play when it ships.
The Nexus Q Team
Google for its Chromebooks planning to offer free 100GB GDrive storage to its mainstream users reveals "a few lines in Google's source code for ChromeOS indicate that Google is about to give Chromebook owners 100 GB of free online storage on Google Drive," notice by a Google+ user Francois Beaufort (via).