23
Aug
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Google just published a major update to the Play Store Developer Content Policy, and whether you're a user or developer, you need to be aware of these changes. The content policy is basically Google's "this is what we don't allow on the Play Store" list. As such, you can understand why it's important. Google periodically updates this policy, but this is the biggest change I think we've seen yet - tons of areas have been touched on and modified, and there are significant ramifications to these changes. Let's break it down, starting with the one you're probably here for.

Note: These changes go into effect on the Play Store in 30 days for existing apps, which is September 23rd, 2013, and immediately for new apps published today forward.

Google Kills AirPush and other notification advertisements - for real this time

Google gets upset when apps use the notification bar for advertisements. And this time, it has explicitly laid the hammer down on such services.

Apps and their ads must not display advertisements through system level notifications on the user’s device, unless the notifications derive from an integral feature provided by the installed app. (e.g., an airline app that notifies users of special deals, or a game that notifies users of in-game promotions).

Boom. Yes, apps still can display promotions or deals that directly lead back to the app displaying them, if they are a part of an integral feature of that app. The airline deal example is pretty much what that means. If it's not explicitly, directly, absolutely something that involves the user doing / buying something in your app that relates to said app, it's not OK. No more notification bar ads, essentially.

This differs from the old policy, which was "Ads must not simulate or impersonate system notifications or warnings." Simulate and impersonate are important words - if it explicitly identified itself as an ad, it was still OK (that's how AirPush survived). Not anymore.

The content policy now applies to developer name and website, not just the iconography / content / ads / UGC in your app.

This may not seem important, but it is. Previously, the content policy did not apply to these two items, both of which could readily be abused by impersonating another developer or company. Now, Google can suspend developer accounts or apps on the basis of content policy violations in the developer name or linked website. This is both good and bad. Here's the policy, with the new portion bolded:

Our content policies apply to any content your application displays or links to, including any ads it shows to users and any user-generated content it hosts or links to. Further, they apply to any content from your developer account which is publicly displayed in Google Play, including your developer name and the landing page of your listed developer website.

The good side is that developers attempting to impersonate another developer or company, either through their developer name or website, can be punished and suspended for this behavior.

The bad side is that this gives big companies a heck of a lot more room to complain if they believe a developer's name or website infringes on their copyright or trademark, and they can now point to this policy when they file a complaint. The new policy makes sense, but it obviously has a potential downside in that sense.

Hate speech now seems to cover a slightly broader array of content

Hate speech used to actually require an app show or support hatred of one of the listed categories / groups, but that definition appears slightly expanded with a change in word choice. The listed groups are the same as before, but  "we don't allow the promotion of hatred based on their..." has been changed to read as "we don't allow the content advocating against groups of people based on their..." I read this new wording as slightly broader than the old one, in that it removes the somewhat ambiguous "hatred" requirement. Hard to say how that'll play out in terms of interpretation, but that's my inclination on the purpose of the change.

Apps that impersonate other apps / services / entities are getting a significant crackdown

The following clause was added to the impersonation or deceptive behavior section:

Products must not contain false or misleading information in any content, title, icon, description, or screenshots.

Along with the content policy now including developer names and websites, this part of the policy is clearly moving in the same direction: if you pretend to be someone else, you're going to get your app pulled or account suspended. The inclusion of titles, icons, descriptions, and screenshots pretty much covers all the bases here. And, hopefully, this means a tiny little disclaimer in the app description won't provide a way for scumbag ad scammers to skate by the policy anymore.

Apps cannot publish or disclose your contacts lists if they are not public

This is a small one, but the personal and confidential information section has been updated to include "non-public contact lists" as forbidden to be disclosed or published by apps without explicit user authorization. This makes a lot of sense.

Drugs are bad, mkay?

Google apparently got enough questions about the "don't do illegal things on your app" section (I mean, that's basically all it said) that they now provide an example of an illegal activity: "such as the sale of prescriptions drugs without a prescription." Right!

Crackdown on shady in-app purchases, quasi-gambling, and "play for prizes" games

Google already forbids gambling in apps on the Play Store, but now it's gone a[n important] step further in this policy. "Games of skill that offer prizes of cash or other value" now fall under the gambling umbrella, and that's bad news for big game publishers looking to push IAPs across the gambling / real-world prize threshold. How exactly Google will choose to interpret this policy is the big question, because prizes of "other value" isn't exactly clear cut, though I'm sure that's intentional.

What has value? That's the five dollar question. Either way, don't expect games from the likes of Zynga or Glu offering cash or prizes for play to pop up on the Play Store any time soon.

What doesn't Google want apps to do to devices? A lot more, courtesy of the System Interference section

Google has added a whole new section called "System Interference" to describe app behaviors that are forbidden. Some of these are taken from older policies in other sections, but they're now consolidated into one big, happy family.

  • An app downloaded from Google Play (or its components or derivative elements) must not make changes to the user’s device outside of the app without the user’s knowledge and consent.

This one's pretty obvious, and pretty broad. Don't mess with stuff unless people know you're doing it. Google elaborates with the next bullet:

  • This includes behavior such as replacing or reordering the default presentation of apps, widgets, or the settings on the device. If an app makes such changes with the user’s knowledge and consent, it must be clear to the user which app has made the change and the user must be able to reverse the change easily, or by uninstalling the app altogether.

Again, pretty elementary stuff. Don't change stuff someone can't easily un-change, and make sure that someone knows it's your app making the changes. How Google will enforce this, I'm not sure, because that's not exactly something you know an app is doing until you actually, you know, use it.

  • Apps and their ads must not add homescreen shortcuts, browser bookmarks, or icons on the user’s device as a service to third parties or for advertising purposes.

This clause used to include "without the user's consent," and was located in a different section. Not anymore. You cannot place homescreen shortcuts, browser bookmarks, or icons on a user's device unless they relate directly to your app - period.

  • Apps and their ads must not display advertisements through system level notifications on the user’s device, unless the notifications derive from an integral feature provided by the installed app. (e.g., an airline app that notifies users of special deals, or a game that notifies users of in-game promotions).

This is the AirPush thing we covered in the beginning of the article.

  • Apps must not encourage, incentivize, or mislead users into removing or disabling third-party apps except as part of a security service provided by the app.

Tl;dr don't be a dick.

Spam and Play Store placement tweaks

These are pretty small changes, primarily meant to more explicitly discourage exploitation of your app's rank or rating on the Play Store. Previously, Google only said that "product descriptions" could not be misleading or loaded with keywords in an attempt to manipulate Play Store searches and rankings. Now, it's more specific: "Do not use irrelevant, misleading, or excessive keywords in apps descriptions, titles, or metadata." Simple.

The second part of this section that changed is also pretty minor, but now the policy expressly forbids using fraudulent installs to boost your app, and paid or fake reviews. And of course you still can't incentivize users into rating an app.

In-app purchases

The updates here are largely clarifications. Apparently some developers didn't think the language of the in-app purchase section, which requires all additional content, services, or functionality to be sold through Google Play's payment system, applied to in-app currency or virtual goods. Hey, guess what? It does! So if you're selling funny money or virtual swords and shields in your app, they need to be processed through Google Play. Same goes for additional content, services, or functionality, as before.

They've also clarified what purchases don't need to use Google Play payments, such as physical goods or outside services, or digital goods that can be consumed outside the app (like MP3s). This policy was there before, but it wasn't as explicit / clearly-worded.

Interstitial ads now need to provide a clear way to close them, without opening the ad.

While the ad section received a lot of culling of clauses (mostly because they're redundant with the new System Interference section), one thing was added. And it's a win for users, to be sure. Interstitial ads (ads taking up the entire screen) must provide a "prominent and accessible target" for users to close the ad "without penalty or inadvertent click-through." This policy was in place previously, but like the in-app purchase section, wasn't as explicit as with the new language. A "prominent and accessible target" is the important part - ads can't hide the ball and cause you to accidentally open them because the X is the size of a pinhole.

That's it. While there are a few more minor changes, this covers the bulk of the new Play Store Developer Content Policy.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • ProductFRED

    FINALLY.

  • MrMathboi Reborn

    now google is making it better than the apple store LOOK AT THIS WOOHOO now for getting apps early like apple does >>

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Wat?

      • papernick

        I think he tried to say: Now Google is making its app store better than Apple's. Now we only need to get apps as early as Apple users do.

        But yeah, it's only a guess.

        • Konstantinos Pap

          HAHAHAHA I loled @ "translation".

    • Scott

      Did you even read what you wrote before you clicked the Post button?

      • joser116

        He did, although I admit he needs to work on his writing skills. What he meant was that Apple still gets more apps before Android does, for example Vine and some Gameloft titles.

  • astasualle

    Good job!!! Now memo the developers to remove these type of ads.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      They did. Everyone got an email. From the email:

      Any apps or updates published after this notification are 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.

      We recognize that some developers will need to change their app and advertising practices to comply with the revised policy, but we believe these changes will help ensure all users and developers can maintain confidence in the standard of apps available on Google Play. Our aim is to foster a high standard of app behavior, so you will be able to take advantage of Google Play as a successful platform to distribute your apps and continue to grow your business.

      • CoreRooted

        Yup. Got mine. About time Google did something about the crap some of the shadier devs pull in apps.

      • astasualle

        amazing!!! so they red my mind

        • ltredbeard

          They blued my mind lol....fyi read not red

  • ThoFeelExp

    It's Sundar's way.

    Sundar means in Hindi neat

    • http://shwetank-shukla.blogspot.com/ Shwetank Shukla

      sundar means beautiful, to be precise. It's a direct translation.

      • sourabh

        Sundar means beautiful.Hindi speaking indians here.

      • ThoFeelExp

        neat is also synonym

  • Tomáš Petrík

    I LOL'd at the tl;dr :)

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    These are huge.

    Finally, no more:

    - automatically added spam bookmarks

    - automatically added spam homescreen shortcuts

    - Airpush-style ads, hopefully, once again - they tried before http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/07/31/google-updates-play-store-developer-policy-puts-the-smack-down-on-intrusive-advertising-say-goodbye-to-airpush-and-its-cohorts/

    - deceptive apps/games that pretend to be the real thing, then say somewhere in a description footer that they're actually not real apps/games - this has been a real big trend lately, and finally Google has official grounds for removing them easily

    This is a win for everyone, except for the scammers. Great job on pushing these changes, Google!

    • CoreRooted

      Do you think this will apply to a lot of the bloatware that gets installed by the carriers? Most of those apps are outside of the Play Store, but I would *hope* that Google can find a way to unilaterally apply it to apps altogether.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Probably not.

        • CoreRooted

          I kinda figured as much. Not that I want a walled garden system by an means, but I would like Google to at least put a little bit of muscle on the carriers and what they can install OTB.

          • http://www.sprngl.com/ James Springle

            I've had phones across most of the major US networks, and I've never seen any carrier pre-install any app on their phone that would trip any of the Play Developer policies, even the updated ones. The last thing a carrier wants to do is increase the burden on their support structure by including spammy apps in their ecosystem.

          • CoreRooted

            When I first got my Charge (yeah, yeah... it was free), there were adverts popping in the notification bar from Blockbuster and VZ data usage widget. Didn't ever run the apps and didn't even use Blockbuster once, yet there they were. Granted, they wouldn't technically "violate" even the new guidelines, but they were spammy none the less and that's what I hope Google is targeting (at least partly) with this update.

          • http://www.sprngl.com/ James Springle

            I completely understand your point of view. While they don't violate the policy, I can see how their unwanted intrusiveness would cause concern and frustration :)

    • Thomas’

      Well, "no more" is not the correct term. It's more like "now we can report your ass". That's something, though.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        More like they're not allowed to and will get kicked out now because there are official rules.

    • seko

      Does it mean that app that show an ads with a counter (for exemple you have to wait 6 sec, then a close buton appear) to close it will have to be updated? Because i hate those fullscreen ads

  • Thomas’

    So, this instantly (or well, instantly in 30 days) makes at least 200k of the 1m apps in store illegal. That's nice for end users.

    • Justin W

      That just means those developers better act quickly if they still want their app to generate revenue (by changing how their app generates advertisements).

      • Thomas’

        Many apps do not have much of a purpose more than spamming you with ads. So these can't be "repaired" beyond illegality.

        • derp

          It's not like we're going to miss those...

          • Thomas’

            "And nothing of value was lost" ;-)

    • Jogn

      Illegal is inaccurate - they would not be breaking any laws. The apps would only be non-compliant with play store policies.

  • JLishere

    I clapped as I read along each new policy. These changes are definitely welcome.

  • yodatom10

    Suck it airpush. no one will be sad to see you go !!!!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Except for its employees.

      • Your Father

        And your mother.

      • Scott Miller

        Airpush has to have known for a while that they were not going to be around much longer.

  • Grimmjow

    Is their Play Store inspection team getting any bigger, cause people are going to continue to abuse the policies. Why isn't there a report button on every app's page to make it easier to report a violation?

    • Thomas’

      Well, use the app. It has a report button.

  • Marius Oprisan

    Nice move, all Google needs to do now is comb the PlayStore and get rid of thousands of lame apps, although I'm sure plenty will survive if not reported.

  • nawa

    TL;DR, so: apps which break these rules are deleted immidiately?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Tl;dr read the first paragraph.

  • Qliphah

    I just wonder how this will affect programs like GetJar. They show ads with the benefit of earning credits for viewing them or installing another app. These ads and apps usually have nothing to do with the app you're trying to earn GetJar "gold" for. So do they fail under these new terms?

    • http://www.sprngl.com/ James Springle

      Apps and their ads must not display advertisements through system level notifications on the user’s device, unless the notifications derive from an integral feature provided by the installed app. (e.g., an airline app that notifies users of special deals, or a game that notifies users of in-game promotions).

      The policies put in place by Google generally specify that the app has to have permission from the user before the app can do anything. Therefore, as long as the user has consented to seeing ads and downloading apps via the GetJar application then there should be no issues.

  • br_hermon

    "An app downloaded from Google Play (or its components or derivative elements) must not make changes to the user’s device outside of the app without the user’s knowledge and consent." "This includes behavior such as replacing or reordering the default presentation of apps, widgets, or the settings on the device. If an app makes such changes with the user’s knowledge and consent, it must be clear to the user which app has made the change and the user must be able to reverse the change easily, or by uninstalling the app altogether."

    Is this going to cause a problem for Tasker, cache cleaners, Titanium Backup and more apps that run in the background and are automated? Are they going to have to have to notify us after every little thing they do? Hopefully this part of the policy doesn't cripple apps like that, especially Tasker.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Pretty sure all those cases you mentioned involve the user consenting, as in it's why you download these apps, as opposed to some crapware that does it without your knowledge.

    • Randroid

      I agree with Artem here. The key portion here is "without the user’s knowledge and consent."

      As long as the app has your consent to do it (which it does when you create an item in Tasker) it is allowed to do so.

  • NuLLnVoiD

    I'm curious how the big target to close the ad thing will work. I have at least one app I use that throws up full screen ads but the X changes locations each time or the Skip is below the screen and you have to swipe up to see it. This could certainly see a change by the looks of things.

  • james kendall

    all in all some very much needed tweaks. but I can see some slight issues with the make changes to the user’s device outside of the app clause as well what do they define as consent and how will it affect automation apps.

  • Ray

    As soon as I read the title, the first thing that came to mind was the Facebook app.

    • pfmiller

      Why? It doesn't display any notification ads.

      • Ray

        Just Facebook's previous attempts to update the app outside the Play Store. I'm sure they've learnt their lesson, but it still made me think of it.

        • pfmiller

          Well, if they didn't learn any lesson it sounds like that is still allowed under the new policy.

          • Ray

            To my knowledge, no app is allowed to update itself outside the Play Store. That is what the huge issue was.

          • pfmiller

            I don't know, I haven't read the full policy. Just based on what has changed as reported in this article it hasn't been banned. The most relevant section says "an app downloaded from Google Play must not make changes to the user’s device outside of the app without the user’s knowledge and consent." Of course an app updating itself is not making any changes "outside of the app".

          • Randroid

            There was a change made a few months ago to include this, specifically because Facebook forced users to update outside of the Play Store.

  • avalon

    thank you, Google.

  • PamelaLibrarian

    "Interstitial" I love learning new words from you, David!

  • Dizzy

    Wat up

  • John Smith

    Would the drugs rule affect the "Weed Maps" app?
    Does the updated IAP section exclude Paypal from doing IAP ?

    • Thomas’

      2. No, since it is not a IAP for "internal" app usage.

  • Goldenpins

    Great. I buy a lot live wallpapers and started seeing good ones with great performance and no lag be ad based from the notification bar., Which kills the experience.

  • Primalxconvoy

    " Again, pretty elementary stuff. Don't change stuff someone can't easily un-change, and make sure that someone knows it's your app making the changes."

    So, Google is going to block Facebook's app, as Facebook is infamous for doing just this?

  • TechGuy22

    finally, i downloaded a game from the store recently, it was pushing mad ads. every mns. i deleted it. thanks google.

  • JonJJon

    Does this cover the adverts as in Wordfeud where you have to swipe up the bottom to get the close advert button, but there is no inclination that you need to do this to reveal the button? As I found that quite mischievous.

  • Aditya Kandari

    Why all the articles are referring only to Airpush, Haven't anybody heard of "Startapp", their whole network works on icon and browser ads. Though they do provide interstitials exit ads too but at very low CPM so developers are going to suffer a lot. The following clause totally refers to Startapp-
    Apps and their ads must not add homescreen shortcuts, browser bookmarks, or icons on the user’s device as a service to third parties or for advertising purposes.
    Any Views

    • Kimbert Bartiquel

      Untill now Startapp didnt give any action for this

    • Droid450

      Wonder what is going on with Startapp coz some thought Airpush might be in the same situation. Startapp devs should look at off-market options. There is enough userbase for all :).

      I'm really happy the way Airpush turned the situation around by releasing some great ad units such as video ads and advanced overlays. Still working on integrating them in all my apps. Good thing Airpush also dropped a Universal SDK for off-market where I can milk my push and icon inventory. Sweet. Who said push and icon is dead!...

      • Aditya Kandari

        Yea Airpush did a really great job by releasing two SDK versions. I hope the new ads they provided will provide as great CPM as the last ones. Do share your experience with the new Ad inventory and best of luck :)

        • Gerard.Airpush

          Hello Aditya, Droid450 & Adroid Police Forum,

          Here is an announcement from Airpush. We are proud to announce that Airpush has acquired Hubbl, a leader in mobile native advertising. Our combined company will be the most profitable and accessible native advertising tool available to mainstream developers, and TechCrunch has taken note with an article they recently published.

          http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/10/airpush-acquires-hubbl-for-15-million-to-bring-native-ads-to-mobile/

          This an exciting time for Airpush and there is more to come down the line.

          Please stay tuned.

          Regards,

          Gerard

          Airpush Representative

  • Aditya Kandari

    Why all the articles are referring only to Airpush, Haven't anybody heard of "Startapp", their whole network works on icon and browser ads. Though they do provide interstitials exit ads too but at very low CPM so developers are going to suffer a lot. The following clause totally refers to Startapp-
    Apps and their ads must not add homescreen shortcuts, browser bookmarks, or icons on the user’s device as a service to third parties or for advertising purposes.

  • Pic889

    Hallelujah... Android apps (the free ones) had started to look more and more like Windows (desktop) apps, aka "please feel free to wreak havok on the system". I was starting to grow jealous of iOS users who can just download a free app and without fearing if it will install a backround process (*cough* JetPack Joyride) or randomly re-order things.

    • Thomas’

      Background processes are still not forbidden. They are often just a sign for lazy developer still using the old IAP services.

  • András Csikvári

    In-App billing:
    "Developers offering virtual goods or currencies within a game downloaded from
    Google Play must use Google Play's in-app billing service as the method of payment."

    This means if you have a game with coins that can be collected in the levels and buy items from it later is totally ILLEGAL.
    Giving away free coins daily is legal?
    What about Tapjoy?

    They mean about it this:
    ???
    Developers offering virtual goods or currencies **for money** within a game downloaded from Google Play must use Google Play's in-app billing service as the method of payment.
    ???

  • PRO Android Developer

    How many UNGRATEFUL users comment here ... Creating software for mobile devices is not easy job! The developers can't work for the users for free, realize that! Push and icon ads are the only way for developers to earn a real money from their work. Banners and other type of ads generates absolutely low revenue. There is no self-respecting developer that will use that type of ads. Are the developers didn't deserve to get money for their work? First the user have a choice to accept or not the ads. Second if you don't like the ads just give $1 for ad-free version, it's not so much for lifetime license (a half price of coffee cup ... ). Now most of the developers will use third-party ad providers and their ads ... ads that need the ACCOUNT, CALL and LOCATION permissions! And yes, they are the only one alternative for the dev's to earn something real. The UNGRATEFUL users must realize that simple rule: NO ADS - NO FREE APPS! Question to all of you: Are you working without salary? Thanks.

    • blueseeker

      It's not about the ads. It's about those shitty apps that put all kind of shortcuts, bookmarks on your launcher and there is no way to find who the heck put that there.

      How about those ad notifications in the notification bar that no one asked for and there is no such thing mentioned in the app description you just installed? (This was fixed with 4.2)

      • PRO Android Developer

        Any application that use that type of ads must show EULA screen to the user with 2 buttons - to 'accept' or 'cancel' the ads. Everyone can use the app without ads simply by clicking the 'cancel' button of the EULA.

        • Kimbert Bartiquel

          I'll Agree!

    • Mike Reid

      -1.

      How did your post suddenly get 5 (now 4) upvotes in 22 minutes, for a story that's a day old ???

      • PRO Android Developer

        Maybe other developers read this article and comments too? ...

    • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

      It's not true - only bad (shitty in fact) developers need this kind of spammy and intrusive ads. And you are not only damaging Android user experience but you are also damaging honest working developers - neither of my apps used them and I was able to earn well not because I trick users and flood them with spam but because my apps are good and user likes them - it's that simple.
      And this was despite of crapload of fake internet boosters, soundboards, RSS wrappers, fake games, youtube wrappers and other shit you and other "developers" like you flood Play with making buryinng high quality apps in the process.

      • PRO Android Developer

        "Developers" like you must not have the permission to use computers and mobile devices! Shame on you. I saw your apps - total crap, super low downloads rate - that's you are angry to developers like me. I have apps that are downloaded more then ~50000+ per day and generates more then $20000 per month. Oh and yeas, I'M TOP DEVELOPER IN GOOGLE PLAY. What you develop? Other developers ideas maybe....I saw all of your apps and there is no original idea that was not realized before. THEFT! Shitty developers like you do not deserve $1 for their "work".

        • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

          Right... so link to your play apps. I earn well from quality apps (currently from this app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bytestorm.artflow ) and I there isn't single quality app using airpush or startapp - since every single quality app values user satisfaction over short term gain. Fortunately Google decided to limit this shit you and alike push on Play (I'm realistic - this will not end this crap, there will be loopholes, policy violation etc. but hey every single bit counts)

          • PRO Android Developer

            Suck my dick. 10000 - 50000 downloads total and you claim to earn money? one of my 18 apps generates more per day...And who knows, this app maybe is developed by someone else, next time if you wish send me a link to Angry Birds, stupid. There is a lots of alternatives of Airpush from where I can and I will earn even more, so you and all ungrateful users can suck my dick again.

          • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

            You see I'm selling quality app so I do not have to rely on millions of downloads, but you can comprehend since you can only spam. This is of course my app which you can simply verify my linked google profile.
            So what's your apps TOP DEVELOPER? :)

          • StaunchDev

            Quite late to this post but you might want to check again because the last time I looked at some of Airpush's inventory, they had some serious developers earning top $. I might not be high up there in the ranks of those developers by my earnings have been great...

    • frikec

      Actually I am a developer and I feel quite the contrary. No self-respecting developer would ever use push and icon ads. I hate them as a user and would never put them in my apps as a developer. If your app is good than users will keep coming back to it and you'll earn the same if not more. Face it, your revenue's been based on the number of installs instead of people who actually used your app.

      • PRO Android Developer

        No, you are just an developer that CAN'T create useful app from which to earn money. Face it.

        • frikec

          If your apps are good than you have nothing to worry about. Why so much anger? :) Your users will keep coming back, right?

    • Thomas’

      Then please apply for another job and take your crap apps with you. If an app needs to spam notifications, icons and browser bookmarks to be profitable, it is most likely just scam or plain shit.

      Do the world a favor, go and delete your "developer" account.

      • PRO Android Developer

        I know more then 9 programming languages and more then 2 million people all over the world use my apps stupid monkey! What you can create? What you develop for the people all over the word for free? Yeah, I know - NOTHING! You are one ungrateful user who think that the world must be free and everybody must work for you. Well, SUCK MY DEVELOPER DICK.

        • Thomas’

          OH MY GOD! NINE LANGUAGES!

          How about you say give us an example for one of your beautiful apps? Otherwise you're just a loud imposter with some additional accounts to upvote your comments (yeah, +7 in five minutes on an old thread, that sure is legit).

          • PRO Android Developer

            Are you suffering that nobody likes your comments? And NO, I will not post link to my apps here, just because 90% of users here do not deserve my free apps.

          • Thomas’

            Bwahahaha. This is getting better and better.

            So your apps are obviously such a piece of shit that you don't even dare posting them. What's the deal? Are you afraid that we might downvote your apps? With two millions of users our few votes are sure not that frightening.

          • PRO Android Developer

            Peace of shits are people like you and your family. So all together can suck my dick. ;)

          • Thomas’

            Wow, thanks. You just gave me and everybody else a great proof that people writing these shitty adware apps are indeed assholes.

            I couldn't have it done better.
            So, go on Google, let the reports roll!

          • PRO Android Developer

            You are welcome! And I want to say Thank you for posting here, now I have a real proof that not all people using smartphones are not so smart! They are stupid and very ungrateful. So go and fuck yourself.

          • http://artflowstudio.com/ Bart Janusz

            That made my day, I always know that internet is full of idiots but some peoples stupidity leave me speechless.

            @Thomas' He is not afraid of being downvoted he is afraid of being reported - 99% of this shitty spammy apps are in ToC violation anyway (mainly because of IP infringements and spamming policy violation), that's why they never ever post links to apps.

          • Outlaw

            Yes it's full of idiots like you.

  • http://jamieellis.co.cc/ Jamie Ellis

    Google I waiting for the crackdown on bloatware (require each to be manually added)

    An Mobile Network and/or Phone Manufacturer could easily create an helper app.

    Vodafone are half way there as they got an application called "Updates" hub in there firmware for its branded bloatable content e.g. My Vodafone.

    Put all these on Google Play to install once you finished the setup process or include Manufacturer and Mobile Network/Carrier as an options in the Android Setup menu.

    HTC, Samsung and the ilk should make its Applications optional via an hub application. along with aim of making Themes such as Touchwiz optional. All devices should come out of the box with "Google Play Edition/Nexus" Android Images for all then you can "bloat" it with customisations.

  • Geoff

    So apps can't disclose my contacts if they are not public? How do I determine if my contacts are public or not? I can't find any option in gmail's contacts interface, or the "People" app on my phone that have anything to do with my contacts being public or not. Where do I go to keep my contacts from ever being or becoming public?

  • David Hisel

    Good!
    About fucking time.

  • The_16th_Doctor

    no more ad away?...NO MORE AD AWAY

  • boompeerapak

    verygood

  • tulaipaul

    I knew it. They want all ad networks to be like admob, Chartboost and appnext. This will certainly enhance the opportunity for the developers

  • Martín

    I have 30-40 apps, all of them with an "I Like" icon on the main activity. This button sends the user to the Google Play page of the app. My apps NEVER prompt the user to rate the app, but as I've said, in the MainActivity there is a LIKE icon - alongside other 3-5 more icons that start other activities inside the app.

    I believe this is COMPLIANT with the Google Play policy, what do you guys think?

    • Martín

      I understand "incentivize" means "reward the user for doing something". Anyway, is this new or was it included in older versions of the policy? If so, I believe I'm fine.

  • Martín

    Oh and... guys, just stick to Admob. I believe you'll be fine with that, Google is trying to shutdown the other ad networks with these policy changes.

    I'm sticking to Admob (only BANNER ads) and I've making 10k USD per month. ECPM is rising. You know Google is not going to bad Admob's banner ads in the near future. They are the less intrusive ads in the market, and now even more with that "double-click to visit" feature.

  • Tatiana

    Great changes, although the limitations on real world prizes is kind of a bummer. I'm pretty surprised some of these weren't already in place.

  • tokuiten

    "Apps must not encourage, incentivize, or mislead users into removing or disabling third-party apps except as part of a security service provided by the app."

    This means that apps that refuse to start if an ad blocker is running are now no longer allowed on the Play Store. HUZZAH!

  • Aditya Kandari

    Are incentivised downloads also banned?? I mean like Apple did in 2011 banning Tapjoy and Flurry.

  • Sam

    Time for a new kind of monetizing model. apponsor is really
    flexible in use. You can offer your app users to use your app without any
    in-app advertising for an unlimited or limited (1 year) period. If they want to
    use the app this way (free of in-app ads) they have to subscribe for the
    newsletter. If they disagree they get in-app ads and in this case the process
    of the request for subscription can be repeated as often as you want. Hereby
    apponsor is offered as an alternative to in-app advertising, whereby the user
    does not suffer from any restriction in the usage of the app.

  • Gerard

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Gerard Ngwang and I'm an Airpush Representative. A few weeks ago, Google made some policy changes for Push and Icon ads and I'm here today to share with you some really exciting news and developments from Airpush. Especially, our new SDK, AirSDK 1.0 for Play Store, that will be out by end of day today September 20th, 2013, PST.

    Airpush will continue to offer the same suite of developer tools and free weekly payments. All Airpush Developers have been notified of this new SDK release and in case you are not yet an Airpush Developer and would like to know more about the new Ad Units loaded in this SDK, here is the list of new ad units to expect:

    New Ad Units for Airpush AirSDK 1.0 for Play Store:
    - VIDEO (part of SmartWall)
    - ADVANCED OVERLAYS (part of SmartWall)
    - RICH MEDIA BANNERS

    AirSDK 1.0 for Play Store is 100% Google Compliant and you are all encouraged to update your SDK or sign up for this new SDK to experience and take advantage of the new ad units it comes with that will drive in more higher revenue.

    The SDK should be available for download through your Airpush Developer Dashboards by end of day today September 20th, 2013 PST.

    While you look forward to downloading Airpush new AirSDK 1.0 for Play Store, here are two more exciting updates that we just couldn't keep without sharing.

    1) Revolutionary New Monetization Solutions
    These ad types are currently in beta testing and are producing dramatically higher developer payouts than even our legendary push ads. If you would like to be included in the beta test, click the following link to submit your information.

    Beta Testing - http://go.airpush.com/trk?t=2&mid=MDU0LUdHRC0zNjU6MTEzMzoyMTUyOjM0MjM6MDoxNDA4Ojc6OTU0NTpzdXBwb3J0QGFpcnB1c2guY29t&&&http://www.airpush.com/developer-update-9-19-13/?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokuqnLZKXonjHpfsXx7ugoT%2Frn28M3109ad%2BrmPBy%2B3IMJWp8na%2BqWCgseOrQ8kFkMV8eyWM0TrKA%3D

    2) AirSDK 1.0 Universal
    Push and Icon will still be around. Since many developers use 3rd party app stores for driving installs, Airpush will soon be releasing an additional Universal SDK that will continue to include advanced mobile ad types such as Push and Icon. Sign up for Developer account today at http://www.airpush.com/android-developers/ to take advantage of these great things and also follow the link above to sign up for beta testing.

    There is more to come. We are really excited to share this with you all. Feel free to send any concerns or questions my way.

    Regards,

    Gerard

  • Guest

    Google has become a controlling sociopathic company that I loathe with extreme prejudice. In a time when the economy sucks shit... people need every avenue open to them to make money thru apps or on the net so they can provide for their families. Just like with too much government.... too much GOOGLE is a bad thing.... the more restrictions.... the less opportunity.... less restriction... businesses flourish. And as far as hate speech... Google can shove that freedom of speech killing rule up their ass! The constitution says read the bill of rights... 1st amendmant.... if I want to make a political statement about hating Israel for being genocidal nazi like murderers... and I do it by making an app like Wolfenstein but instead your a Semitic Palestinean fighting against the phony semitic IDF douchebags that try to stop you from leaving Gaza and being free.... if I want to do that, Im going to do it and if Google doesnt like it... tough shit.... 1st amendmant freedom of expression.... phuck calling anything you dont like "hate sppech" in order to exert control and oppress.
    THIS IS AMERICA,,,,, and GOOGLE CHOSE TO BE IN AMERICA..... SO THEY BETTER RESPECT THE CONSTITUTION OR A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT OF EPIC PROPORTIONS WILL COME THEIR WAY !

  • Blake

    Google has become a controlling sociopathic company that I loathe with
    extreme prejudice. In a time when the economy sucks shit... people need
    every avenue open to them to make money thru apps or on the net so they
    can provide for their families. Just like with too much government....
    too much GOOGLE is a bad thing.... the more restrictions.... the less
    opportunity.... less restriction... businesses flourish. And as far as
    hate speech... Google can shove that freedom of speech killing rule up
    their ass! The constitution says read the bill of rights... 1st
    amendmant.... if I want to make a political statement about hating
    Israel for being genocidal nazi like murderers... and I do it by making
    an app like Wolfenstein but instead your a Semitic Palestinean fighting
    against the phony semitic IDF douchebags that try to stop you from
    leaving Gaza and being free.... if I want to do that, Im going to do it
    and if Google doesnt like it... tough shit.... 1st amendmant freedom of
    expression.... phuck calling anything you dont like "hate speech" in
    order to exert control and oppress people.
    THIS IS AMERICA,,,,, and GOOGLE
    CHOSE TO BE IN AMERICA..... SO THEY BETTER RESPECT THE CONSTITUTION OR A
    CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT OF EPIC PROPORTIONS WILL COME THEIR WAY !

  • Anthony Armiston

    Just remember that the changes affect Google Play, not Android at large. These guidelines have nothing to do with the 27 other app stores that have not restricted push ads, for example. It's my understanding that inventories for these particular ads are actually growing in a lot of markets. So its really important for advertisers to understand this and review the actual revised guidelines as opposed to just reading some of the confusing or misleading articles and blogs that have populated the web in the last several weeks - https://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html

  • Anthony Armiston

    Just remember that the changes affect Google Play, not Android at large. These guidelines have nothing to do with the 27 other app stores that have not restricted push ads, for example. It's my understanding that inventories for these particular ads are actually growing in a lot of markets. So its really important for advertisers to understand this and review the actual revised guidelines as opposed to just reading some of the confusing or misleading articles and blogs that have populated the web in the last several weeks

  • Anthony Armiston

    Just remember that the changes affect Google Play, not Android at large. These guidelines have nothing to do with the 27 other app stores that have not restricted push ads, for example. It's my understanding that inventories for these particular ads are actually growing in a lot of markets. So its really important for advertisers to understand this and review the actual revised guidelines as opposed to just reading some of the confusing or misleading articles and blogs that have populated the web in the last several week.

  • KnockKnock

    Just remember that the changes affect Google Play, not Android at large. These guidelines have nothing to do with the 27 other app stores that have not restricted push ads, for example. It's my understanding that inventories for these particular ads are actually growing in a lot of markets. So its really important for advertisers to understand this and review the actual revised guidelines as opposed to just reading some of the confusing or misleading articles and blogs that have populated the web in the last several week

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