I'm sure there's a legit reason why Google has changed one of its developer policies on the Play Store, but I can't think of any right now. Back in mid-July, it announced in a newsletter to developers that the character limit for app titles has been raised from 30 characters to 50. The change, however, seems to have been in effect even before because Waze changed to a much longer name between June 13 and 14.

Witness the tragedy:

  • "Waze - GPS, Maps & Traffic" => 26 characters, pre-June 14.
  • "Waze - GPS, Maps, Traffic Alerts & Live Navigation" => 50 characters, June 14 and onward.

Now the title fits even less on the screen when you do a search on the Play Store, be it on desktop or mobile. It also has a lot of superfluous descriptors that make the app look more shady than legit. "Pokemon Emoji Keyboard Cute Fun GIFs Photo Filters" anyone? Oh, you think I'm exaggerating? Okay, here we go:

And I couldn't possibly write this list without mentioning this gem:

I can go on and on but the gist is this: you give companies and developers more room to express themselves, and they might use it for legit reasons like expanding GTA to Grand Theft Auto maybe, or they won't know what to do and will still feel obligated to use the extra characters, so they'll come up with silly solutions like repeating "File" 3 times in the name. Remind me again, how exactly is that going to help the app be discovered?

I'm sure this addition is going to make app naming easier in some languages (German and Finnish come to mind), but we all know it's going to be abused in most languages that allow for repetitions and synonyms and desperate blatant search optimizations. Sorry, it's already being abused.