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:
- Kika Keyboard - Cool Fonts, Emoji, Emoticon,GIF: because emoji and emoticon both need to be in the title.
- Emoji Keyboard Cute Emoticons - Theme, GIF, Emoji: start with emoji, end with emoji, kids nowadays have a short attention span.
- Facemoji Emoji Keyboard - Cute Emoji,Theme,Sticker: space after a comma? Who needs that?!
- YouCam Perfect - Photo Editor & Selfie Camera App: now there's enough to stick a "selfie" in there, great!
- PicsArt Photo Studio: Collage Maker & Pic Editor: use ALLTHESYNONYMS!
- DU GIF Maker: GIF Maker, Video to GIF & GIF Editor: two "GIF Maker," one "GIF Editor," and one more "GIF" for good measure.
- Tinder - Match. Chat. Meet. Modern Dating.: Tinder needs a few more characters to add "Yuck. Swipe Left."
- World Series of Poker - Texas Hold'em Poker: thank goodness they explained what it was after the column - I had no idea!
- APUS Launcher-Themes&Wallpapers, Boost, Hide Apps: because Boost is likely why you're getting APUS.
And I couldn't possibly write this list without mentioning this gem:
- Clean Master- Space Cleaner & Antivirus & Free Ram,
- which reminded me to send another RIP to this: QuickPic - Photo Gallery with Google Drive Support,
- and that lead me to this tragedy: Fs File Manager - File Master & File Hub &Explorer. File this under stupid, thrice.
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.