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developer policy center

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Google to more closely monitor SMS and phone permissions of apps on Play Store

The Play Store may be packed with content, but there are some pretty strict rules in place when it comes to the things apps distributed by Google can do, and once in a while those rules are refreshed or tweaked. Starting this month, Google has refined its Developer Program Policies to include limits to call log and SMS permission access, explicit prohibitions against surveillance and "commercial spyware apps," and new Android Contacts API restrictions.

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Google updates Play Store developer policies, provides additional information on malicious behavior, ratings manipulation, and more

Google's policy for developers on Google Play has been updated recently to include a few new changes. It has revised both the Malicious Behavior policy and the Ratings Reviews, and Installs policy, as well as introduced additional policy requirements for Instant Apps distribution. To make things easy, Google also has some new tips on how developers can stay on the right side of its policies in the future.

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Google updates Play Store developer policy with examples of text, images, and videos that will get your app taken down

According to the Google Play developer content policy, Google wants to build "the world's most trusted store for apps and games." With this in mind, the company has updated the developer policy with examples of things that will get your app removed from the store, such as sexually explicit material, excessive graphic violence, or use of drugs, plus some 'metadata' app listing items which are now not allowed.

The listing is an important part of how an app is promoted to customers. With this update, Google presumably wants to try and take away some of the more 'clickbait' listings that it deems unsuitable, or in the case of wholly inappropriate content, which we've copied and pasted below, remove completely.

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Google Explicitly Bans Ad Blockers From The Play Store, Except All Those Ad-Blocking Web Browsers, Apparently

Google has a brand-new website for content policy on the Play Store that it unveiled today, and that's nice, but nestled away in that news was a far more interesting story regarding ad blockers. Google has long enforced a de facto ban on ad blockers on the Play Store, citing section 4.4 of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, going all the way back to 2013.

This involved a rather convoluted interpretation of a vague policy forbidding apps from interfering with third-party apps or services, but it's the official justification Google has used to date. Now, a new update to the Play Store Developer Policy Center (formerly Google Play Developer Program Policies) makes it clear via an example interpretation of said policy: no ad blockers.

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