Coronavirus causing Google Play staff shortages, will delay app review times by a week

Google Play Store Moto Hero
Google Play Store Moto Hero (Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google typically takes around three days for app reviews.
  • With shortage, those reviews can take a week or longer.
  • These extended review periods are being triggered due to staffing changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ripples from the COVID-19 pandemic keep coming. After Google removed all apps related to the coronavirus in the Play Store, now app reviews are going to be extended as well.

Android Police first reported that developers are being greeted with a notification that the review of their app can take seven days or longer. This review period will apply to all new apps and updates that trigger a manual review. Previously, Google had what was known as a "buffer period" that was of at least three days, though it could be up to seven days in exceptional cases.

Unfortunately, there isn't a clear cut reason as to what may trigger a review to an app that is getting an update. New apps get reviewed regardless of the category they fit into. However, specific categories of apps, such as one that targets children, do get reviewed. Sometimes an app can be triggered for a manual review for a seemingly random reason, and this could be part of quality control.

Google is noting that the cause for this additional time needed for reviews is due to staffing changes the company is dealing with in response to the coronavirus outbreak. A spokesperson from Google gave a statement on this change:

Due to adjusted work schedules at this time, we are currently experiencing longer than usual review times. While the situation is currently evolving, app review times may fluctuate, and may take 7 days or longer.

As this policy goes into effect, users may see updates to their installed apps slow a bit as its changes may have triggered a review.

Chris Wedel
Smart Home Writer
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.