What you need to know
- Google has updated its Play Store policies to crack down on app listings that mislead users.
- The policy change is expected to be enforced sometime later this year.
- Any app that doesn't comply with the new policies will be removed from the Play Store.
Google's Play Store is filled with thousands of great apps and games. However, there are also a ton of apps on the store with misleading titles and catchy icons. Google has now announced a new policy change that will require app listings to include only precise and meaningful information.
Google says its goal with the new policy change is to ensure developers keep their app metadata "recognizable and unique." App titles will now be limited to 30 characters, and developers will be prohibited from including graphic elements to promote the app or indicate its ranking.
Additionally, special character sequences and emojis will also no longer be allowed in app titles. Apps that fail to meet the policy changes will get booted from the Play Store. While Google hasn't revealed exactly when the policy change will come into effect, it has promised to share more details later this year.
In addition to cracking down on misleading app titles, Google has rolled out new guidelines for store listing preview assets — including graphics, screenshots, videos, and short descriptions. All preview assets must "accurately represent the app or game" and include adequate information to help users decide whether or not they should install it. They must also be free from buzzwords such as "free" and "best."
Apps that violate these new guidelines might not be eligible for "promotion and recommendation on Google Play surfaces like Apps and Games home." The new guidelines are set to come into effect in the second half of the year.
The 'Scapes games (among others) are known for their video ads that misrepresent gameplay. While it's good to see Google cracking down on this sort of thing on the Play Store, it won't stop the ads from showing up elsewhere.
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