What you need to know
- Google is now taking more time to perform a thorough review before approving new apps for the Play Store.
- The change has reportedly been made to protect users from malicious apps.
- Developers can no longer schedule the release of their apps.
Google has silently made a few significant changes to the review process for approving new apps for the Play Store. All developers who submit new apps for approval will now have to wait longer as Google has confirmed that it is now taking at least three days to review new app submissions. This is being done to better protect users.
The changes were discovered by Choice of Games when submitting its newest game to the Play Store. When Choice of Games contacted to Google support regarding the changes, they confirmed that all new apps that are submitted for approval will now be greeted with a warning banner saying "To help better protect our users, we'll take more time to thoroughly review your app."
Responding to the blog post by Choice of Games, Jacob Lehrbaum from the Android Developer team clarified on Reddit that the changes will affect only some developers. For established developers, the review process is apparently still "quite fast".
He added that developers can still schedule the release of their new apps by first publishing the app to a closed testing track ahead of the desired publishing date. They can then use the Time Publishing feature to move the app from the alpha track into production. Unfortunately, Google does not offer any way to expedite the review process currently, even for established developers.
While developers may be slightly disappointed by these new changes, it may prove helpful in reducing the number of malicious apps on the Play Store. Google recently pulled down 85 adware-laden photography and gaming apps after they were discovered by security researchers at Trend Micro. A longer review process will make it much more difficult for such apps to be listed on the Play Store.
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