Google Cracking Down on Spam and Scams With New Play Retailer Guidelines

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A lot of the Android malware scares we hear about originate in shady third-party marketplaces, however that doesn’t imply there’s nothing suspicious within the Play Retailer. Google has introduced a collection of modifications to make the apps safer and fewer annoying for customers. The truth is, one of many first strikes will restrict how lengthy intrusive video adverts might be. 

The primary change gained’t be instantly obvious to customers, nevertheless it may have a constructive impression in your battery. On July 31, Google will start imposing stricter limits on the usage of actual alarms. An “alarm” on this context is a set off that wakes up your gadget so it may carry out a process. Any apps concentrating on the newest model of Android might want to use the brand new USE_EXACT_ALARM permission if they should wake your cellphone from a low-power state directly. Nevertheless, solely apps that actually want this, like timers and occasion notifications, will probably be allowed to take action. 

Beginning Sept. 30, builders must restrict the size of full-screen video adverts. These are a standard characteristic in free apps, which insert the movies between ranges (if you happen to’re fortunate) or proper in the midst of gameplay (if you happen to’re not). Going ahead, these adverts have to be dismissable after not more than 15 seconds. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re utilizing an app that allows you to watch movies to unlock content material or options, these adverts might be longer. 

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On the finish of August, Google will implement plenty of modifications aimed toward bettering safety and security. For one, the brand new impersonation pointers imply apps gained’t be capable to use deceptive icons that make them look like affiliated with governments or organizations. Google gives a number of examples of icons that will probably be forbidden after the change. Google will even ban apps that “contradict present medical consensus” and hurt customers. 

One other August coverage change is one thing I’m stunned Google didn’t ban a very long time in the past. Android helps a characteristic known as FLAG_SECURE, which permits builders to point an app has delicate data and shouldn’t enable screenshots. That is widespread for streaming and banking apps. Google will now not allow apps that try and bypass this characteristic to file content material on the display screen. The lone exception is display screen reader accessibility instruments. 

Lastly, Google is cracking down on VPN apps within the Play Retailer. Starting on Aug. 31, apps within the Play Retailer is not going to be allowed to entry the VPN performance of Android if they’re amassing private data, manipulating visitors, or manipulating adverts. Google will nonetheless enable some exceptions like apps for parental management, app utilization monitoring, and community evaluation instruments. Nevertheless, there’s some concern this might have an effect on legitimate, privacy-preserving options like DuckDuckGo’s app monitoring prevention. Even when that’s not the intention, Google’s app reviewers typically apply the principles with little regard for it.

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