Google to remove Android apps with misleading names and graphics from the Play Store

Google has announced new guidelines for Play Store apps, and in accordance with these, apps will no longer be able to carry titles or preview material that distorts its intent or use.

(Image: Unsplash / Daniel Romero)

STRONG POINTS

  • The new Play Store guidelines were announced by Google.
  • The policies will protect Play Store users from apps that distort information.
  • The updated policies will ban any applications that violate protocols in the future.

Google has announced new guidelines for the presence of Android applications on its Play Store. The new policies aim to remove any misleading information transmitted through a list of apps to users of the Play Store.

Upcoming policy changes focus on information associated with an application, including the title of the application, its icon, and the name of the developer. The guidelines identify them as the “most important discovery items” for apps on the Play Store.

New guidelines for Play Store app titles

Starting with the titles of the applications, Google clarifies that it will not allow certain indications of ranking and promotions on the names of the application in the future. This includes the common practice of identifying an app as “# 1 in the Play Store” or “best app” or even promotional metrics such as “free” or “sell”.

Additionally, Play Store apps will not be allowed to contain misleading elements in the title. An example of this can be understood as applications displaying “download now” in the title. The use of CAPS, irrelevant special characters or emojis will also be prohibited unless the actual name of the app requires it, such as PUBG’s. Google will also limit the length of app titles to 30 characters.

Monitoring preview items

Some apps from the Play Store may be seen with deceptive preview elements, which are, in fact, meant to provide an accurate description of the app and its functionality. These preview items include screenshots, trailers, and more information about the app provided on the app page on the Play Store.

Under its new guidelines, Google says it will crack down on apps that don’t follow those protocols.

Violations may include the depiction of performance indicators or promotional words such as “free” or “sale” in preview material. This will also apply to the misrepresentation of the application or its functions as well as the lack of information provided through these assets. Google will also check whether these preview items are localized correctly and are easy to read or not.

Any application that does not comply with these guidelines will be excluded for “promotion and recommendation on the main Google Play surfaces” from the second half of 2021. In short, these applications will no longer be authorized to exist on the Google Play Store in the near future. Google will provide more updates on these guidelines at a later date.

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