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

Google has announced new guidelines for Play Store apps, and as per these, apps will no longer be able to carry titles or preview assets that misrepresent its intent or use.

twitter-logoSarthak Dogra | April 30, 2021 | Updated 12:22 IST
(Image: Unsplash/ Daniel Romero)

Highlights

  • New Play Store guidelines have been announced by Google.
  • The policies will protect Play Store users from apps that misrepresent information.
  • The updated policies will ban any app not following the protocols going forward.

Google has announced new guidelines for the presence of Android apps on its Play Store. The new policies aim to remove any misleading information imparted through an app listing to the Play Store users.

The yet-to-come policy changes are focused on the information associated with an app, including the app title, its icon as well as the name of the developer. The guidelines identify these as the "most important discovery elements" for apps on Play Store.

New guidelines for Play Store app titles

Starting with app titles, Google clarifies that it will not allow certain indications of rankings and promotions on the names of the app going forward. This includes the common practice of identifying an app as "#1 on Play Store" or "top app" or even promotional indicators like "free" or "sale."

In addition, Play Store apps will not be allowed to have misleading elements in the title. An example of this may be understood as apps 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 calls for it, like that of PUBG. Google will also limit the length of app titles to 30 characters.

Monitoring preview elements

Some Play Store apps might be seen with misleading preview assets, which are, in fact, supposed to provide an accurate depiction of the app and its functionality. These preview assets include screenshots, trailers and more information of the app provided on the app page on the Play Store.

Under its new guidelines, Google says that it will crackdown on apps that don't follow these protocols.

The violations may include the depiction of performance indicators or promotional words like "free" or "sale" in the preview assets. It will also apply to misrepresentation of the app or its functions as well as a lack of information provided through these assets. Google will also check if these preview assets are localised correctly and are easy to read or not.

Any app found to be violating these guidelines will be excluded for "promotion and recommendation on major Google Play surfaces" starting in the second half of 2021. In short, these apps will not be allowed to exist on Google Play Store in the near future. Google will provide more updates on these guidelines at a later date.

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