The biggest Google Play policy changes coming in 2023
These are all the important changes coming to the operation and policies of Google Play in 2023
The Google Play Store continues to improve, but there are a series of challenges that the application platform has to face: protection of the user and their sensitive data, invasive advertising, false applications… but Google has many of these on its radar. problems and plans to remedy them. These are the main changes that Google will implement in the Play Store policy for developers and users in 2023. Some of them will enter into force this year and others, although with regulations from 2022, are still in the application phase.
Limiting ads to full screen
This is an important change and although its entry into force dates from the end of 2022, you can still find it in some applications. In any case, we hope that this 2023 will be completely eradicated, achieving a better ad experience. limiting ads to full screen (also known as interstitial ads), this annoying window that suddenly takes over everything while you’re using an app or playing a game. This change comes inspired by the Coalition for Better Ads and honestly, it’s about time.
Which full screen ads should disappear? Those that open at the beginning of the content and those that interrupt you in the middle of browsing, an invasive and abusive action for users, who suffer especially in games.
Impersonation is not allowed
This endemic evil of impersonating applications, imitating with similar names, icons and colors to confuse the user and so that I end up installing an app that is not what it appears to be.
Google proposed to take action on the matter as of August 31, not authorizing developers to use icons, descriptions, titles or elements that could be misleading.
The regulatory framework is clear, but now It is time to put it into practice by enforcing the norm on a platform riddled with mimicry and eliminating those who imitate.
No more fake medical advice
Also dated August 31, 2022 is this new policy that prohibits providing medical recommendations that are not aligned with the consensus of the healthcare community, a measure clearly driven by the COVID era and misinformation. Although the pandemic put health at the forefront, there is not only questionable pseudoscientific advice about the coronavirus.
Easier to cancel subscriptions
One of the reasons why many people do not like subscriptions is that it is very easy to sign up and not so easy to unsubscribe, something ideal to make the task more difficult and so that we forget to do it.
So Google bets that all applications that offer a subscription service will have to have a quick and clear way to unsubscribe within the app
However, there has always been a unified way to cancel subscriptions: go to the Play Store settings, in the “Payments and subscriptions” option.
VPNs that do not collect and manipulate data
From November 1, 2022, those VPN applications that want to create a virtual private network will have to meet “new” requirements that prohibit the transfer, redirection and manipulation of datasomething that was taken for granted within its good practices, but if it is legislated for, it will be for a reason.
Be careful because this regulation establishes that VPNs will not be able to manipulate ads or affect the monetization of applications, a measure clearly focused on combating ad blockerssomething that will benefit Google and its advertisers more than the consumer.
Sending sensitive user data without your consent
This measure will come into force on February 15, 2023 and it is surprising that until now it had not been applied: Google prohibits something that it calls stalkerware and which consists of code that collects personal or sensitive data from the user of a device and transmits it to a third party for monitoring purposes.
To make this data transfer effective, will have to be authorized by the userwhich means they will have to inform you and you can say no.
More child protection
already in force, any app that distributes content that facilitates child exploitation or abuse will be removed from the Play Store. Although it seems obvious, it is a great coup to ensure that child trafficking or grooming does not occur within applications downloaded from the Play Store.
Filters to install applications remotely
Image via: Android Police
This update will allow you to browse multiple app libraries for different devices and install them remotely from your Android phone.
This is useful if you have several devices with Android operating system under your belt or want to investigate what you can install later. Thus, it has room for phones, tablets, smart watches, televisions and even your car (if it has Android Auto)
Play Games continues to grow
The Games section was already a good service, both in offerings and in features that allow users to track and compare game progress, achieve goals, and chop up leaderboards, but this year they’re coming. more titles and more control in the mobile gaming experience.
One of the advantages is precisely that you will be able to play built-in titles without having to download anything, filter games by type, save your progress, pick up where you left off and even save images.
Faster and more stable download and installation
google is optimizing download and installation mechanisms, something that can be a decisive factor for certain users. In any case and independently of those of Mountain View, there are other factors such as your internet speed, device configuration or the size and stability of said app.
Stricter rules on data confidentiality
The ‘FLAG_SECURE’ is a display flag that appears in an application’s code to indicate that its user interface contains sensitive data limited certain secure layers within the use of the application.
Well, Google has reinforced it for prevent sensitive information from being screenshotted, viewed on unsecured screens, or shared outside of the app or device. This ‘FLAG_SECURE’ statement can be found in banking applications, legal contracts, medical information, among others.
Photo by Mika Baumeister via Unsplash