Google Play, as you know, is a marketplace for Android applications which reaches more than a billion people worldwide. Developers submit their apps on this marketplace and the app is listed for sale/download without a lengthy review process, up until now.
Google will now review each app before publishing on Play Store
Google disclosed today that for the last several months, the company has been reviewing apps before publishing them in the Play Store. This team of experts identifies violations in developer policies and then takes appropriate actions. This new policy is similar to Apple’s approach, and it basically aims to “protect the community and improve the app catalog.”
Age based-ratings on Play Store
Separately, Google announced the roll out of a new age-based rating system for games and apps on the Google Play store in a blog post. Google has teamed up with independent groups such as the ESRB, PEGI, USK, ClassInd and the Australian Classification Board. Territories which are not covered by any specific ratings authority will display an age-based, generic rating.
Previously, developers were able to assign ratings themselves, but now they will need to complete the new rating questionnaire for each app. Apps without a completed rating questionnaire will be marked as “Unrated” and may be blocked in certain territories or for specific users. Starting fin May, all new apps and updates to existing apps will require this questionnaire to be filled out prior to being published on the Google Play store.
Google says that in the past year, the company has paid $7 billion to developers. The Play store is certainly booming, and with the app reviewing process and content rating, it is clearly on the right track. These steps will ensure that users are protected from harmful apps, and that users know what ages are appropriate for a particular app.