Google has said all apps developed for Google Play are now vetted “to protect the community and improve the app catalogue” by a team responsible for identifying violations of its developer policies early on in the app lifecycle.
This is simliar to Apple’s apps policy and a change from Google’s previous strategy where apps could almost be published immediately. However, Google stressed the rollout will “continue to help developers get their products to market within a matter of hours after submission, rather than days or weeks.”
The company has rolled out changes to how it handles publishing status so that developers have more insight into why apps are rejected or suspended, and can fix and resubmit apps for minor policy violations.
Google has also introduced a new age-based rating system for apps and games. Developers now need to complete a content rating questionnaire for each of their apps and games to receive content ratings.
“This change will give developers an easy way to communicate familiar and locally relevant content ratings to their users and help improve app discovery and engagement by letting people choose content that is right for them,” Eunice Kim, product manager for Google Play, wrote in a blog post.
Starting in May, users will see the existing Google Play rating scale replaced with their locally relevant rating using Google Play’s new rating system.
Content that is not allowed includes apps that facilitate real gambling, hate speech and apps that publish or share user location.
Kim also wrote that, over the past year, Google has paid more than $7 billion to developers “and is excited to see the ecosystem grow and innovate.”
“We’ll continue to build tools and services that foster this growth and help the developer community build successful businesses,” she added.
Last month, BlackBerry also updated the criteria it uses to vet apps distributed via BlackBerry World.