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Jun 18 2021
Google announced a new set of policies to ensure app metadata and store listing preview assets are unique and showcase an app’s features accurately to drive meaningful downloads.
The policy change to app metadata will come into effect later this year and applies to icons, titles, and developer names and focuses on:
The new guidelines for store listing preview assets (feature graphics, videos, screenshots, and short descriptions) will go into effect starting in the second half of 2021. they require:
One of the most drastic changes ASO experts will have to consider is the new character limit for app titles. Under the new guidelines, titles must be under 30 characters as opposed to the current 50 character limit. This may pose a challenge as apps attempt to keep their high ranking positions for keywords that may need to be removed from the title.
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Since your app title, icon, and developer name are the most important discovery elements on your store listing page, we are preparing to launch a new set of policies to keep these elements recognizable and unique, focusing on:
App title, icon and developer name that do not meet the upcoming policies will not be allowed on Google Play. You can expect more details about this policy change, including enforcement start dates, later this year.
We recommend reviewing the examples of do and don’t below and thinking about how these changes may impact you, so you can get ready for the upcoming policy changes.
Store performance or rank:
Price and promotional information:
Play programs and graphic elements that mislead users:
Emoticons & repeated or sequential special characters and or punctuations:
We are also announcing new store listing preview asset guidelines for the feature graphics, screenshots, videos, and short descriptions you supply to showcase your app's features and functionality. Assets that don’t meet our guidelines may be ineligible for promotion and recommendation on major Google Play surfaces like Apps and Games home.
The new guideline for developer supplied assets focus on the following principles:
Do the preview assets accurately represent the app or game?
Do the preview assets provide enough information to help users decide whether to install?
Are the preview assets free of buzzwords like "free" or "best" and instead focus on providing meaningful information about the unique aspects of your app or game?
Are the preview assets localized correctly and easy to read?
To ensure that your apps and games are eligible for recommendations on all surfaces on Google Play, please review our new store listing guidelines. We’ll start using these guidelines to inform our recommendations starting in the second half of 2021.
We hope you found both the policy pre-announcement and preview asset guideline announcement useful as you plan your roadmap for the year, and we hope you share in our excitement for a more useful and engaging Play Store.
Here are some tips to help with location information permission approval:
In 2020, Google released a new location information policy that aims to increase transparency about relevant behavior and limit access to location data, especially in the background.
Your application should not request access to location information in the background unless it is absolutely necessary.
Before requesting permission to obtain location information in the background, please check yourself with the following questions:
Is this feature important for the core purpose of the application?
Can your app provide the same experience without the ability to get location information in the background?
Does the feature bring obvious value to the user?
Do users want the app to get their location information in the background?
Understand the location permission policy. If your app needs to use device location data controlled by location permissions, you may want to understand the location permissions policy.
Review the checklist for obtaining location information in the backend and check if the code contains anything that may obtain location information. Note that you are also responsible for all data requested and used by third-party SDKs used in your application.
Evaluate the requested permissions and look at alternatives to minimize the use of location information. Do not request location permissions if your app can fulfill its purpose without requesting any location data.
Review in-app disclosures that explain to users how your app will use location information. Always make sure this disclosure statement is displayed first before triggering a feature that requires location permissions.
Check your item details to ensure that users can reasonably guess that your app will always use their location data.
As of August 2021, new apps will need to be:
Publish using the Android App Bundle format.
Use Play Asset Delivery or Play Feature Delivery to submit downloads of resources or features over 150MB in size. For new apps, extended files (OBB) are no longer supported.
Target API level 30 (Android 11) or higher and adjust for behavior changes.
Starting in November 2021 for existing apps:
All updates target API level 30 or higher and are tuned for behavior changes in Android 11.
Existing apps that do not receive the update will not be affected, and users can continue to download them from the Play Store.
Google Play is committed to helping all developers succeed.
We want to make it easier for developers to innovate and grow their businesses on Play.
Starting July 1, 2021, we're reducing the service fee to 15 percent of the first $1 million in annual revenue.
All developers will be eligible for the benefits of this change, regardless of annual revenue.
The service fee will be cut in half for 99 percent of developers worldwide who earn revenue from Play.
To help you optimize your app publishing experience, please refer to the following best practices and pointers:
While some of the app review process is certainly automated, most of the dispositions for violations affecting your app have been manually evaluated.
It is best to plan ahead and allow at least 7 days for app review and release.
Self-managed publishing mode helps you know when:
This way, you can submit changes well in advance of the expected release date to give yourself time to review or implement changes.
Notify app review team in advance
The app review team can receive advance notice of upcoming app or product detail release events.
To avoid having your app disposed of in violation of the IPR policy, please be sure to use the advance notification feature provided by Play Management Center and submit an IPR license statement when publishing your app.
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