Google Playstore New Rules Will Ban Copycat Apps, In-app ads

Google is taking some drastic steps to ban apps made to look like other apps with names, logos or even the icons. This can actually be annoying when you think you’ve downloaded the actual thing, only to notice that it’s a copycat.

Google said that “We don’t allow apps that mislead users by impersonating someone else (for example, another developer, company, entity) or another app.”

google doodle ban

They also posted some examples of these kinds of copycat apps and logos that won’t be allowed in the Play Store in a few weeks.

Another big change, which will go into effect on September 30, will ban full-screen interstitial ads that appear “unexpectedly, typically when the user has chosen to do something else.”  The new policy tells developers that apps can’t pop up a full-screen ad that won’t let you close it after 15 seconds. There are some exceptions — if you voluntarily choose to watch an ad to get some sort of reward points, or if they pop up during a break in the action, those rules won’t necessarily apply.

There are several other Play Store policy changes that are going into effect over the coming weeks and months. Many of them are developer-oriented, but some may affect consumer apps for example, developers will be required to link to an “easy-to-use, online method” for canceling subscriptions in their app if their app sells subscriptions.

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