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Since the launch of Google Play and the Android Market before it, apps submitted have always been automatically tested before being made available – it’s part of what some describe as an attraction for Android, but Google has announced that this has now ended. On the Android Developers blog Google has announced they will be manually reviewing apps submitted to Google Play, as well as implementing a global content rating system for the Google Play Store.

Developers will now be able to complete a questionnaire for each app submitted that will give allow the apps to be rated according to a wide selection of international classification systems, including the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) and its participating bodies, including the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), Pan-European Game Information (PEGI), Australian Classification Board, Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) and Classificação Indicativa (ClassInd).

The new content rating system is designed to help developers facilitate app discovery, as well as give users a consistent experience, as well as communicate a ‘familiar and locally relevant content ratings’.

Today we’re introducing a new age-based rating system for apps and games on Google Play. We know that people in different countries have different ideas about what content is appropriate for kids, teens and adults, so today’s announcement will help developers better label their apps for the right audience.

Developers are being asked to submit the questionnaire for each app they already have or risk having the app being marked as ‘unrated’ and therefore be blocked in certain territories or for specific users.

Google also announced that they have also begun manually reviewing apps submitted to Google Play. The work they said had begun ‘several months ago’. Google has advised that this is to ‘better protect the community and improve the app catalog’. Apps are reviewed to make sure that the Google Developer Policies aren’t violated and will apparently improve app submission times.

An improvement in the process includes Google notifying developers of why an app has been rejected, allowing developers to re-submit after resolving those issues. Google has been criticised heavily previously for being uncontactable regarding apps removal or rejection from Google Play so this should hopefully resolve those issues.

Whether you love the new policies – or hate them, Google Play can no longer be described as the Wild West, it’s a new way of thinking for Google. Google has been reviewing apps for several months now and no-one has really noticed before now, so perhaps it won’t be too bad, only time will tell.

Source: Android Developers.
    11 Comments
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    David Mcmillan
    David Mcmillan
    5 years ago

    They should do something about the app creators who never respond to our emails when we have problems with their apps.

    Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson
    Reply to  David Mcmillan
    5 years ago

    I do hope you mean the apps you have paid for.

    JeniSkunk
    JeniSkunk
    Reply to  Brian Robinson
    5 years ago

    It’s ALL apps, Brian.
    Paid, and free.
    Don’t forget that several months back Google added a requirement for app devs to supply valid contactable ID, and for the devs to include that in the info page for their apps.

    When app devs fail to respond, Google needs to know. So we, the app users, need a way to let Google know this.

    Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson
    Reply to  JeniSkunk
    5 years ago

    As below….

    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    5 years ago

    This is great. Now they need to fix the app review section. People just 1 starring for menial reasons. It hurts developers.

    JeniSkunk
    JeniSkunk
    Reply to  ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    5 years ago

    Another part of fixing the reviews on the Play Store is nuking all the ‘reviews’ which are merely star ratings with no actual review content.

    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    Reply to  JeniSkunk
    5 years ago

    Agreed. It’s becoming quite ridiculous.

    JeniSkunk
    JeniSkunk
    5 years ago

    Google should expand this app review system to also ‘encourage’ app devs to fix their apps which do not play nice with landscape mode.

    Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson
    Reply to  JeniSkunk
    5 years ago

    Getting feedback and a constructive review can sometimes be enough. A lot of the free apps on the store are just one person who may not have the time to go back and fix it. Maybe if people on the Android system got used to actually paying for apps the quality might improve.

    JeniSkunk
    JeniSkunk
    Reply to  Brian Robinson
    5 years ago

    I’ve tried leaving polite, constructive, reviews, and those were met with silence.

    So now, when I encounter apps which do not play nice with landscape, I am no longer nice and polite in my reviews, I knock down the rating I give their app, and make it clear why. Such reviews are also met with silence.

    Brian Robinson
    Brian Robinson
    Reply to  JeniSkunk
    5 years ago

    Problem is… the internet is a very anonymous place. You don’t know what is going on in that person’s life. Maybe your polite constructive review went to a person who is going through difficult times… Doesn’t mean the next person doesn’t deserve some common courtesy for their hard work that they are generally not asking you to pay for.