In the latest update to their Google Play Developer policy, Google has begun advising developers that apps that display ads in the lockscreen, unless that app is for a lockscreen, will no longer be allowed on the Play Store.
The update has been communicated to developers overnight in an email pointing out the change which is now available to view on the Google Play Developer Policy Centre. The exact wording of the ban on lockscreen ads reads:
Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.
It basically ties in with the policy regarding ads within apps which says ‘Ads must only be displayed within the app serving them’. So, unless you’re making a lockscreen app, you can only display ads within your app. Android Police, who first noted the change in policy listed apps including ES File Explorer, Peel, and Hotspot Shield VPN as perpetrators of this shady behaviour.
It’s a good move by Google and a positive one for the user experience. If you didn’t sign up for ads on the lockscreen, or other places you definitely shouldn’t be seeing them. Hopefully offending apps take note and remove the offending code, or Google removes them quickly.