updated 06:58 pm EDT, Sat August 24, 2013
Google tightens Play Store app rules
Google has issued new rules limiting what Play Store apps can do with regard to in-app payments, app interactions, and other features. The new guidance on app behavior calls for developers to modify their apps for compliance within 30 days. Those developers not complying within that time frame will find their apps subject to removal from the Play Store. Newly submitted apps are automatically subject to the new rules.
Google's new rules stipulate that titles in the Play Store cannot modify settings or other apps without explicit user permission. Additionally, apps cannot install bookmarks or icons directing users to a third-party service.
With regard to in-app purchases, Google now requires that such transactions go through its own billing service. Cutting out alternative billing options will likely ensure greater revenues for the Play Store, as in-app purchases are an increasingly popular means for developers to monetize their apps.
Putting tighter rules on Play Store app functions will likely help Google to improve the quality of its app repository in comparison to Apple's "walled garden" App Store. Recent weeks have seen multiple apps exploiting Android vulnerabilities to malicious ends. A number of Chinese apps were discovered last month to have the capability of remotely controlling devices, stealing contact information, and sending premium SMS messages.