Ensuring high-quality apps on Google Play

Posted by Kobi Gluck, Director of Product Management, Google Play

Every day, Google Play helps billions of people around the world discover engaging, helpful, and enriching experiences on their devices. Maintaining consistently high app quality across these experiences is our top priority, which is why we continuously invest in new tools, features, and programs to help developers deliver the best apps and games.

Previously, we’ve highlighted our efforts to amplify the highest-quality apps on Google Play, as well as steer users away from lower-quality ones. Today, we’re sharing an update on this work and introducing some new policies and programs to boost app quality across the platform and connect people with experiences they’ll love, wherever they are, on whatever device they’re using.

Helping existing developers comply with our updated verification requirements

Earlier this year, we announced that all developers must meet an expanded set of verification requirements before publishing apps on Google Play, to help users make informed choices, prevent the spread of malware, and reduce fraud. We’ve already rolled out the requirements for developers creating new Play Console developer accounts.

Today, we’re sharing how developers with existing accounts can complete these verifications to comply with the updated Play Console requirements policy. We know that developers of different types and sizes have different priorities, and that it might take some developers longer to verify than others. Because of this, we’re allowing you to choose your own deadline by which to complete account verification.

Starting today, you can choose your preferred deadline in Play Console. Deadlines are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so choose your deadline early to guarantee a timeframe that works for you. If you don’t choose a deadline before February 29, 2024, we’ll assign one for you automatically.

Screenshot of 'choose your preferred account verification deadline now' prompt in Google Play Console

Required app testing for all new personal developer accounts

Developers who regularly use Play’s app testing tools before publishing release higher-quality apps and games, which can lead to higher ratings and more success on Google Play. In fact, apps that use our testing tools have on average 3 times the amount of app installs and user engagement compared to those that don’t.

To help developers reap these benefits, developers with newly created personal Play Console accounts will soon be required to test their apps with at least 20 people for a minimum of two weeks before applying for access to production. This will allow developers to test their app, identify issues, get feedback, and ensure that everything is ready before they launch. Developers who create new personal developer accounts will start seeing this requirement in Play Console in the coming days.

Increased investment in app review

As more developers use new technologies in their mobile apps, apps on Play are becoming more sophisticated — but so are abuse methodologies. To ensure we continue to provide a safe and trusted experience, our global review teams now spend more time assessing new apps to make sure they provide a valuable user experience that does not deceive or defraud users, either via the app or off-Play activity, and complies with our policies.

While we do not anticipate significant changes to our overall app review timelines, it may take us longer to review a small portion of apps, such as apps designed for children or that request certain device permissions. These deeper reviews help ensure that users are engaging in safe and trusted experiences through Google Play.

Connecting users to great, trustworthy apps

Given the global reach and regional diversity of the Android ecosystem, it’s important that every Play user can easily discover the best content for their needs and not be limited to a single recommendation. To continue providing great content for users that rewards developer investment in quality, we’ve already begun:

    • Providing users with information on whether an app may not perform as well on their device, including phones, large screens, and wearables and
    • Surfacing more high-quality local and regional content

Next year, we’ll add new signifiers to app listings to help users find what they’re looking for, starting with a badge identifying official government apps.

All of these changes are designed to help connect people with safe, high-quality, useful, and relevant experiences they’ll love, wherever they are and on whatever device they’re using. Thank you for your ongoing investment in the quality of your user experiences. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the platform that helps you supercharge your growth and success.

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