KEY POINTS

  • Google will clamp down on spammy apps with new policies for developers later this year
  • Developers will need to create proper app names as they will be limited to 30 characters
  • Android owners will no longer be misled into downloading apps that do not serve the right purpose

For most Android phone owners, spammy apps have been a problem for a while now. Efforts have been made to pin them down, but a new initiative by Google may help address this issue soon.

There are over 2.5 million apps on the Google Play Store, a result of developers trying to compete with others. However, some have apps that mislead users into getting them and fail to live up to expectations, usually for monetary gain.

Aware of this, Google is now putting its foot down and will enforce a new policy later this year to resolve the issue. The new guidelines are available at the Android Developers blog and can be read here.

It will be interesting to see which apps will be covered. As an example, a fictional travel app called Crane could be one of them, something that is not permissible. Rather than use the familiar SEO-related means to make sure they are found on search engines, developers will need a precise and on-point title for it to be accepted.

The move could become a problem to some, especially those using SEO to ramp up their app’s popularity. Aside from using familiar and popular search terms like “top” or “best,” developers will also have to find another alternative when some promotional tags are added to their app. The most popular word used is “free,” something that would immediately lead users to download them. The twist is that it is a different story once the app is installed and used.

Lastly, emojis are something most are familiar with, and some developers have resorted to using them to make their application unique. This will no longer be allowed once the new guidelines are enforced on the Google Play Store.

As for the length of the name of the app, Google will also limit app titles to just 30 characters. Most know that using keywords is a recourse of developers, another reason to make them stand out when searched.

To some, these are basic changes, but they will help make sure that rightful apps are procured by users. The strategy may help, but there are more things to ponder on the part of Google. Regardless, this initiative should help in making sure that the appropriate apps are downloaded and help safeguard phone owners from apps that do not readily serve their purpose.

South Korea has launched an antitrust probe into Google over its plan to enforce its 30-percent Play Store commission by disallowing any apps circumventing its payment system South Korea has launched an antitrust probe into Google over its plan to enforce its 30-percent Play Store commission by disallowing any apps circumventing its payment system Photo: AFP / DENIS CHARLET