App publishers and users should be aware of a few things. The new Play Store policy will be implemented in the next few months. Keeping developers comfortable with new emojis, keeping kids safe while interacting with others, and providing details on where certain apps might appear.
The new rules announced today will be implemented in three phases.
December 1, 2021
In the first batch to be implemented, the Play Store will have the right to prevent apps from appearing in certain areas, especially if it is deemed to contain inappropriate sexual content and/or profanity. In general, geo-restrictions will become a common enforcement tool for other issues that Google deems necessary, such as copyright issues. This is separate from completely removing your app’s visibility, which can only be accessed by someone who has the app’s Play Store link. The only option is to implement the current policy. Updates will no longer be delivered to existing users in excluded regions, but the app will still be available.
It also notes a ban on apps published by dangerous movements or organizations that “encourage participation, preparation or accountability in acts of violence against civilians”. Anyone publishing apps that praise these methods for educational, documentary, satirical or artistic purposes should include relevant context.
February 2, 2022
If your app contains code that downloads something called Mobile Unwanted Software (MUwS), the publisher must remove the code. These hostile downloader codes can be identified based on the suspicion that the behavior is primarily to download MUwS, or if among the apps downloaded by the code based on at least 500 observed downloads. At least 5% are considered MUwS. This puts some third-party app stores at risk of being compromised.
Also, from now on, apps running on Android 12 and above must support the latest Unicode emoji library within 4 months of their public release. This will solve the emoji problem that some users with some apps find behind the curve.
Developer: If you’re using AppCompat, flick the Emoji toggle. For apps with views that use StaticLayout, make sure EmojiCompat is applied to all surfaces. Or you can update it manually. New emoji versions are usually released every spring and fall, and the latest versions are: September 7 Emoticons 14.0.
April 1, 2022
Publishers of apps targeting children that include social interaction content rating questionnaire elements. These apps should make users aware of the dangers of social interaction and provide safety tips. The bottom line is that children need mature guidance before sharing personal information. If the app in question is not a social networking app, but still has social interaction features, you should restrict it or allow adults to turn it…