Google has announced new measures to ensure the quality and security of Android apps on its Google Play store. The company is introducing stricter requirements for app testing, account verification, and app listing for developers who want to publish their apps on Google Play.
Starting soon, developers with newly created Play Console accounts will need to test their app with at least 20 people for a minimum of 2 weeks prior to production release. This testing period will allow developers to identify issues, gather user feedback, and improve quality before public launch.
Google says this will help developers create better experiences for users, which could translate to higher Play Store ratings and more downloads. Developers can use Google Play’s app-testing tools, such as internal testing, closed testing, or open testing, to distribute their apps to testers and collect feedback.
Developers with existing Play Console accounts are not affected by this change, but Google encourages them to use app testing as a best practice to ensure app quality and user satisfaction.
Account Verification Requirements
Google Play is also rolling out the expanded verification requirements it first announced for new developers earlier this year to existing accounts. The verification process involves providing contact information, proof of identity, and proof of address.
Google says this will help prevent fraud and abuse on Google Play, and protect users from harmful apps and developers. The verification process will also help developers build trust with users and access more features and benefits on Google Play.
“We know that developers of different types and sizes have different priorities, and that it might take some developers longer to verify than others,” Google says. “Because of this, we’re allowing you to choose your own deadline by which to complete account verification.”
Developers can pick a deadline in the Play Console, but slots will be on a first-come, first-served basis, so Google is urging devs to pick one soon. Those who don’t choose a deadline before February 29, 2024, will have one automatically assigned.
App Listing Requirements
On tap for next year, meanwhile, are “new signifiers to app listings to help users find what they’re looking for, starting with a badge identifying official government apps.” Google says this will help users distinguish between official and unofficial apps, and avoid potential scams or misinformation.
Google also plans to introduce more app listing requirements in the future, such as requiring developers to provide more information about their app’s functionality, content, and target audience. Google says this will help users make informed decisions about downloading and using apps, and improve app discovery and engagement.
Google says these new measures are part of its ongoing efforts to improve the quality and security of Android apps on Google Play, and to support the developer community. Google says it will provide more details and guidance on these changes in the coming months.