Google Play Store will throw the ban hammer on copycat apps and some in-app ads

Joe Hindy / Android Authority


  • The Google Play Store is making some consumer positive changes to its app and game policies.
  • One change will ban copycat apps and games that are made to look like other popular apps.
  • Another change will ban apps that generate interstitial ads that pop up without warning.

If you download apps from the Google Play Store, you may have encountered and complained about some annoying issues, such as apps that keep generating ads, or apps and games that are made to look like popular apps. It looks like Google has heard those complaints and are making some policy changes to the Play Store, (via 9to5Google) to get rid of these kinds of apps.

google play store apps policy

One change, which goes into effect on August 31, will ban apps that are made to look like other apps with their names, logos, or icons. Google stated, “We don’t allow apps that mislead users by impersonating someone else (for example, another developer, company, entity) or another app.” They also posted some examples of these kind of copycat apps and logos that won’t be allowed in the Play Store in a few weeks.

Another big change, which will go into effect on September 30, will ban full-screen interstitial ads that appear “unexpectedly, typically when the user has chosen to do something else.” That will include ads that show up during the beginning of playing a game, or before an app’s loading screen. Also, all interstitial ads in apps must be closable in 15 seconds or less in order to be allowed in the Play Store. Google also posted some examples of the kinds of in-app ads that won’t be allowed after September 30.

There are several other Play Store policy changes that are going into effect over the coming weeks and months. Many of them are developer-oriented, but some may affect consumer apps. One of them, which will go into effect on August 31, will ban apps that offer “misleading health claims that contradict existing medical consensus, or that can cause harm to users.” Also, starting September 30, Google says that all apps that offer subscriptions must allow users “to easily cancel their subscriptions from within the app.”

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