Google is enforcing new Play Store rules to combat spam and scams.

Google is enforcing new Play Store rules to combat spam and scams.

However, it doesn’t imply there aren’t any dodgy apps in the Play Store. The majority of the Android malware scares we read about come from dubious third-party marketplaces. In order to make the apps for users safer and less bothersome, Google has announced a number of improvements. In fact, limiting the length of invasive video ads will be one of the first steps.

Users won’t notice the first modification right away, although it might improve battery life. Google will start implementing additional restrictions on the use of precise alerts as of July 31. In this context, a “alarm” is a trigger that awakens your gadget to do a task. If an app that targets the most recent version of Android needs to immediately wake your phone from a low-power state, it must use the new USE EXACT ALARM permission. Only those apps, such timers and event notifications, that actually need this will be permitted to do this.

Developers must set a maximum length for full-screen video advertising as of September 30. These are a typical feature in free apps, and they inject the movies either in the middle of the gameplay (if you’re unlucky) or in between stages (if you’re not). These advertisements must now be able to be skipped after no more than 15 seconds. However, those adverts may be lengthier if you’re using an app that requires you to view videos in order to access certain information or features.

Google will put into effect a number of improvements towards the end of August that are meant to enhance security and safety. For starters, the new impersonation guidelines prevent apps from using deceptive iconography that give the impression that they are connected to institutions of power or organizations. Google provides a few samples of the icons that will no longer be allowed following the update. Google will also outlaw applications that “contravene current medical opinion” and endanger users.

I’m amazed Google didn’t outlaw this prior to the August policy update. With the use of the FLAG SECURE feature, which Android supports, developers can specify that a particular app contains sensitive data and shouldn’t permit screenshots. This is typical for banking and streaming applications. Google will no longer allow apps that try to get around this feature to record screen activity. The only exception are accessibility tools for screen readers.

Finally, Google is cracking down on VPN apps in the Play Store. Apps in the Play Store won’t be able to use Android’s VPN feature starting on August 31 if they are capturing user data, modifying traffic, or manipulating advertisements. Google will continue to accept a few exceptions, such as tools for network analysis and parental control, app usage tracking, and other apps. There are also worries, meanwhile, that this might have an impact on useful, privacy-preserving features like DuckDuckGo’s ability to block app monitoring. Even if it isn’t the intended outcome, Google’s app reviewers frequently disregard it when applying the guidelines.

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