Google has come up with a new app approval process for the developers who wish to upload their apps on the Play Store. Before publishing the apps on the store, the developers need to get the apps ready, test them and prepare all the promotional materials.
The changes to the Play Store policies will affect every Android developer and they now have to wait for the apps to be approved by Google after submitting the app on the store.
Android App Publishing Process
The Android developers need to be aware about the changes made in the app store in order to improve the quality of apps in the Google’s market.
The Android market of applications has reached a million people in around 200 countries and has differentiated itself from Apple by allowing developers to upload their apps on the app store without any review process.
Publishing the app
It is a general process that makes the Android apps available to the users. The developer needs to perform certain tasks while publishing the app.
- Preparing application for release
It is a multi-step process and allows the developer to configure the application for release. They need to build, sign and test the release version of the app. They also need to make sure that the application resources are updated and included with the application.
- Releasing the application to the users
The app can be released through an app marketplace called Google Play. But the developers can also get the users to download their app directly from their own website as well.
They may also release it through an email as well, but the users mostly avoid downloading apps from the unknown sources.
Policies and agreements
The Android developer need to follow the program policies set by Google that are accepted while registering.
You need to make sure that the apps meet the basic quality expectations and they target all the major Android devices. A test environment can be set in order to test the apps.
Google Age-Based Rating System
Google has also announced a new age-based rating system for Android games and apps as well on the app store. They will now use the scales provided by the given region’s official ratings authority.
Google do not want to reject the apps and the Android developers need not to worry about this. They only want to have control over the quality of the apps before they reach the user’s mobile devices.
The new rating system will make the Android developers to complete a questionnaire related to the app or game’s content before it is published. The developer will take a single questionnaire that is based on the level of content in the app and at the end they can activate the ratings for different territories.
Google is working with the International Age Rating Coalition bodies (IARC) along with the local ratings bodies on the new rating system. Different countries may have different content ratings that are appropriate for different age groups. The new system will allow the developers to categorize their apps for the right users.
The existing apps that have not taken the questionnaire will be marked as unrated on Google store and they may get blocked in certain countries.
Google will implement the system for all the apps coming in the next few weeks all across the world. This change will give the developers an easy way to communicate ratings to the users and this helps them to receive better app discovery and engagement.
Things to know about the new approval process by the Android developer
A human touch has been added to the approval process. A questionnaire needs to be submitted by the developers before the submission of app for the reviewing process. This will help deciding the age rating as well.
It is necessary for the developers to provide accurate responses to help the app to be discovered by the right users. After a successful approval, they only need to retake the questionnaire if an update has changed the content of the app in a way that it affects the previous ratings of the app.
The developers are worried about getting their apps rejected by Google. The developers with quality apps need not to worry, but the rejection rate of the malware apps will increase and the apps will be suspended that violate the Google’s policies and agreements.
This will make a healthy environment on play store and it is great for the developers as well as the users who are concerned about the quality of the apps.
In order to maintain the app’s availability on the Play Store, the developers need to sign in to the Google Play Developer Console and complete the rating questionnaire for each of their apps.
All new apps and updates to the existing apps require completing the questionnaire before they can be published on the store. In the near future, Google will remove the apps from the store that are not rated.
Benefits of Approval Process
There are a number of benefits of the new approval process and are some of them listed.
- The process is fully automated.
- It is as open as Android platform.
- The apps will appear in the stores hours after approving their integrity and the developer need not to wait long like Apple’s reviewing process.
- The process will make sure that there are no malicious apps and they are not the copy of any existing application.
- The malicious apps will be removed from the “available to download” list of users.
Factors involved in the app ecosystem
There are basically 3 factors involved in the app ecosystem and everyone will be benefitted.
Storefronts like Google need to maintain their own rating system, which can be avoided now. IARC is being managed by global reviewing authorities and Google can focus on their core expertise in order to provide quality apps to the users.
Developers will enjoy a hassle-free age based rating system that was difficult in the past and was performed by different agencies. The ratings generated by IARC are global and can be used anywhere in the world.
The users are the biggest beneficiary of the new reviewing system. They can now safely trust the ratings of the app before downloading them to the mobile devices. The rating system is globally trusted now and they have chosen the most appropriate apps and games for the users.
Participants of the new approval process
Here is the list of all the participants with Google.
- ClassificaçãoIndicativa (ClassInd) – Brazil
- Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) – North America
- Pan European Game Information (PEGI) – European
- UnterhaltungssoftwareSelbstkontrolle (USK) – Germany
- Australian Government Classified Board
Google started with the app approval process weeks ago, but no one noticed. This means that the process is going pretty well. This has helped them to spot the issues before an app goes live on the app store that would have previously led its removal from it after users have already downloaded it.
There will be more details in the dev console about the status of the app and the developers will also be able to see the reasons for the rejection or the approval of the app on the Play Store.
Keval Padia is a Founder & CEO of Nimblechapps, a fast-growing android game development company. The current innovation and updates of the field lures him to express his views and thoughts on certain topics.