Google announces raft of Play Store security policy updates

Google has announced a number of changes to its Play Store security policies that will come into effect over the coming year.

Starting in September, a new section will be added to Google’s Enforcement policy that will mean inactive or otherwise abandoned developer accounts will be closed after one year of dormancy.

October will see various policies introduced on different dates.

On 15 October, the Device and Network Abuse policy will be clarified to prohibit...

Apple and Google ‘hold data hostage’ with their platform rules, Senate told

During a hearing, US senators were told Apple and Google “hold data hostage” with their platform rules.

The two largest mobile platform-holders are under scrutiny from the Senate anti-trust committee and smaller companies such as Spotify, Tile, and Tinder-owner Match have been airing their grievances.

Kirsten Daru, Tile's General Counsel, said: "We welcome competition but it has to be fair competition and Apple's idea of competing is patently...

Play Store’s AI security blocks almost one million policy-violating apps

Google’s AI-powered Play Store security has blocked almost one million policy-violating apps from reaching users.

In a blog post, Google detailed what it’s been doing to protect the billions of Android users and millions of developers creating apps for the world’s largest mobile platform.

2020 was a year when many of us made sacrifices to our freedoms to protect not just ourselves, but those around us. Unfortunately, criminals sought to take advantage of more...

Bill enabling developers to avoid in-app purchase rules is ditched

A bill in Arizona that would have enabled developers to avoid the in-app purchase (IAP) rules set by app stores has been ditched.

Many developers have argued for some time that Apple and Google have abused their market dominance to set unfair rules. State bill HB2005 would have forced Apple and Google to allow developers to use their own payment solutions within apps.

The bill was scrapped after intense lobbying. 

According to State Representative Regina...

Progressive Web Apps on Chrome OS will soon support in-app purchases

Google will soon enable support for in-app purchases in Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on Chrome OS.

Mountain View has long been an advocate of PWAs—unsurprising, really, considering Google is the world’s largest web services company.

What is therefore surprising is how long it’s taken for Google to provide support for in-app purchases in PWAs on Chrome OS. Better late than never and all that, though.

Although Android apps are now supported on many...

Google’s latest Play Store feature helps users compare apps

Your apps are about to be pitted directly against competitors.

A new feature coming to the Play Store will let users decide between apps using a side-by-side chart similar to comparing specs between devices.

Android Police first reported the feature and posted the following GIF showing the comparison table appearing below the reviews on an app’s page:

Presumably, there will be different comparison metrics dependent on the category of app. In this case –...

Play Store downloads hit 28.3 billion during lockdown

It seems Android users spent their extra time during lockdown trying some new apps.

According to data from SensorTower, 24.3 billion apps were downloaded from the Play Store in Q1 2020. This jumped to 28 billion downloads in Q2 and peaked at 28.3 billion in Q3. For perspective, that represents a 31 percent year-on-year increase.

These were the most popular categories of downloads on the Play Store in Q2 2020:

Gaming (13.49%)Education (9.11%)Business (6.95%)Tools...

Trump will ban TikTok and WeChat from US app stores this weekend

President Trump’s ban on Chinese apps TikTok and WeChat will come into effect this weekend.

The US Department of Commerce (DoC) announced that the apps will be banned starting on Sunday 20th September.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement:

“Today’s actions prove once again that President Trump will do everything in his power to guarantee our national security and protect Americans from the threats of the Chinese Communist Party.

The...

Huawei’s Google license expiry means it’s time to support HMS

Huawei’s license with Google has expired, which means it’s time to support HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) or risk losing users.

The US Chamber of Commerce added Huawei to its now-infamous Entity List in May, meaning no American firm can partner with the company without explicit government permission. A temporary exemption was made for existing relations to ensure US consumers and businesses have a smoother transition away from the firm.

Huawei’s existing devices,...