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Google promises better Play Store decisions

Google Play Store app Pixel 2 XL AA 3

Google announced today on its Android Developers Blog that the company will make changes to the Play Store’s decision-making process. The changes are a result of growing concerns from developers over the process’ timeliness and lack of details.

According to Google, developers voiced their frustrations with the decision-making process when the company began enforcing its SMS and call log policies. One notable example is Tasker, with the developers complaining that the app confusingly wasn’t part of Google’s list of exceptions at the time.

Even though Tasker’s situation was somewhat unique, Google noticed three common themes with developers’ complaints. They include:

  1. Case descriptions in the permissions declaration form were unclear and hard to complete correctly.
  2. Some felt it took too long to get answers on whether an app met policy requirements. Others felt the process of appealing a decision was too long.
  3. Some felt that decisions were automated, while others felt it was difficult to reach a person who could give details about policy requirements.

In response to the aforementioned frustrations, Google announced three new changes to its decision-making process as it pertains to the Play Store. The changes are the following:

  1. Emails for policy rejections and appeals will include more details, such as why a decision was made, how developers can modify an app to comply, and how developers can appeal.
  2. Every enforcement email will include appeal instructions. Google will also review and improve its appeals process.
  3. Google will improve its communication with more personalized responses and will expand its team to accelerate the appeals process.

Google also said it promises to spend more time reviewing new apps from developers without a track record. We’ll see how well developers embrace these changes in due time.

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