App developers used to be able to enjoy a straight-to-market model when it came to placing their apps in Google Play store, the main store where users can download games, music, and more. It was seen as a relief when compared to the highly-restrictive policies put in place by Apple’s App Store, which has been known to cause more than one headache for even leading developers.
Days and weeks have been known to pass before those powers-that-be at Apple finally give clearance to developers trying to get their app into the market.
Apps in Google Play store reviewed before they enter market
Ask any app developer, and they tell you that they are more than happy to work with Google any day over Apple. But as painful as the process might be, developers also understand the necessity to have their app in the Apple marketplace.
This week though, developers are about to learn that the rules are about to start changing in the world of Google. But it might not be as stringent as what Apple mandates.
As revealed in the Android Developers Blog by Eunice Kim, Product Manager of Google Play Play store, a new, more selective rating system is to be put in place within the Play Store.
The system, according to Kim, is age-based, but is not built upon their own rules. Instead, ratings will be based off of where in the world the App is available. While the Electronics Software Rating Board in the United States has its own rating standards, the Australian Classification Board and Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle of Germany abides by its own standards.
In order to ease the process, the International Age Ratings Coalition works with international rating advisory boards to help determine the most fitting rating for a given region.
So while ratings for one game will differentiate across the globe, one questionnaire to be filled out by the developer will serve as the basis for global ratings. If the questionnaire isn’t completed, the app will be marked as “unrated”, and may be blocked in certain markets.
The post also went into more detail about how the ratings will be determined, with a “team of experts” serving as the moderators of each submission. In the past, apps that were submitted into Google Play Play store could be there in a little as a few hours with no review. This is essentially staying the same, as long as the app or games abides by developer policies put in place by Google. If not, the apps might be subject to further review before it can enter certain marketplaces.
Developers don’t have to sweat too hard about the new rating system. For one, an app that is initially rejected isn’t necessary banned from entering the Google Play store. Google stated that they will provide instructions to developers that will allow them to make appropriate changes to their apps in order to be reconsidered for entry into the store.
What may come as a surprise to some developers is that Google actually began the process a few months back without any “noticeable change” to developers. This is likely due to the fact that Google has still successfully be able to place apps into the store just hours after their submission, as mentioned earlier.
All in all, the changes put in place by Google shouldn’t have to cause much stress for developers. Unlike Apple, Google remains transparent about their process, and promises to deliver as quickly as possible. With third-party developers serving as the backbone of Android, responsible for powering the majority of smartphones worldwide, Google knows they need to keep the development community content with the policies put in place.