Google announces Play Store policy update to fight deceptive subscriptions

Google Play transparent subscription offers

Google is rolling out a couple of policy changes to the Play Store to help improve the trust and safety of its users.

First up, Google is working to make app subscription offers more transparent. As the popularity of subscriptions in Google Play grows, Google wants to make it easy for users to understand trials, introductory offers, and subscription management. 

Google says that developers should be explicit about the terms of their app’s subscription, like the cost, the frequency of the billing cycle, and whether a subscription is required to use all or parts of the app.

Apps that offer free and introductory offers should also clearly and accurately tell users teh duration, pricing, what’s included, when a free trial will convert to a paid subcription, and how a user can cancel if they don’t want a paid subscription.

Devs will have until June 16th to comply with this updated subscription policy.

Google also wants to limit unnecessary location access by apps. It announced earlier this year that developers would be required to get approval if they want their app to access a user’s location in the background, and that policy is now live. Beginning in August 2020, Google will begin taking action against apps that don’t meet this updated policy, while existing apps will have until November 2020.

Additionally, Google suggests that all app developers review the location best practices and determine if they have the appropriate disclosures for users and if their app really needs location access. 

Google also reiterates that with the update to Android 11, it’s rolling out additional user controls that include the ability to grant an app a one-time permission.

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