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Google Play puts foot down on storefront mimicry

Google has updated the developer program policy agreement for its Google Play Android store, disallowing any apps or games that have "confusingly similar" names or icons to others already available to download.
Google has updated the developer program policy agreement for its Google Play Android store, disallowing any apps or games that have deceptive names or icons. As part of the new terms, Google warns, "Apps must not have names or icons that appear confusingly similar to existing products." This is a move by the company to restrict and remove copycat apps, which attempt to use the popularity of high-profile Android apps to score downloads. Any app submitted from this point onwards will be subject to these new rules, while existing apps have 30 days to comply. A new "Dangerous Products" clause has also been added, clarifying that apps and games may not "transmit viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, malware, or any other items that may introduce security vulnerabilities to or harm user devices, applications, or personal data." Elsewhere, the company reaffirmed the point that all transactions related to Google Play apps must use Google's payment system, while developers must strive to "not mislead users" about the services that a game provides. The latter includes product descriptions that are "loaded with keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy in the Store's search results," and spam apps that are "created by an automated tool or wizard service." The full terms can be accessed via the Google Play website.

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