Because Android is basically an open source operating system, it’s almost a level playing field for various developers, which can be both good and bad for Google and for users. There have been a lot of complaints over the years from developers who say that the update and feedback system of Google is very frustrating and too slow for comfort. Now they are saying that they have taken a “comprehensive look” at their platform and policies and made some improvements in order to ensure that they still fulfilling their philosophy that relies on a “developer-centric approach and openness”.
The Android Q Beta that Google introduced earlier this year has led to some changes to the runtime permissions for each of the Android apps and they are also now held to the same standards as those asked of other developers, especially when it comes to security and privacy. And all developers now have to do a bit of extra work to ensure that privacy protections are strong enough. But because of this evolution, the negative feedback from developers has also increased.
And so Google has taken the time to clarify some of these things but are also making improvements to appease the developers. They will be revising the standard email for policy rejections and will explain more why the app was rejected and what they can do to modify it and gain approval. They will also be including appeal instructions and appeal form which will be included in the Help Center as well. They are growing the team and adding more humans to review sensitive decisions.
In terms of the blocking of developer accounts that have repeated violation of policies, Google says that some “bad-faith” ones actually open new accounts or other developer’s accounts to publish unsafe apps. Because of this, Google says they can’t always explain why they conclude that one account is related to another.
Google says they will also soon be reviewing apps from developers that “don’t have a track record” with them so they can do more thorough checks before approving apps to go live. Hopefully, these changes and improvements will improve the quality of apps on the Google Play Store and also help developers improve what they put out there.