Google Play Store Policies: What’s Changing and How to Stay Compliant

Google Play Store is the most popular app store for Android devices, and it has a set of policies that all apps must comply with in order to be listed. These policies are designed to protect users and ensure that the apps they download are safe and reliable.

In recent years, Google has been making changes to its Play Store policies in order to keep up with the latest trends and security concerns. Some of the most recent changes include:

The policy changes were implemented in phases, with the first phase taking effect on April 1, 2023. The second phase took effect on May 1, 2023, and the third and final phase took effect on June 1, 2023.

Here is a breakdown of the dates when each phase of the policy changes took effect:

On April 1, 2023:

    • New requirements for personal loan apps: Personal loan apps targeting users in Pakistan must now submit country-specific licensing documentation to prove their ability to provide or facilitate personal loans.
    • Updates to the User Ratings, Reviews, and Installs policy: Apps can no longer incentivize users to install other apps as the app’s main functionality, or to rate or review apps.
    • New guidelines for foreground services: Apps targeting Android 14 and above must now declare the foreground service type for each foreground service used in the app, and specify a valid foreground service permission that is appropriate for that type.

On May 1, 2023:

    • Updates to the Families policy: Apps in the Families Program can now leverage web-based content in apps, and developers must only use self-certified versions of SDKs when serving ads to children or users of unknown age.
    • Changes to the Developer Distribution Agreement: Google has updated its Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA) to include new requirements for developers. These requirements include:

      • Providing accurate information about apps: Developers must provide accurate information about their apps, including the app’s name, description, and screenshots.
      • Protecting user data: Developers must protect user data and comply with all applicable privacy laws.
      • Providing a good user experience: Developers must provide a good user experience for their apps, including ensuring that the apps are free of malware and other harmful content.
    • Changes to the Policy on Payments: Google has also updated its Policy on Payments to allow developers to offer alternative payment methods in their apps. This change will allow developers to offer lower prices for their apps in countries where Google Play’s in-app billing system is not available.

On June 1, 2023:

    • Changes to the Policy on Families: Google has also updated its Policy on Families to allow developers to create family-sharing groups for their apps. This change will allow families to share apps and in-app purchases across multiple devices.
    • Policy on Ads: Google has updated its Policy on Ads to clarify the types of ads that are allowed in apps. This change will help to ensure that ads are relevant and non-intrusive.
    • Policy on Data Collection and Sharing: Google has updated its Policy on Data Collection and Sharing to give users more control over their data. This change will allow users to choose whether or not to share their data with developers.
    • Policy on Spam: Google has updated its Policy on Spam to crack down on apps that send unwanted or unsolicited messages. This change will help to protect users from spam and phishing attacks.
    • Policy on Misleading Content: Google has updated its Policy on Misleading Content to prevent apps from making false or misleading claims. This change will help to ensure that users are aware of what they are downloading and installing.

In addition to these general changes, Google has also made some specific changes to its policies for India and the US. For example, in India, Google now requires developers to obtain a government-issued license before they can offer in-app payments for certain types of apps. In the US, Google has updated its policies to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This means that apps that target children under the age of 13 must obtain parental consent before collecting any personal information from those children.

These are just a few of the changes that Google has made to its Play Store policies in recent years. It
is important for app developers to stay up-to-date on these changes in order to ensure that their
apps remain compliant.

Challenges for Existing Apps

    • Cost: Making changes to an app to comply with new policies can be costly, especially for small developers. This is because developers may need to hire a lawyer or consultant to help them understand the new policies and make sure that their app is compliant.
    • Time: It can also take time to make changes to an app to comply with new policies. This is because developers need to test the changes to make sure that they don’t break the app or introduce new bugs.
    • Visibility: If an app is not compliant with the latest policies, it may be removed from the Play Store. This can have a significant impact on the app’s visibility and downloads.
    • Reputation: If an app is removed from the Play Store for non-compliance, it can damage the app’s reputation. This can make it more difficult for the app to be reinstated in the Play Store and can also make it more difficult for the app to attract new users.
    • Compliance: The new policies are more stringent than the previous ones, and many apps will need to make significant changes in order to comply. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process, and it may not be feasible for all apps.
    • Revenue: The new policies have made it more difficult for developers to generate revenue from their apps. This is because the changes to the Policy on Payments make it harder for developers to offer alternative payment methods, and the changes to the Policy on Ads make it more difficult to show ads that are relevant and non-intrusive.
    • User experience: The new policies may also impact the user experience of some apps. For example, the changes to the Policy on Foreground Services may make it more difficult for apps to run in the background, and the changes to the Policy on Families may make it more difficult for families to share apps and in-app purchases.

To address these challenges, app developers need to be proactive in monitoring the Play Store
policies and making changes to their apps as needed. They should also regularly review their apps to ensure that they are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

Tips for Navigating Through the Policies

There are a few things that app developers can do to navigate through the Google Play Store policies:

    • Stay up-to-date: The Play Store policies are constantly changing, so it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest changes. Google provides a notification system that alerts developers when there are new policy changes.
    • Use the Play Console: The Play Console is a web-based tool that allows developers to manage their apps and submit them to the Play Store. The Play Console also provides a detailed overview of the Play Store policies, and it includes a compliance checker that can help developers identify potential compliance issues.
    • Get help from Google: If you have any questions about the Play Store policies, you can contact Google for help. Google provides a variety of resources to help developers understand and comply with the policies.
    • Review your app’s compliance: Before you submit your app for review, be sure to review the updated policies and make sure that your app is compliant. You can use the Google Play Developer Policy Center to check your app’s compliance.
    • Test your app: Once you have made changes to your app to comply with the new policies, be sure to test your app thoroughly to make sure that it is working properly.
    • Monitor your app: Once your app is published, be sure to monitor it to make sure that it remains compliant with the new policies. You can use the Google Play Developer Console to monitor your app’s performance.

By following these tips, app developers can help ensure that their apps remain compliant with the Google Play Store policies. This will help to protect users and keep their apps available in the Play Store.


As the Google Play Store continues to evolve, existing app developers face a range of challenges in adapting to changing policies. Staying informed about policy updates, ensuring compliance, addressing privacy concerns, enhancing security measures, and balancing monetization strategies are just a few of the obstacles that must be overcome. To succeed in this dynamic environment, developers must remain proactive, allocate resources for ongoing policy compliance, and prioritize user experience and security.

By embracing these challenges as opportunities for growth, app developers can not only ensure their apps remain on the Google Play Store but also provide users with high-quality experiences that align with the platform’s evolving policies.

Additional Resources
Google Play Store Policies:
Play Console:
Google Play Help Center: