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25 October 2023

Announcing Policy Updates To Support App Quality on Google Play

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Posted by Karina Newton, Senior Director, Global Product Policy, Developer Policies

The Android community expects safe and high-quality experiences, which directly influences the long-term success of your app or game in terms of installs, user rating, and reviews. An app’s design, privacy protections, information quality, and security standards all play an important role. Today, we’re announcing updates to our developer policies to further elevate the quality of apps on Play and continue delivering the best experiences.

Enabling Safe Generative AI Apps

As generative AI models become more widely available, you may be integrating them into your apps. In line with Google’s commitment to responsible AI practices, we want to help ensure AI-generated content is safe for people and that their feedback is incorporated. Early next year, we'll be requiring developers to provide the ability to report or flag offensive AI-generated content without needing to exit the app. You should utilize these reports to inform content filtering and moderation in your apps – similar to the in-app reporting system required today under our User Generated Content policies. More information can be found here.
Moving image of AI Art Generator app UI experience on an Android mobile device
Note: Images are examples and subject to change

As a reminder, apps that generate content using AI must also continue to comply with all other developer policies. This includes prohibiting and preventing the generation of restricted content, such as content that facilitates the exploitation or abuse of children, and content that enables deceptive behavior. This is a fast-evolving app category and we appreciate your partnership in helping to maintain a safe experience.

Expanding Privacy Protections

To safeguard privacy, some app permissions require an additional review by the Google Play team and have additional guardrails. We’ve found this has been an effective strategy to protect people’s privacy and are expanding these requirements further, including a new policy to reduce the types of apps allowed to request broad photo and video permissions.

Under our new policy, apps will only be able to access photos and videos for purposes directly related to app functionality. Apps that have a one-time or infrequent need to access these files are requested to use a system picker, such as the Android photo picker. As a developer, you play a vital role in helping people who use your app feel safe and informed about how their data is handled and we appreciate your support of this new policy. For additional information, please visit our help center article.
Moving image of Photo picker UI experience on an Android mobile device
Note: Images are examples and subject to change

Limiting Disruptive Notifications

Today’s policy update also sets stronger boundaries around the use of full screen intent notifications that share high-priority messages and require the user’s immediate attention. There are certain scenarios where people would reasonably expect full screen intent notification, like waking up to their alarm or receiving phone and video calls. To ensure that this permission is limited to these high-priority use cases, we’re introducing new limitations and changing it to a special app access permission.

For apps targeting Android 14 and above, only apps whose core functionality requires a full screen notification will be granted Full Screen Intent permission by default and all others will need to request consent for use of this permission. Limiting notifications in this way helps ensure a better user experience. More information on this policy change can be found here.

Additional Resources

Today’s policy updates play an important role in our efforts to offer the world's most trusted source for apps and games. We appreciate your partnership in delivering safe and high-quality apps to the Android community. For more information: