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ASO news digest for July 2022

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
Published: 04.08.2022
6 min read

Google announced a new Play Policy with important rules on ads, impersonation, alarms, VPNs, health misinformation, and more. Apple added two new placements for Apple Search Ads: on Today tap and apps pages. Huawei launched a new age-related app distribution and age-sensitive app rating system in AppGallery.  

Contents

1. Google announced a new Play Policy with rules on interstitial ads, impersonation, alarms, and more
2. Google updated the billing system for the European Economic Area on Google Play
3. Google restores app permission list in Google Play
4. Live activities are available in Beta
5. Apple has launched App Store Connect API 2.0.
6. Apple created ad placements in Today tap and on individual app pages
7. Apple will hold live presentations with experts
8. Huawei added an age rating to AppGallery

Google Play news

Google announced a new Play Policy with rules on interstitial ads, impersonation, alarms, and more

On July 27, Google announced new rules that can influence the work and promotion of apps. Here are the most important things from new Play Policy for app developers:

1. Ads (effective September 30, 2022)

The Play Policy will forbid any full-screen ads of any format (video, GIF, static) that users can’t close in 15 seconds. At the same time, opt-in full screen interstitials or full screen interstitials that don’t interfere with the actions of users can be played for more than 15 seconds. 

In these example the ads that can't be closed after 15 seconds
Example of ads that can’t be closed after 15 seconds. Source: support.google.com

Google also forbids full screen interstitial ads that users see before the app’s loading screen.

Developers can’t run ads that appear in gameplay when starting a new level or a new segment of content.

Video ads that appears at the end of content segment unexpectedly
Example of unexpected ads.
Source: support.google.com

Full screen interstitial ads of all formats that come unexpectedly aren’t allowed either. 

These rules don’t apply to rewarded ads or ads that don’t interfere with the use of the app (for example, video content with integrated ads and non-full screen banner ads). 

2. Impersonation (effective August 31, 2022)

Google fights with unauthorized apps that pretend to be another app. Apps aren’t allowed to make icons, descriptions, titles, and in-app elements that could mislead users and tell about your app’s relationship with some other apps. 

Developers can’t use the national emblems, any references to government organizations, and logos of other companies, artists, and TV shows without authorization, as well as create icons that are similar to existing apps and may mislead users.  

Example of famous logos that are similar to existing apps
Example of app icons that are similar to existing apps. Source: support.google.com

3. Health Misinformation (effective August 31, 2022)

Apps that have misleading information about health, contradict a medical consensus, and can harm users’ health are not allowed. For example, apps, can’t have misleading information about vaccines, information about unapproved treatments, and harmful practices (such as conversion therapy). 

4. Exact Alarm Permission (effective July 31, 2023)

New USE_EXACT_ALARM permission will give access to alarm functionality starting from Android 13. Developers can use these permissions only if their apps’ core functionality supports the need for an exact alarm. The examples of such apps are timers, alarms, and calendars. All apps that request this feature will be reviewed. If the app does not pass the review, it will not be published on Google Play.

5. Flag Secure Requirements (effective November 1, 2022)

FLAG_SECURE is a toggle for developers who want to prevent taking screenshots of their content. Developers can use this feature so their app content won’t be transmitted outside the device. All Google Play apps are expected to comply with the FLAG_SECURE requirements and must not create ways to bypass them.

6. VPN Service (effective November 1, 2022)

VPN apps can’t be used to collect personal and sensitive user data, redirect and manipulate users’ traffic, and manipulate ads that can influence app monetization. 

Apps that use the VPNService must:

  • document the use of VPNService in the Google Play list;
  • encrypt the data from the device to VPN tunnel end point;
  • comply with all developer program policies, including Ad Fraud, Permissions, and Malware Policies.

Read more about these and other changes in the announcement of the Developer Program Policy. 

Google updated the billing system for the European Economic Area on Google Play

On July 19, Google announced that non-gaming app developers will now be able to offer its users in the EEA an alternative to the Google Play billing system. Google was forced to adjust its policy by the Digital Markets Act (DMA). There are several things that app developers should remember about the program:

1. When using third-party billing, the fee for the developer will be reduced by 3%. According to Google, 99% of developers were able to reduce the commission to 15%; now they can pay 12% or less.

2. The program is valid only for non-gaming applications in the EEA. Game and app publishers outside the European Economic Area will still need to use Google Play Billing.

3. Google plans to allow third-party billing in the EEA and non-gaming apps before the DMA goes into effect.

Google restores app permission list in Google Play

Google is bringing back the “Permissions” listing to the Play Store after it was removed earlier this month. Data Security is a new section in the Play Store app listings. This is a developer-provided summary of how the app collects and uses your data. Users can find information about the type of data collected, its purpose, the security measures taken by the app’s developers, and more. This section also tells users if their data is shared with third parties.

What’s more, from July 20 it is obligatory for developers to declare a data Safety section in their apps. 

App Store news

Live activities are available in Beta

In WWDC22 Apple announced the Live Activities feature, which allowed users to see how the app content changed in real time. For instance, users can see how the football score changed or if their taxi has arrived. 

Live Activities help to immediately provide information on the Lock Screen.
Live Activity. Source: Apple WWDC 2022

Now developers can start working with Live Activities on the new ActivityKit platform, which is available in beta-version 4 of iOS 16.

Note that Live Activity and Activity Kit won’t be included the initial public release of iOS 16. They will become available later this year and you will be able to submit your apps with Live Activities. 

Apple has launched App Store Connect API 2.0.

This standard REST API allows developers to automate tasks and give them more flexibility and more efficient workflows.

With App Store Connect API 2.0., app developers can:

  • Manage in-app purchase metadata, set pricing and availability, submit for review, or delete.
  • Manage subscriptions.
  • Receive user reviews and manage responses to them.
  • Receive hangup diagnostics using the diagnostic signatures endpoint. Apple also added the new schema definitions for log/metric responses and support for long lived tokens.

Apple created ad placements in Today tap and on individual app pages

Apple added two new placements for Apple Search Ads: on Today tap and individual app pages. 

There are 2 new placements in the Apple Search Ads: on Today's tab and on the app page
2 new placements of Apple Search Ads. Source: 9to5mac

When users visit the App Store, they see the Today tap at first, so ads on this tap might be really useful for app developers.

The second new placement is at the bottom of the app page, where users see other apps of the same developer. Unfortunately, developers can’t choose specific app pages where they want to appear: ads will be shown on relevant app pages. Your competitors’ ads might come up just under your app page.

Apple will hold live presentations with experts

In August Apple will hold live presentations with App Store experts, where developers can ask their questions and understand how to improve their work. There will be live activities on the following topics:

  • TestFlight
  • App discovery and marketing
  • Family Sharing
  • Optimization of subscriptions
  • In-app events
  • Custom Product Page
  • Product Page Optimization

Members of the Apple Developer Program can register for the events.

AppGallery news

Huawei added an age rating to AppGallery 

Huawei launched a new age-related app distribution and age-sensitive app rating system in the AppGallery. 

The company modernized the app review system and added a new user base age-related rating questionnaires service to better manage the apps in AppGallery. 

Developers will fill the rating according to the app content and features. The Huawei system will analyze the app’s behavior and define if the app complies with age rating guidelines. 

The store listings will also have information about the user’s age, and the content will be divided into 5 age groups: 3+, 7+, 12+, 16+, and 18+.

App pages in AppGallery now show age limits
Example of age restrictions on app pages (source: huaweicentral.com)

Users may set a default age system that will match the content related to the age section. 

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Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
04.08.2022
6 min read

ASO news digest for July 2022

Google announced a new Play Policy with important rules on ads, impersonation, alarms, VPNs, health misinformation, and more. Apple added two new placements for Apple Search Ads: on Today tap and apps pages. Huawei launched a new age-related app distribution and age-sensitive app rating system in AppGallery. Read more

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
07.07.2022
7 min read

ASO news digest for June 2022

At the WWDC22, Apple shared important updates for app publishers: new Benchmarks in App Analytics, Live Activities, Shared with you API, Apple Pay later, and more. Google will pay U.S app developers $90 million. Asodesk turned 6 years old, and we also became a leader in ASO according to the G2 summer report. Read more

Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
Julia Suliagina
is@asodesk.com
Asodesk Content Manager. She writes newsletters and articles in blog. Make all complex topics in ASO easy and interesting.
All articles by author
09.06.2022
7 min read

WWDC 2022: 10 main updates that can influence your app’s success

On June 6–10, the long-awaited WWDC 2022 is taking place, and the Apple team has already shared updates on its operating systems. We watched the conference and collected 10 great iOS 16 updates that could affect your app work, promotion, and internal app metrics. Discover the top-10 changes that can help publishers improve their apps. Read more