Android Becomes Less 'Open'

Google recently made quite a few changes to the Google Play Developer Program Policies. Here are few of the more interesting ones:

An app downloaded from Google Play (or its components or derivative elements) must not make changes to the user’s device outside of the app without the user’s knowledge and consent.

This includes behavior such as replacing or reordering the default presentation of apps, widgets, or the settings on the device. If an app makes such changes with the user’s knowledge and consent, it must be clear to the user which app has made the change and the user must be able to reverse the change easily, or by uninstalling the app altogether.

Apps and their ads must not add homescreen shortcuts, browser bookmarks, or icons on the user’s device as a service to third parties or for advertising purposes.

Apps and their ads must not display advertisements through system level notifications on the user’s device, unless the notifications derive from an integral feature provided by the installed app. (e.g., an airline app that notifies users of special deals, or a game that notifies users of in-game promotions).

Apps must not encourage, incentivize, or mislead users into removing or disabling third-party apps except as part of a security service provided by the app.

It appears on the surface that many of these changes are an attempt to make Android more like iOS. Depending on who you ask, this is either really good news or really bad news.

More info can be found here. Link via @bojandordevic.