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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Google on Tuesday announced two changes to the Play Store that it hopes will result in an improved experience for both developers and users. The first is a new review process where apps submitted for approval are manually reviewed by a team of employees at Google before the software is published on the Play Store. Google claims it began manually reviewing apps several months ago, with no noticeable change in approval times during the rollout.

Google-Play-Store-Ratings-800x621.png
The move to human reviewers marks a significant change for the Play Store, as the ability for developers to have apps go through a quick and automatic review process was a major differentiating factor over Apple's tedious review process for the App Store on iPhone and iPad. Nevertheless, Google says it will continue to help developers get their apps published on the Play Store within hours of submission, rather than days or weeks.

Apple has been rather controlling and inconsistent at times in regards to enforcing its App Store review guidelines over the years. Last month, for example, the iPhone maker began rejecting apps with violent screenshots for infringing upon a long-standing review guideline. Developers also face long waits with Apple, as the average approval times for apps are roughly six days for the App Store and seven days for the Mac App Store.

The second improvement is the introduction of an age-based rating system for apps and games on the Play Store, based on official rating authorities such as the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in the United States, Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) in Europe and Classification Board in Australia. Territories with no specific rating authority will display age-based, generic ratings for apps.
"Today we're introducing a new age-based rating system for apps and games on Google Play. We know that people in different countries have different ideas about what content is appropriate for kids, teens and adults, so today's announcement will help developers better label their apps for the right audience. Consistent with industry best practices, this change will give developers an easy way to communicate familiar and locally relevant content ratings to their users and help improve app discovery and engagement by letting people choose content that is right for them."
Google encourages developers to visit the Developer Console and fill out a content rating questionnaire to ensure that their apps remain available on the Play Store. Apps without a completed questionnaire will be listed as unrated and, starting in May, all apps and updates submitted to the Play Store will require a completed questionnaire before being published on the Play Store.

Article Link: Google Now Manually Reviews Play Store Submissions, Approval Times Still Faster Than App Store
 

KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,201
3,252
I had to read the headline several times to get that it’s not about Google Now. Title case, I like it so much.

How is this approval process a good thing for developers though? Seems to me that Google is pulling in the reigns.
 
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bigchrisfgb

macrumors 65816
Jan 24, 2010
1,355
484
Having an app reviewed within hours isn't a good thing if a job is not being done, in saying that waiting weeks for Apple to review an app isn't ideal either.
 
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rrahimi

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2012
47
26
I bet Android fans all think this is a good idea now.

You could have spent the time to enlighten everyone on the drawbacks rather than taking a jab at Android fans.

Right now on the app store there are thousands of apps with no reviews. There are also many apps with 5-star paid-for reviews. It's great to get to know at the very least whether an app can do what it claims or not. It might prevent the weekly surge of "Record calls FREE" or "THEME YOUR iOS" for $0.99 that climb up to the top due to the less technically savvy falling for the flawless batch of initial reviews.
 
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jabingla2810

macrumors 68020
Oct 15, 2008
2,271
938
You could have spent the time to enlighten everyone on the drawbacks rather than taking a jab at Android fans.

Right now on the app store there are thousands of apps with no reviews. There are also many apps with 5-star paid-for reviews. It's great to get to know at the very least whether an app can do what it claims or not. It might prevent the weekly surge of "Record calls FREE" or "THEME YOUR iOS" for $0.99 that climb up to the top due to the less technically savvy falling for the flawless batch of initial reviews.

I think us geeks at Macumors understand the short falls of the system.

My post was a bit of a joke, but I do know a LOT of Android fans who have laughed at Apple's insistance to review App Store Apps before their release, and have long stated that one of Androids strengths is it's free market.

Perhaps this will eliminate illegal apps, perhaps limit piracy that has plagued Android more than it has plagued iOS. Perhaps not.
 
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greytmom

macrumors 68040
Jun 23, 2010
3,463
664
When I read the part about the "long wait times" for Apple to approve apps, I was guessing it was a month, maybe longer. 6-7 days? I don't consider that long.

Edit: Keep in mind that I am not in this business at all. So, I have no idea if a week is a long period of time or not. If someone has to continually resubmit, I can see how that could drag on.
 
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wolverinemarky

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2009
17
0
wonder if this will help keep malware off the google play store i somehow doubt it since there not spending too much time okaying apps and games
 
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Klae17

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
1,110
1,281
When I read the part about the "long wait times" for Apple to approve apps, I was guessing it was a month, maybe longer. 6-7 days? I don't consider that long.

But if it was 2-3 days it would be better.
 
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ck2875

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2009
1,001
2,634
Brighton
Every time MR uses 'Google Now' in a title, I read it as the service instead of the adverb.
 
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Saucesome2000

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2014
338
319
Nashville, TN
Let's see if anyone accuses Google of being Nazi control freaks like they do Apple for the same thing? Or blatantly misuse the term "open-source".
 
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fluchtpunkt

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2013
92
44
Having an app reviewed within hours isn't a good thing if a job is not being done, in saying that waiting weeks for Apple to review an app isn't ideal either.

Apples review does not take so long because they take so much time to review each app. Apple doesn't do that, some of my Apps go so fast through review that I doubt that the reviewer did anything else besides starting the app and looking at the first screen for 5 seconds.

History has shown that Apples review is not as good as Apple and their users claim. It doesn't do much against apps with bad quality, it doesn't do anything against clones. Review is used to enforce copyright and content guidelines. If they see a nipple you are out. If your app crashes when you start it a second time nobody will notice.
 
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technosix

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2015
929
11
West Coast USA
wonder if this will help keep malware off the google play store i somehow doubt it since there not spending too much time okaying apps and games

Despite haters opinions, and click bait headlines, malware hasn't been much of an issue.

I use Google Play Apps as regularly, frequently and in nearly the same quantities as I do the iOS app store. After years on each platform concurrently I haven't encountered any issue with malware. Ever.

I've had many years of trouble free Android and iPhone use. I enjoy them both, immensely... :)
 
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Saucesome2000

macrumors 6502
Dec 10, 2014
338
319
Nashville, TN
Despite haters opinions, and click bait headlines, malware hasn't been much of an issue.

I use Google Play Apps as regularly, frequently and in nearly the same quantities as I do the iOS app store. After years on each platform concurrently I haven't encountered any issue with malware. Ever.

I've had many years of trouble free Android and iPhone use. I enjoy them both, immensely... :)

I would say that part of that is you being careful and purposeful about which apps you download. A lot of people get fooled into d/ling malicious apps.
 
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acctman

macrumors 65816
Oct 26, 2012
1,188
748
Georgia
I'm guessing they're using some automated script to scan through the app code. Doubt it's manually being reviewed/tested and looked at by a human.
 
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fluchtpunkt

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2013
92
44
When I read the part about the "long wait times" for Apple to approve apps, I was guessing it was a month, maybe longer. 6-7 days? I don't consider that long.

Because you don't ship apps with bugs that Apple does not consider critical.

If you ship an app with a bug, 7 days are a very long time. You basically spend these 7 days telling your users that the bug will be fixed as soon as Apple approves the update.
 
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fluchtpunkt

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2013
92
44
I use Google Play Apps as regularly, frequently and in nearly the same quantities as I do the iOS app store. After years on each platform concurrently I haven't encountered any issue with malware. Ever.

Of course not. Since basically forever Apple and Google use the same technique to find malware. Automatic scans of the app.

That's the only thing that works. You can't find malware by looking at an app.


If you want malware on Android you basically have to leave the Google Play Store. If you get your apps from a shady chinese site, that offers paid apps for free, you will get malware sooner or later.
 
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darkslide29

macrumors 68000
Oct 5, 2011
1,777
714
San Francisco, California
Because you don't ship apps with bugs that Apple does not consider critical.

If you ship an app with a bug, 7 days are a very long time. You basically spend these 7 days telling your users that the bug will be fixed as soon as Apple approves the update.

Yeah, I have seen this happen. I remember once an update available for an app in the app store, I'll go check out the update detail notes to see what's new and it said "users on iOS 7.X, please do NOT updated as there is a major bug etc etc". I was able to not update and instead grab the update to the update a few days later.


But now with updates being automatic (by choice), I'll probably eventually auto download a buggy app. I assumed the process took several days. Did not know average is 6-7 days.
 
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futbalguy

macrumors 6502
May 16, 2007
277
58
When I read the part about the "long wait times" for Apple to approve apps, I was guessing it was a month, maybe longer. 6-7 days? I don't consider that long.

As someone who recently started submitting apps for review, I have found it incredibly frustrating to wait a week for your app to get reviewed. You have to consider the app can then be rejected and needs to be resubmitted and the process starts over.

On an app that had already been approved once, I had an update rejected. Tt took me literally 3 minutes to correct the issue that Apple had with my app but it then took them 5 more days to review that update. So it took about two weeks for a minor app update to make it to the store. That's a long time and I've seen stories of people taking almost a month because they can keep finding new issues to cause rejection.

Another time, Apple rejected an update and left a message that didn't even make sense, so I responded promptly and then it takes them 3 days to read and respond with a comment that makes more sense.

Just seems very frustrating when this is your livelihood.
 
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