When you install a free app on your phone to use as a file browser, keyboard, or photo editor, you might expect to see some ads in the app. Developers have to get paid somehow, right? But you probably don’t expect to see ads show up outside the app.

A few years ago Google banned developers from distributing apps in the Google Play Store if those apps showed ads as push notifications. And now Google has taken another step and prohibited apps that push ads to your device’s lock screen from the Play Store.

Well, some apps.

According to Google’s updated developer policy, developers can still use ads on apps that are exclusively designed to be used as lock screen apps. But any other apps are now barred from displaying ads “or other features that monetize the locked screen of a device.”

In other words, if your app is a file browser that has nothing to do with the lock screen, no lock screen ads for you. If it’s an app that lets you put widgets on the lock screen, you can probably also get away with ads. And if it’s an app that lets you put widgets on the home or lock screen? That’s a little less clear, but it sure sounds like Google is saying that’s not cool, since the app isn’t exclusively designed for use with the lock screen.

via Android Police

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4 replies on “Google bans (most) apps with lock screen ads from the Play Store”

    1. As I understand, the ads are built into the ROM and not an app distributed through the Play Store, so there’s not really much Google can do to block them via the Play Store.

      You could also make the case that even if it was an app, since its sole purpose is to display ads on the lock screen and in notifications, it might be allowed… but if it was distributed that way it’d also be trivial for users to disable, which would sort of defeat the purpose.

    1. Google is on its back foot with regards to ads. How many Android-placed ads are handled through Google AdSense? With half of all ad views being found to be fake, and Youtube ads being pulled due to poor placement, they are already on thin ice. It remains to be seen how consistently The Powers That Be will enforce these new rules.

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