Google recently updated its developer policies for Play. Any developer that does not comply with these new rules will discover that their apps have been deleted. If you are a developer, you have until the end of the month (September, 2013) to comply with Google's new rules. So, let's break down those rules, shall we?
The Play Developer Rule List: Content
This is a long list, so get ready to check your apps:
No explicit sexual content
No 'hate speech'
No trying to solicit personal information from users
No copyright infringement (should be a no-brainer)
No dangerous products, illegal activity, or gambling
No system problems (you can't cause an issue with a system)
Okay! Now onto the other new Play developer rules.
If you plan to charge people to use your app, you have to also use Google's payment system. This also applies to all in-app purchases, so do keep this in mind when developing games like Candy Crush that entice users to purchase new levels and such.
Google is also cracking down on spam, so forget about trying to SMS, email or bother subscribers with any in-program spam attempt. There are a whole lot of other rules that Google has posted, but if you have your ethics in-check, you shouldn't face much of an issue. The idea here is to keep things fair, play by Google's payment rules, and make sure you learn to comply.
How Google Will Enforce These Rules
Developers that ignore some or all of these rules (you really shouldn't) will receive an email notification from Google. After that, you can try to explain why you didn't follow the rules, but good luck to you. You can also try an fix your app, comply by the rules, and show Google that you are a good developer. That might work.
Why the crackdown? Android phones have a reputation for not being the safest devices on the market. Due to the fact that developers are free to create as many apps as they like, Android can sometimes be considered a risk. Google is hoping to change all of that by instituting some strict developer rules.
BlackBerry: Pay Attention
One thing that Google is not allowing is duplicate content in the Play store. This is a great and important rule. Why? So that one developer doesn't try and create ten apps that are all the same. Duplicate apps are something that BlackBerry has been highly criticized for. With very little control over its own store, BlackBerry's app world is full of the same apps - mostly developed by the same company too.
Google, it's clear, is going to avoid the BlackBerry problem by cracking down on Android apps. These new rules might not be welcomed by developers, but they are essential to the life of Android - and to Android's reputation, and that's what Google is trying to protect.
If you're a developer, you can check out the full list of rules on Google's main Play development site. Read carefully!