More developer support, web3 policy

Google today detailed its “key initiatives for 2023” for the Play Store and Android. Meanwhile, the company is hosting #TheAndroidShow on Thursdays with a focus on big screens, foldables, and Jetpack Compose.

Tweet us your burning Compose layouts and mod questions using #AskAndroid. We’ve assembled a team of experts ready to answer your questions live!

10 a.m. PT on March 9

Of note is how Google “has been hearing more and more about developers wanting to introduce additional web3 components, including the tokenization of digital assets like NFTs, into their apps and games.”

With any new technology, we need to strike a balance between innovation and our responsibility to protect users. That is why we have started discussions with development partners to assess how possible policy changes can responsibly support these opportunities.

The Play Store is already home to blockchain-related apps, and Google will have “more to share in the coming months.”

To improve developer support, Google launched the Play Developer Community as a forum this year. Additionally:

We are also expanding our pilot programs, such as the Google Play Developer Helpline pilot, which provides direct telephone policy support. Today we expanded the pilot to nearly 60,000 in 26 countries (16,000 more developers and 9 more countries since November). We have completed nearly 5,000 policy support sessions with developers and with a 90% satisfaction rating.

On the privacy front, Google will “continue to improve the Data Safety section of Google Play with new features and policies aimed at giving people greater clarity and control over deletion practices.” Developers are being encouraged to “only collect and use data that is necessary for their apps to function and provide high-quality user experiences,” with new permissions and policy requirements coming this year. Policy updates for Android 14 and Google Play are also coming soon, while Privacy Sandbox Beta testing was highlighted.

For families, there are “enhanced ways Google Play can help families discover great apps and more policy updates to help protect children’s safety.” Recently, the Play Store on Android tablets and Chromebooks has moved the Kids tab to the bottom bar/navigation rail.

Developers will benefit from “highly requested integrity product feature updates and expanded access to automatic integrity protection” such as the Play Integrity API. Google will also “provide more information about sensitive permissions an SDK may use and whether specific SDK versions may violate Google Play policies.” This follows work on the Google Play SDK Index, which “has insights and usage data for more than 100 of the most popular commercial SDKs on Google Play.”

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