Google has some very strict guidelines on how developers can use ads inside their apps. Deceptive ads that mimic an app’s UI or system notification, full screen ads without a dismiss button, ads that display outside the app serving them — these are just a few of the practices strictly forbidden by Google.
Most people find it acceptable when ads are displayed somewhere within the app. What crosses the line is when those apps start displaying ads in the notification bar or on the lock screen.
You might remember that several years ago Google banned ads in the notification bar and now it is taking similar steps for the lock screen too. In a new section on its developer monetization page, Google has added a new section, outlawing the shady practice of shoehorning ads onto the lock screen.
Google wrote: “Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.”
If your entire app is a lock screen, you’re still going to be allowed to serve ads. Ads that don’t comply will be kicked out of the Play Store with a quickness, according to Google.
The trend has gathered pace in recent times, driving Android device owners to adopt ad blockers as an essential app. So, it’s good to see Google step in and combat the practice.
Google will begin banning apps that have these types of ads, so developers using them have officially been put on notice. Google is telling app developers to fix apps in their catalog that do not comply and submit them again, or unpublish them from Google Play within the next 30 days.
One of the most high profile apps to do so was ES File Explorer. Last year it displayed a “Charging Booster” ad in its free version, much to the chagrin of users everywhere.