Google has taken a big step towards making its Play Store safer for both users and brands. In a blog post today, Google announced that it has quietly added a human element to its app review process, and also will be adding age ratings to apps posted on the Play Store.
In the past, Google Play apps were vetted by software designed to catch violations of Google’s developer policy through image matching. However, as we have seen, plenty of IP infringing and less-than-secure apps still made their way into the store and users’ devices.
The human review process began several months ago and will allow for more accurate policing of intellectual property matters, which often require a more nuanced approach.
The age ratings will be especially helpful for parents in determining which apps are appropriate for their children, and will follow rating systems for video games that parents are probably already familiar with. These ratings, licensed from the International Age Rating Coalition, will follow local standards such as ESRB ratings in North America and PEGI in Europe.
These moves by Google bring the Play Store closer aligned with Apple’s App Store, long seen as a “walled garden” for apps compared to Google’s free-for-all platform. However, we will have to wait and see just how much infringement is barred entry to Google Play under the new system, and what Google will do about the large number of infringing apps currently available.
Brand owners seeking information about current infringement levels in all of the major app stores can contact IP Lasso for a consultation.