Google changing Play Store subscription and location access policy

Google has published its new Play Store policy today and there are two big changes in it regarding subscriptions and location access. The first of these new policies is focused on the location tracking permissions requested by some apps.

Google Play Store 19.6.25, What’s new [Download APK]

According to the new policy, apps want to use your location while in the background will have to first get approval from Google along with of course the user. The new policy might be published now but new apps have until August to comply and existing apps until November.

The goal of this policy update is to ensure users understand the subscription offer, the terms of free trials and introductory offers, and how to manage their subscription, including cancellation. You can read the full policy and see examples of best practices and common violations in the Policy Center, but the most important thing is to make sure you are clear about your subscription offering within your app. Consider the following best practices:

Be explicit about your subscription terms, such as:

  • Whether a subscription is required to use all or parts of the app. If a subscription is not required, users should be able to easily dismiss your subscription offer.
  • Cost of your subscription
  • Frequency of your billing cycle.

If you offer free trials and introductory offers, clearly and accurately tell users:

  • Duration
  • Pricing
  • What is included with free trial or introductory offer
  • When a free trial will convert to a paid subscription
  • How a user can cancel if they do not want to convert to a paid subscription.

Ensure your app clearly discloses how a subscriber can cancel and/or manage a subscription.

You have until June 16, 2020 to bring your existing apps into compliance with this policy.

Users will now also be emailed before the end of a free trial or introductory price ends and also before any long term renewals (3,6 or 12-months) are coming up. If you uninstall the app you will also receive an email stating that uninstalling the app does not cancel a subscription.

Google hopes that these changes will lead to higher quality and more committed subscribers with lower refund and chargeback rates — a developer with a decent product should not complain about having to be transparent with users.

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