GOOGLE HAS SLOWED DOWN its approval process for apps submitted for inclusion in the Google Play Store.
According to developer Choice of Games (CoG), the waiting time has gone up from almost instant to a day or so, to a new banner message on submission that warns that approval will take at least three days.
The actual wording says: "To help better protect our users, we'll take more time to thoroughly remove your app.
"We recommend that you adjust your planning to include a buffer period of at least three days between submitting your app and going live."
There's been no big song and dance from Google about the change. This wasn't quite enough for CoG who decided to chat with support, and from this we learned that all new apps will be treated this way, confirming the warning isn't being triggered by certain apps or publishers.
As CoG point out, this presents a wider issue because it means that it's no longer possible to give a definite release date for new products.
This means that Google has taken complete control over the publication of apps and has confirmed that there is no way to expedite it for new submissions, only for app updates of pre-approved apps.
CoG points out that not only were developers not warned of the change, but they were only finding out when their apps were sent for submission - there's no warning until you hit that button.
Google had warned that there would be some changes back in April but that seemed to apply to new publishers and this seems to be happening to everyone.
There are two major issues here. The first is the fact that Google hasn't sufficiently warned developers of what was to happen, and indeed appears to have moved the goalposts compared the scant information it released back in April.
The second is more fundamental - app publishers are now put in a position where Google has complete control over when an app hits the Play Store which undermines the owner's ability to market their app with confidence. And that just doesn't seem fair. µ
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