Many free apps have been using ads that appear over a phone’s lock screen to generate revenue.
The Google Play Store has started to ban apps from introducing pesky ads that can appear over your phone’s lock screen.
Google’s official app store now mentions the restriction in its developer policies on deceptive and disruptive ads. Android Police spotted the change on Thursday.
Google hasn’t explained the reasoning behind the restriction, but it’ll probably be welcomed by most.
Plenty of free apps, including file managers, photo editors, weather widgets, and security software, were using the monetization tactic to generate revenue.
Consumers, however, were left with unsightly ads that invaded their phones’ lock screen. Users on Reddit have complained and called it a form of adware.
Last year, one popular Android app called ES File Explorer was accused of secretly bundling a battery booster with its software that began showing the lock screen ads. Following user complaints, the company behind ES File Explorer said it was a “difficult decision” to include the ads, but claimed they were necessary to keep the company operating.
The new restriction on lock screen ads probably won’t sit well with app developers looking to monetize their free software. But it isn’t a complete ban.
If the app’s exclusive purpose is to work as a lock screen, ads are still permitted, according to the policy. These screen lock apps are already numerous, and although free, many mention that they do contain ads. (The Google Play Store clearly labels if an app contains ads under the “Install” button.)
The restriction does not apply to Android apps offered outside the Google Play Store.