One thing all smartphone customers have come to understand is that there is almost no app that is “free”. There is always some way that the app is taking money using the user (not that it’s wrong since developers need to earn money after well). One way they keep their apps free from a price-tag is by making it ad-supported. And almost all free apps on the Play Store are.
What the Play Store Tells You Currently about Apps
At the moment, the Google Play Store tells you which apps are free and which apps have in in-app purchases or need outright payment. Out of those free apps, most come with ads while there are a few (thousand) that are indeed free and don’t have any in-app purchases or ads. To make the distinction between such apps easier, Google is bringing a new solution. According to the Android Developer Page, starting 2016, Google will require all developers to declare whether they use ads in their apps or not.
Check Under the ‘Install’ Button
Developers Take Note
If you are an app developer, you would be required to sign in to Play Developer Console and declare whether your apps contain ads. The last date to do this is by 11th January 2016. After this date any app updates will require an ads declaration. Google says that falsifying ad presence will be deemed as a violation of Google Play Developer Program Policies and such apps will be similarly suspended.
What does Google Mean when it Says ‘Ads’?
According to Google’s definition, any banners, interstitials, native ads or house ads should be declared as in-app ads. However, these do not include paid product placements or offers for in-app purchases or upgrades. In short, the Play Store will now mention whether apps contain ads or not.
Both Apple and Google have been upgrading their app store policies to make the apps’ financials as transparent as possible. Recently, the iTunes App Store made changes, no longer listing free aps as “free”. Both, Play Store and iTunes, now clearly mention whether apps have in-app purchases since these types of apps brought several lawsuits that the companies were deceiving users by claiming these apps as free.