File Image: IOL Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Google announced new changes to its Play Store developer policies, adding a ban on several new categories of apps, including cryptocurrency mining and apps with disruptive ads. 

“We don’t allow apps that mine cryptocurrency on devices. We permit apps that remotely manage the mining of cryptocurrency," said the company in a statement. 

Additionally, Google’s wants to ensure the safety of children on the Play Store by also removing apps that promote sexual content on apps meant for children. 

“Apps that include content that sexualizes minors are subject to immediate removal from the Store. Apps that appeal to children but contain adult themes are not allowed,” said the company. 

“If we become aware of content with child sexual abuse imagery, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution.”

Apps that allow or facilitate “the sale of explosives, firearms, ammunition, or certain firearms accessories” are also added to the banned list. 

These include apps that provide instructions on manufacturing explosives, firearms, ammunition and other weapons. 

Google’s will also be removing “repetitive” apps.

These are apps that mimic or provide the same experience as apps that already exist on the platform.

Apps can be removed if they copy content from another app without adding anything new or unique.

“If these apps are each small in content volume, developers should consider creating a single app that aggregates all the content", said Google. 

Additionally, “apps that are created by an automated tool, wizard service, or based on templates and submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons are not allowed,” the company adds. 

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