One of the app developers, Better Android, was suspended from Google Play Store recently, so we wanted to share some information about app security and best practices to inform our readers.
To avoid being suspended from the Google Play Store and Google Play Games as a developer, it’s essential to adhere to Google’s policies and guidelines. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Read and understand the Developer Program Policies: Familiarize yourself with Google’s Developer Program Policies, which cover areas such as user data and privacy, intellectual property, ad policy, and content policies. Make sure your app complies with all the relevant policies.
- Follow the Developer Distribution Agreement: Ensure that you comply with the terms of the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement, which covers topics such as device compatibility, app updates, and more.
- Maintain a high-quality app: Make sure your app is well-designed, functional, and free of bugs. Google Play may suspend apps that have a high number of crashes, are unresponsive, or exhibit other negative user experiences.
- Respect intellectual property: Do not use copyrighted content, trademarks, or other intellectual property without proper authorization. Avoid using assets or content from other apps or games, and create your original assets.
- Be transparent about in-app purchases and subscriptions: Disclose any in-app purchases or subscriptions, and provide users with accurate information about their costs and terms.
- Keep content appropriate: Ensure that your app’s content is suitable for the target audience and follows Google Play’s content rating guidelines. Avoid explicit, violent, or offensive content that may violate these guidelines.
- Avoid spammy behavior: Do not create multiple apps with similar functionality, post fake reviews, or engage in other deceptive practices. Google may suspend or terminate developers who engage in such behavior.
- Respond to user feedback: Pay attention to user feedback and reviews. Address any issues or concerns that users raise, and provide timely updates to fix bugs or add new features.
- Stay informed about updates to policies and guidelines: Google Play may update its policies and guidelines from time to time, so stay informed and make any necessary changes to your app to maintain compliance.
By adhering to these best practices, you can minimize the risk of your app being suspended or your developer account being terminated.
You can find the relevant policies and terms of service at the following links:
- Google Play Developer Program Policies: https://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy/
- Google Play Games Services Terms of Service: https://developers.google.com/games/services/terms
How do I ensure app security for my Android game?
Ensuring app security for your Android game is crucial to protect user data, maintaining user trust, and comply with Google Play’s guidelines. Here are some best practices to follow for app security:
- Use the latest Android APIs: Make sure to target the latest Android API level and use the latest security features provided by the Android platform. Update your app regularly to make use of new security enhancements.
- Secure data storage: If your app stores sensitive information, use secure storage options like Android Keystore System or encrypted files. Avoid storing sensitive data in plain text or SharedPreferences.
- Secure network communication: Use HTTPS with SSL/TLS to encrypt data transmitted between your app and servers. Verify server certificates to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks. Implement certificate pinning if needed.
- Minimize permissions: Request only the necessary permissions that your app requires to function. Avoid requesting excessive or unnecessary permissions, which may raise security concerns among users.
- Validate user input: Always validate and sanitize user input to prevent code injection attacks, such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS). Use parameterized queries when working with databases.
- Use Android App Bundle (AAB): Using the Android App Bundle format to distribute your app on Google Play can help protect your app’s code and resources from unauthorized modifications.
- Implement tamper detection: Use techniques like checksums or digital signatures to detect if your app has been tampered with. This can help prevent unauthorized modifications to your game’s code.
- Obfuscate and minify your code: Use tools like ProGuard or R8 to obfuscate and minify your code, making it more difficult for attackers to reverse-engineer your app.
- Regularly test for security vulnerabilities: Perform security audits and penetration testing to identify and fix any security vulnerabilities in your app. Use tools like the Android Security Testing Checklist to guide your testing. Make sure you read and follow the guidelines: https://developer.android.com/topic/security/best-practices
- Keep third-party libraries up-to-date: Regularly update any third-party libraries you use in your app, as outdated libraries can introduce security vulnerabilities.
- Educate your development team: Ensure that your development team is well-versed in secure coding practices and stays up-to-date with the latest security trends.
By following these best practices and staying informed about Android security, you can help protect your game and its users from potential security risks.
The Android SDK is bundled with Android Studio, the official Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for Android development. To obtain the latest Android SDK, download the latest version of Android Studio from the official website: https://developer.android.com/studio
Once you have installed Android Studio, you can manage and update the Android SDK, build tools, and other components through the SDK Manager. Keep in mind that the Android SDK and Android Studio are frequently updated, so it’s essential to check the official website regularly for the most recent information and download links.