Google will screen all Android TV apps before allowing them into Google Play



In a move that goes completely against what Google has ever done with Android, Google’s developer policy for Android TV spells out Google’s intentions to screen every app that is submitted before they allow it into Google Play. This is quite unlike the open and less stringent “upload first, ask questions later” method Google has used for Android phones and tablets, as well as for Android Wear. Here’s the policy as written under the Android TV section of Google’s apps distribution page:

Before distributing apps to the Play Store on Android TV devices, our team reviews apps for usability with a DPAD (apps) and Gamepad (games only) and other quality guidelines.

This doesn’t sound too bad. If anything, it sounds like Google just wants to make sure any app that can be downloaded from their official store is fully usable with the included remote and, in the case of games, the optional game pad. Unfortunately Google’s “other quality guidelines” don’t seem to be available for public view, but we imagine they’ll want to make sure your apps don’t crash or blow the moon up and whatnot.

It’s always a little unsettling when Google goes off the tracks and implements policies that make the barrier of entry for developers harder, but as Android continues to evolve and find its way on new platforms and in new industries Google will have to work carefully to groom it and make sure things don’t get too wild in the early going.

Creating an apps marketplace for something like a television or smart glasses is much more different than your average phone or tablet, so we can’t exactly cry foul without knowing whether this policy hurts the development process more than it helps. In any case, we’re sure folks who end up buying Android TV products will appreciate the fact that Google isn’t willing to let anything and everything onto the big screen (especially considering how buggy many of Google TV’s apps were).

[Google via Android Police]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

Deal: Get the Moto X 2013 Developer Edition for $230 on eBay

Previous article

These cool Moto 360 adapters let you use any watch band you want, and they’re £40 away from Kickstarter goal

Next article

You may also like


  1. Playin’ Devil’s Advocate here:

    If it were my store (of any kind),I’d wanna know exactly what’s being sold beforehand……..

  2. They more than likely want to make sure there no type of copyright infringing in the new apps also.

  3. This is great news.

    TV is a unique platform. If Google were to leave this wide open, they’d end up with another Google TV (aka failure). Crappy phone and tablet apps displaying unoptimized on your TV will not create the digital television evolution that Google is envisioning.

    I’ve been excited for Android TV for quite some time and this is a great preventative measure to ensure the project stays pointed in the right direction. Once it matures, I’m sure Google will consider loosening the reigns. And I’d expect an even more strict process for the approval of apps that reach Android Auto.

    1. Thank you, Cult Of Mac.

      I too am absolutely sure that Google is not getting stricter (Chromecast developers must pay to test) and stricter (Android TV requires approval) about innovation.

  4. All I have to say is I hope that it has a thorough malware review. And if it is, I hope they apply that to all corners of the Google Play Store, not just Android TV.

    1. Google has allowed malware vendors to buy apps and add malware in Chrome. The only “malware” Android has ever warned me about is the kind that helps me root my phone.

      Google Corporation thrives on adware.

  5. Hmm wonder if its part of the term and conditions that content providers have given to Google to allow Android TV to make use of their content.

  6. Good move, especially considering they want Android TV to survive and thrive.

  7. Finally, hope they do the same with the smartphone and tablet app store next cus it’s so full of junk

  8. I don’t have a problem with this. Google Play for phones and tablets is littered with so much crap, blatant ripoffs of others’ work and misleading apps that this should have happened a long time ago.

    No point in dealing with copyright headaches.

    1. You are so on point

    2. Congratulations. Google fanboys like you sound just like past Apple fanboys. Keep sticking up for bad decisions, regulation, and limiting free choice.

      1. If by free choice you mean people ripping off popular apps, using the same graphics and sounds and making money from someone else’s work, I’m absolutely for reigning that in.

        No one should have to play detective in Google Play to see if (insert new popular game) is actually the real app or a ripoff.

        Why you can’t see that this is bad is beyond me. It screws the original developer and completely craps on any confidence people have buying from Google Play… you know that thing that has Google’s name on it.

        Just because YOU don’t like it doesn’t mean everyone else has to.

        1. That’s not what I meant at all. Maybe if Google was truly benevolent (it’s not), censorship would be helpful. But instead, Google removes legitimate apps, like Disconnect. Why? Google seems to hate when users are kept malware-free.

          1. Google tracks you and gets your information…so, why allow apps that prevent such atrocities!

            Google does EVIL better than anyone else…and all these Phandroids love it more and more whenever they bend over to Google.

  9. Don’t be Evil.
    If no one saw this coming then that is surprising.

  10. Wait! Isn’t this what Apple does? Who is becoming who here?
    So, Apple isn’t crazy at all! First, FLASH. Then, SD cards. And now THIS.

    1. The only difference is that Google fans think they have a “good reason” for Google to restrict creativity. As if they’re somehow better than Apple now…

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News