Google Play has something for everyone

Learn how we help developers succeed in delivering innovative and safer experiences to billions of people around the world.

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Over 2 billion people a month visit Google Play to download apps, games and more.

Google Play is an online store where people go to find and enjoy their favorite apps, games, movies, TV shows, books, and more on their Android devices. Google Play is available in 190 countries and partners with developers from all over the world to distribute their apps. In 2019, over 116 billion apps and games were downloaded.

To be successful, Google Play must work to meet the needs of both users and developers. To help users find high quality, engaging apps Google works hard to ensure the Play Store is safe, secure, and convenient. To be attractive to developers, Google Play helps make their products available to over two billion people world-wide and provides tools and data to help them be as successful as possible.

Google Play offers users a convenient, safe place to access high-quality apps and games.

Google Play offers millions of apps, games, and other content for people to choose from. The store provides a search function, editorial content, user reviews, and more to help people find the best content for their individual needs.

Google screens all apps for technical problems, such as malware, and inappropriate content so people know they can safely download them. In 2020, we launched a new Kids tab filled with kid-friendly apps rated by teachers and children’s education and media specialists.

Google Play is also a safe way for people to pay for those apps which are not free and for in-app purchases. Customer service is offered if people have complaints about an app or need a refund as well.

Google Play helps developers grow their business by providing easy access to billions of users.

Google Play partners with developers to provide access to over 2 billion active monthly users. Distribution is free for developers who do not charge for their apps and games. In fact, over 90 percent of apps on Google Play are free to users.

Additionally, Google Play provides tools, training, data and information to developers on how to both improve their apps technically and improve their uptake and revenue. For example, developers can take advantage of:

  • Development and Support. Google provides cutting-edge app development, analytics, testing, and quality control tools through the Android Software Development Kit, Android Studio, and the Play Console.
  • Distribution. Google Play provides the technical infrastructure to distribute apps globally, and to keep those apps updated.
  • Compliance. Google Play manages a wide variety of regulatory compliance requirements, which helps ensure proper distribution of apps globally.
  • Payments. For developers choosing to charge for their apps, the Google Play billing infrastructure provides a consistent, safe, and secure system that gives users the choice among a variety of payment options and currencies.

The bottom line is that we empower developers to do their best work and help them to succeed by investing in tools and resources that support their growth.

Learn more about how Google Play supports developers.

Google Play Store provides a safe and trusted environment for both users and developers.

Google Play Protect scans over 100 billion apps everyday, providing users with information about potential security issues and actions they can take to keep their devices safe and secure. Last year, Google Play Protect also prevented more than 1.9 billion malware installs from non-Google Play sources. There is no charge to users for this service.

In addition to technical safety, each app is reviewed for compliance with content safety standards before being put in the store. Google has policies that address the following issues:

  • Restricted content. Google does not permit apps that contain certain restricted content, including child endangerment, deceptive or harmful financial products and services, and certain other inappropriate content such as hate speech, sexual content, and profanity.
  • Impersonation and Intellectual Property. Google does not permit apps that use another app’s or entity’s brand in a manner that may mislead users or infringe upon intellectual property rights.
  • Privacy, deception and device abuse. Google does not permit apps that are deceptive, malicious or intended to abuse or misuse any network, device or personal data. If an app collects user data, the developer must clearly disclose what data it collects and why, and include the developer's privacy policy in the store listing and the app.
  • Store Listing and Promotion. App developers must describe their app appropriately and accurately. Any misleading metadata or promotions that are harmful to users are not permitted.
  • Spam and Minimum Functionality. At a minimum, apps should provide users with a basic degree of functionality and a respectful user experience.

If a user identifies a potential problem with an existing app, Google Play makes it easy for them to report the problem and Google reviews all such reports. Developers are also able to flag for review any apps that violate their intellectual property.

A developer with an app that is found to have a problem is given notice about it and guidance on how to fix the problem. Developers have the opportunity both to fix the problem or dispute the problem.

Google Play is one of many app stores on Android.

Android is an open ecosystem that enables user and developer choice. Android has always allowed people to get apps from multiple app stores. In fact, most Android devices ship with at least two app stores preinstalled, and users are able to install additional app stores if they choose. Each store is able to decide its own business model and consumer features.

We believe that developers should have a choice in how they distribute their apps and that stores should compete for the consumer’s and the developer’s business.

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Service fee

The service fee supports the Android and Google Play ecosystems.

Developers pay a service fee to Google if they sell apps or if they sell subscriptions or other digital content within an app (e.g. additional energy in a game). There is no service fee applied for in-app purchases of physical goods or services (e.g. meal deliveries, rides, physical merchandise).

This service fee enables Google to maintain its investment in Google Play and the Android ecosystem. Google invests substantial resources in creating, developing and maintaining Android and Play, and the important safety and security measures that make it successful for both users and developers. Importantly, through this business model, the majority of developers (especially new developers trying to build a user base) can access Play’s app development tools, the distribution channel, and the broader Android ecosystem for free.

Because the service fee is only charged when developers charge consumers, Google only makes money when developers make money, thereby aligning our business interests with theirs. This model has been consistent since the beginning of Google Play and is similar to other app stores.

Learn more about Google Play’s commerce platform.

App and game developers are the engine of Google Play. Their creativity and passion create amazing experiences for Android users around the world.

App developers are not just clients – they're partners, and by combining their creativity with our platforms and tools, we’re able to deliver more powerful experiences to people around the world.

Our global reach and distribution puts their apps and games in front of more than two billion Android users. We also make it easy for developers to build a business - as of February 2020, developers around the world (excluding China) have earned more than $80 billion with Google Play. Our tools enable developers to improve the quality of their apps, respond to user reviews, test new features, track performance data, and much more.

Creating a truly open and helpful global platform for developers has been our goal since we launched the very first Android device. We value our partnerships and continue to listen to feedback, always improving upon the platform. See how developers are finding success with Google Play: https://developer.android.com/stories/.

Google Play’s tools and services are designed to help developers test, monitor, and iterate their apps and games to meet their users’ needs.

Helpful testing and interaction tools help developers experiment to create lasting and more meaningful connections with their users. The Google Play platform helps developers react with agility and flexibility when improving the quality of their apps and games. Tools for staged rollouts, beta testing, and early warning alerts empower developers to create better user experiences.

Learn more about how the Google Play Console can help developers:

Build a high quality app or game

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Release with confidence

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Grow your audience

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Monetize with ease

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Engage and retain users

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Google Play knows that actionable data is critical for developers to improve their user experience and grow their businesses.

The data helps developers understand the lifecycle of their app: from how it is discovered in the Play Store, to how users engage with it, and what users are willing to pay for it. Developers also have access to ratings and reviews to understand user feedback and respond to concerns.

Developers also have access to aggregated data to benchmark their performance across the ecosystem. They can access data through the Play Console, in downloadable formats, and APIs, and continually invest to make metrics and visualizations more helpful.

Google Play ensures that the data collected and shared with developers about their apps protects the privacy and security of our users via our privacy policy.

For more information on the statistics and insights available to developers visit the Play Console Help Center and play.google.com/console/about/. For more information on data access visit this page.

From paid apps to in-app purchases, Google Play’s global commerce platform makes it easy for developers to sell digital goods and content.

In addition to helping developers distribute their apps to billions of Android users, Google Play helps them create revenue streams by launching paid apps, offering digital content, or subscriptions.

Google Play’s global commerce platform allows developers to quickly and safely collect payments from users in over 150 countries. Depending on the market, Google Play provides people with a variety of payment methods, which may include gift cards, direct carrier billing, credit cards, and digital services like PayPal. With a safe and reliable payment system in place, developers can focus on building user experiences people will love.

Learn more about monetization options and best practices for developers or get started with Google Play's billing system.

An equitable Play Store starts with policies committed to fairness and extends through how we promote apps to the tools we make available to developers.

We believe that all developers should be given the opportunity to succeed and we work to provide a level playing field for everyone, large or small, third party or first party Google apps.

Our developer policies apply equally to all apps distributed on Google Play, including Google’s own apps.

We use the same principles to decide which apps to promote on Google Play, whether they're third-party apps or our own apps. In fact, we regularly promote apps by Google’s competitors in our Editors Choice picks when they provide a great user experience. Similarly, our algorithms rank third-party apps and games using the same criteria as for ranking Google's own apps.

Google Play Console is a powerful tool for bringing apps to market, and we make it accessible to all along with many other developer tools and services. However, there is data or specific features that are only made available to some developers.

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Training

The Google Play Academy is free to developers, business people, and marketers of Google Play apps and games.

Google Play shares best practices to build a successful app or game business and keep developers updated on changes in our tools. The Google Play Academy is a free e-learning platform for developers, business people, and marketers of Google Play apps and games. The courses are offered in 13 languages to anyone with a Google Account and are completely free of charge.

Over 100 courses are currently offered and are updated regularly with new information. Topics include:

  • How to use Google Play Console features and distribute an app or game
  • Best practices for achieving success in an app or game business
  • Guidance for staying on the right side of Google Play policies

Developers can also follow us via the Android developer blog, Google Play Medium, Android Developer YouTube, and Twitter for news and updates.

There is nothing more important than ensuring users have a safe and enjoyable experience with Google Play.

Every day, thousands of safety and policy experts develop technology processes that keep our users safe. 99% of apps with abusive or malicious content are rejected before anyone can install them.

We regularly update our policies and protections to reflect changing market dynamics and new security issues. We also partner with developers to ensure apps are safe and marketed to the right audience, rapidly identifying any changes needed and working to get them resolved.

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Privacy

Users are in control of their data and permissions.

We’re dedicated to helping people understand and make informed decisions about the data that apps and games seek to access on their devices. As part of that commitment, we require developers to disclose how they collect and use personal data in their Google Play Store app listings.

Developers are only able to ask for sensitive user data - including SMS messages, contact list, device location, and more - when it is appropriate for the primary use of the app. For example, a messaging app might want to access a user’s contact information to be most useful. Developers need to comprehensively disclose the use of these permissions before their app is published to Google Play, and are then reviewed during the app review process. Developers cannot sell personal or sensitive data.

If the developer has an acceptable use case, they still need to ask users for permission before use. Users are always given the option of declining permission with a single click. For access to location, users have even more control with the ability to limit access to a singular instance, rather than on-going.

Visit the Developer Policy Center for more information on these and other policies.

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Security

Keeping Android devices protected, automatically.

Powerful security protections are built into every Android device. These aren’t tools that users have to find and enable on their own; they’re automatic and working from day one.

One example is Google Play Protect, the built-in malware protection for Android devices with Google Mobile Services enabled. Google Play Protect and our systems scan and analyze billions of apps to keep our ecosystem safe for users and developers.

Since launching Google Play Protect, we’ve made significant improvements in our ability to detect abuse, from impersonation and fraud to inappropriate content and malware. New machine learning models and techniques enable us to identify and reject 99% of apps with abusive or malicious content before anyone can use them.

Google Play Protect is only one of many layers of Android security. Learn more about the many different ways Android keeps users safe.

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Families

Helping parents find enriching content for kids.

We are committed to providing a safer and more positive environment for children and families. We help parents find enriching and entertaining content with our Kids tab on Google Play filled with Teacher Approved apps and games (currently available in the US and some other countries and launching globally in 2021). We also empower parents to set healthy digital ground rules with Family Link parental controls.

Our Google Play policies also provide additional protections for children and families. These policies require that apps and games targeted to children have appropriate content, show ads suitable for children, and meet other requirements including ones related to personally identifiable information.

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Policies

Our policies protect both users and developers from bad actors.

Our Google Play developer policies are designed to ensure that we, in partnership with our global developer community, continue to deliver the world’s most innovative and trusted apps to our users.

Key policies include restricted content, user privacy, malware, and mobile unwanted software. Our policies are generally updated quarterly and all developers are notified via email of any changes. Developers have at least 30 days to make any necessary updates to their apps, and longer if the updates are likely to be significant.

After the grace period, if a developer violates any of our Google Play policies, their app is removed or suspended from the Google Play Store. The developer is notified by email about the specific reasons for this action, provided with instructions on how to republish their app, and provided with instructions on how to appeal the action taken against their app.

Repeated or serious violations of these policies (such as malware, fraud, and apps that may cause user or device harm) or of the Developer Distribution Agreement may result in the termination of the developer’s accounts. View more info on our enforcement process here.

Every app is thoroughly reviewed before it goes live on Google Play.

With over a thousand human reviewers and automated protections, we have significantly increased our ability to detect and remove malicious apps. Before any app is listed or after its been updated on Google Play, it undergoes an extensive review to check for compliance with privacy policies, sensitive permissions declarations, and more. Learn more about how developers can prepare their app for approval.

App reviews can take up to 7 days to complete, but are often completed earlier. If the review passes, the app is available to publish. If it doesn’t pass, the developer is contacted with the reason and can resubmit the app at any time with the appropriate updates.

There are millions of apps and games available on Google Play. Our goal is to help users easily discover the ones that are right for them, every time they visit.

Google Play gives people many different ways to discover apps for a variety of devices, including phones, tablets, and TVs. From browsing the homepage, to searching by title, to reading editorial recommendations, it’s easy to find the right app.

We want users to see content that is relevant to them and have a positive experience with the apps they download. We generally favor apps that are high quality and relevant to a broad audience. The best thing a developer can do to increase discoverability is to build an app that people enjoy and recommend to others.

We’re constantly testing and optimizing the discovery experience on Google Play. From adding new discovery pages, and experimenting with different visual formats and layouts, to enhancing our ranking algorithms, our goal is to deliver a more helpful and engaging user experience.

Google Play needs to understand the content and functionality of an app in order to help users discover the right app at the right time.

When developers submit apps to Google Play, they provide information about the app including the app title, description, category and graphic assets. They also give information about the functionality and content of their app. Google then identifies additional characteristics and analyzes user feedback through ratings and engagement metrics. This information helps us recommend the right apps at the right time, whether people are browsing for something new or searching for a specific title.

We take a user-centric approach to organizing and ranking apps in order to create an intuitive and enjoyable experience.

Ensuring a positive experience when navigating Google Play means making it easy to find the apps our users know and love as well as new and undiscovered titles. The Play Store gives users a variety of ways to discover the right apps, like browsing our most popular apps, searching for a specific title, or viewing recommendations.

Many ranking factors are involved in determining which apps to display:

  • User relevance: The most relevant apps to a user depends on where they are browsing or the query they use in a search.
  • Quality of the app experience: Apps that have strong technical performance and a good user experience are generally favored over lower quality apps.
  • Editorial value: Google Play provides curated recommendations to help users find content that is noteworthy and interesting.
  • Ads: Some developers choose to advertise on Google Play similar to other Google properties. These ads are well marked and shown alongside other content.
  • User experience: Google Play endeavors to ensure users have a positive experience in navigating the wide range of available apps.

For more detailed information on app discovery and ranking, visit this article.

User trust in our payment platform is critical to Google Play’s long term success.

Offering secure, safe transactions is a cornerstone of any marketplace. Google Play gives users the confidence that their payments are secure while giving them transparency over purchases and control over their budget.

Google Play supports buyers in over 150 markets around the world to transact using their preferred payment methods, including gift cards, credit cards, direct carrier billing integrations and other digital payment services.

This global payment system benefits developers tremendously because it ensures faster and easier payment for their apps and games no matter where their users are based. Google Play supports sellers in over 135 markets.

Users can transact seamlessly from any app downloaded from Google Play and are in complete control over their payments.

Google Play makes it easy for users to choose the payment option most convenient for them. Google Play offers gift cards to users in 875k+ retail locations, 177 direct carrier billing integrations in 66 markets, credit card integration in 150 markets, and digital services such as PayPal and locally preferred e-wallets across 15 markets. Users can securely store their payment method for future use and modify them anytime.

When an app or game offers an in-app purchase for access to digital content or services, the purchase flow is controlled by Google Play. That means it is consistent across apps and users can clearly see what they are paying for before choosing to buy. To prevent any accidental purchases, users are able to require a password anytime an item is purchased. And if something does go wrong, users can request a refund.

In addition to a secure transaction, users also want control and transparency of their overall spend on Google Play. Payment history across all their apps and games is always available and users can set a monthly budget to help manage their digital wellbeing. In the subscriptions center, users can see all their subscriptions in one place and easily manage them as desired.

Google Play’s billing system makes it easy for developers to earn money in today’s global marketplace.

Google Play’s billing system is a service that helps developers sell digital products in their apps. It makes it easy for developers to transact with millions of Android users around the world in their preferred form of payment.

After a straightforward integration, developers can offer an upfront payment, in-app purchase, or subscription. Within the Google Play Console and via APIs, developers can control their offers, modify prices, and view performance data.

Google Play’s billing system is required for developers to offer in-app purchases of digital goods for apps distributed on Google Play. This requirement provides a safe payment experience for all users and is fundamental to maintaining a trusted ecosystem. Developers pay a service fee as a percentage of the purchase price when a user transacts and as a result, help to support the app ecosystem.

Updates

Mar 2021

Boosting developer success

To help developers build sustainable businesses, we are reducing our service fee to 15% for the first $1M (USD) of revenue every developer earns each year.

Learn more

Sept 2020

Listening to Developer Feedback

We wanted to share how we’re taking developer feedback to improve Google Play and clarifying our billing policies.

Learn more

April 2020

Find high-quality apps for kids on Google Play

We’ve made it easier for parents to find the good stuff, with a new Kids tab on Google Play filled with “Teacher approved” apps that are both enriching and entertaining.

Learn more

Explore Google Play today

All of your favorite games, apps, movies, TV, and books are on Google Play. From current favorites to future can’t-live-withouts, discover just the thing for whatever mood or moment you’re in.

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