During the Google I/O developer conference, Google unveiled new security and privacy features for its Play Store, including updates to the Play Integrity API and the Data safety section. In addition, Google will allow developers to push out prompts to users to update their apps, without requiring prior integration work.
Developers will be able to prompt users on specific app versions to update their apps when a problem has been fixed or to migrate users to newer versions. The feature will roll out with app bundles in the coming months. Users will also automatically be prompted to update their apps if they are crashing in the foreground and a more stable version is available.
The Play Store’s Data safety section will introduce data deletion options and other policy requirements that could be used by developers to build trust with users. However, they will become a Play Store rule eventually, similar to Apple’s recent requirement for app developers to offer an “account deletion” feature.
Google Play developers must answer new data deletion questions in their app’s Data Safety form by December 7 or request an extension until May 31, 2024.
The Play Integrity API, launched last year, is being improved with a new beta integration option that gives API verdicts 10 times faster and a dashboard where developers can monitor the API’s status.
Google is also expanding automatic integrity protection for offline apps and games, enabling developers to use DRM protection without integrating an API in a backend server.
Finally, Google has given the Play Store Console App a makeover, allowing developers to customize their homepage with the metrics they care about and to use the new inbox to keep up with messages from Google Play. The app content page has been redesigned to make outstanding tasks clearer.
Overall, these updates demonstrate Google’s commitment to user privacy and security in its Play Store. With these new features, Play Store users and developers can enjoy a safer and more secure mobile experience.