Google will approve Android TV apps before they hit the Play Store

The apps you buy for Nexus Player will have been approved by Google. Photo: Google

The apps you buy for Nexus Player will have been approved by Google. Photo: Google

Developers may be free to release (almost) whatever they like for Android, but with Android TV, things are going to be a little different. Google will screen and approve Android TV apps before publishing them in the Play Store to ensure a good experience for its users, according to its guidelines for developers.

One of the many advantages of Android — according to its fans, at least — is that Google’s open approach to the Play Store allows for apps and games that wouldn’t be allowed on iOS and other mobile operating systems. Android has countless emulators, torrent downloaders, and lots more that you won’t find elsewhere.

But Google will be taking a slightly sterner approach to Android TV apps.

“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,” the search giant says in its developer guidelines, which can be found in the Android Developer support portal.

The main reason behind this decision, it seems, is not to rid the Android TV app selection of a certain type of content, but simply to provide the platform’s users with a decent experience. There were too many apps available for Google TV that either worked badly or simply didn’t work at all, and that certainly wouldn’t have slowed its demise.

What’s more, knowing that the apps and games that they’re going to be buying were screened before they became available gives users confidence in the software they are purchasing; you won’t spend $4.99 on a game to find out that it’s so buggy it’s unplayable, and its¬†developer has decided to stop supporting it.

A bit of control may not be a bad thing, then, and for now, at least, it doesn’t look like Google has any plans to¬†extend its review process to regular Android or Android Wear apps — so the open ecosystem you’ve become accustomed to on those platforms isn’t going to change.