Google has introduced new rules for the Google Play Store to prevent low-quality apps from infiltrating the store and providing a poor experience for users. In mid-year, Google implemented stricter identity verification guidelines for developers on Google Play, known as the D-U-N-S Number. This policy has now been applied to developers who registered before September 2023, requiring them to verify their identity. Google has also kindly allowed developers to specify an appropriate verification deadline and fulfill the identity confirmation as agreed.
Apart from identity verification, Google has set conditions that newly created accounts on Google Play Console must run a test version of the app on Google Play with at least 20 testers for a duration of 2 weeks, in the Google Play testing system, before requesting the release of the fully functional app. This enforces a mandatory testing process for developers, ensuring that any issues with the app are identified and resolved before its widespread release.
Google has also announced that the pre-store review team will now take longer to review new apps, particularly those targeting children or requiring certain permissions. This is to prevent deceptive apps and safeguard a smoother user experience. However, it may result in longer review timelines for some apps compared to before.
TLDR: Google Play Store has implemented stricter identity verification guidelines for developers and introduced mandatory testing of apps before release. The pre-store review process may take longer, but it aims to prevent low-quality and deceptive apps from reaching users.