Google launches Play Store for Education

A more stringent approval process arrives for Android apps, but only for apps build for educational purposes.

Google has announced an extension for its Android Play Store that is targetted towards primary and secondary educators in the United States, called Google Play for Education.

Currently only functional on Nexus 7 devices, the new app store offers bulk ordering by teachers and school staff of content that is distributed to student devices.

Apps that appear on the education app store must go through an extra layer of scrutiny before being available for purchase.

"Apps are being reviewed by a third party network of educators," the Google Play for Education FAQ states.

"These educators assign the appropriate subject, grade, and common core standards metadata, as well as evaluating whether the app meets the Google Play for Education criteria for classroom use."

Under the criteria set, an app is judged on its educational value, the experience of using the app, and ensuring that the app does not collect any personally identifiable information or use student data for any purposes unrelated to its function or improvement.

Apps without ads, whether free or paid, are preferred in the education store. Should an app contain ads, Google recommends the disabling the display of ads, or at the very least that the ads should not take up a large portion of the screen, does not exceed the maturity rating of the app, the usage of ads be declared in the store, and that the limits on rating and personal data usage that apply on the app, also apply to the ads themselves.

Google does not currently allow for a developer to have separate builds, functionality, or pricing for the general Play Store and the educational Play Store, nor have the ability to differentiate between a student account and a teacher account.

There is no support in the educational store for in-app purchases or free trials with in-app subscriptions.

For an app to be submitted to the educational store for review, Android app developers are able to mark their apps for inclusion in the store from the Google Play Developer Console.

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