Google has finally banned lock screen ads on Android

Apps, especially free ones, understandably sometimes have adverts, but while they tend to only be displayed inside the app itself, some are more intrusive, leaking out on to your lock screen. Well, not any more, because Google has just banned that practice.

In its new ‘Lockscreen Monetization’ policy Google says that: “Unless the exclusive purpose of the app is that of a lockscreen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device.”

So in other words, utilities, games and any other app that isn’t designed specifically to replace your lock screen won’t be able to show ads on it.

For the most part, that sounds like a very good thing, as no one really wants adverts on their lock screen, especially from an app that has nothing to do with the lock screen.

The Amazon question

But it does throw up a couple of questions. SlashGear points out that Amazon sells some phones at a discount with the catch that their lock screens will show you adverts via the Amazon Offers app.

So would this still be allowed? It’s not clear whether this would be considered a lock screen replacement or not, though it might be safe, since its whole purpose is to display adverts on the lock screen.

On a similar note there are apps such as Fronto that pay you to show adverts and articles on your lock screen, so these may be clamped down on too.

We’ve contacted both Amazon and Google for more information and will update this article if we learn anything more.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.