Do you have a Google+ account? You might not even know. If you have one, do you ever actually use it? You might not care much about the social network, but you definitely had to at least have a Google+ account if you wanted to talk about your experiences with a particular app on the Google Play store.
That's right. Google's policy, up until now, has been that only those with connected Google+ accounts can post app reviews on Google Play. Google has since changed its mind and is starting to eliminate this requirement, but its move comes fairly quietly. A few users recently mentioned the change to Android Police, and TechCrunch has since confirmed with a Google spokesperson that a Google+ account is no longer needed to post reviews.
Google appears to be rolling out the change across accounts, as some users have reported being able to post reviews on Google Play without needing a Google+ account, whereas others seem to still be stuck with the requirement. It's unclear just how long it might take Google to lift the restriction for everyone, but we figure it shouldn't take too long.
As part of the removal, Google has also nixed the "+1" voting that you could do for an app, which then indicated to your other Google+ friends that they should potentially check out whatever it is you liked. Users could also access a "people" section on the store that showed them all the different apps their Google+ friends recommended—for those of you with a ton of connections on Google's arguably failed social networking site.
Google's changes shouldn't be that surprising, given that the company has been slowly distancing its major applications and services away from Google+. Google decoupled Google+ from YouTube in July of last year, and the company announced it was removing the Google+ requirement for Google Play Games in January. Instead, Android gamers were given new "Gamer IDs" to use when signing in, which they could link to a normal Gmail account instead of a Google+ account.