Google Cleaned the Play Store in 2017
Google Play functions as a digital distribution service, and serves as the app store for the Android OS. In 2017, Google made a big change to their app store by removing “bad apps”, and even certain developers.
With technology constantly on the rise, Google took a big step in sending a message to anyone with faulty intentions on their app store by removing close to a million apps and over 100,000 developers last year alone. The primary targets to get removed were any apps that impersonated other apps, had inappropriate content on them, or contained malware that could harm users.
Firstly, apps that impersonate other apps. These impersonators, or “copycats”, are the most common to be removed. A lot of developers seek out an easy path to success by ripping off an already successful idea or app, and create their own version with minor tweaks.
The next batch of apps to get removed were those that contained inappropriate content. Google Play has their own definition for what consists of inappropriate content, for which they allow none of. Google partly relies on reviews left by humans to determine which apps contain inappropriate content, but mainly decide what is and isn’t appropriate with their self-created advanced technology.
Lastly, malware. Google classifies malware as Potentially Harmful Applications (PHAs), or any app that can cause harm to the device being used. To be branded as a PHA your app would have to somehow involve phishing or fraud schemes. Google says that these apps are still in low quantity, and installs of PHA’s are down fifty percent since last year.
Google is a tech giant in every aspect of the phrase. With Google Play being available on almost every Android device, the opportunity presented for people with foul intentions to create some sort of faulty app scheme is higher than ever. Luckily, Google is showing everyone that they are ready to combat anyone trying to game the system with swift justice. Check out the full rundown of how and why they removed so many apps and developers here