Published: Tue, January 30, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Google Removed 700000 Bad Apps From Play Store Last Year

Google Removed 700000 Bad Apps From Play Store Last Year

Google believes that while the majority of developers have their audience's best interest at heart, some bad apps and malicious developers "attempt to evade detection and enter the Play Store to put people and their devices in harm's way" since "the massive scale and the global reach of Google Play make the platform a target for bad actors".

In just 2017 alone, over 700,000 malicious apps were removed from the Play Store.

The figures reveal a worrying uptick in malware or copycat apps, but also shows Google is becoming increasingly adept at dealing with the problem. That's up 70 percent from 2016. It also mentioned that these apps never even made it to a user's device, since they were removed before they were available in the Play Store.

The company writes in a post on its official developers' blog that it took down more than 700,000 apps that violated Google Play policies in 2017.


Between 2015 and 2017, worldwide spend on entertainment apps across both stores grew over four times, while in-app subscriptions on Google Play fuelled consumer spend - particularly on productivity apps.

Inappropriate content: Apps that contain or promote content such as pornography, extreme violence, hate, and illegal activities are not allowed.

Not only did Google remove the bad apps, it was also able to identify and take action against them earlier. Google is active against such apps as well and it took down more than a quarter of a million impersonating apps a year ago. Google long used static analysis techniques to find potentially malicious code in new apps, but with the addition of machine learning in the last few years, the company is now able to find a far wider range of apps. Finally there is Potentially Harmful Applications or PHA's. The improvements do make a better case for sticking to Google Play for app downloads when you can, though. This revenue growth was actually eclipsed by three of its fellow top 10 apps, though: CBS at 128 percent, Starz at 147 percent and YouTube at 154 percent. Reiterating that it takes these kind of harmful and malicious apps very seriously and will continue to improve its system.

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