Over the years, there have been plenty of ill-meaning app developers pushing malware and adware onto the Google Play Store. Over time, Google has gotten better at squashing these apps out and removing them, which is shown by the company’s 2017 stats. According to Google, it removed 700,000 bad apps from the Play Store last year.
Google no longer shares the total number of apps introduced to the Play Store each year, so we don’t know how much of a chunk 700,000 is. Either way though, over 2017, Google caught out 700,000 apps that violated the Play Store policy, which is a 70 percent increase compared to 2016, as reported by Venturebeat.
Google has broken down removed apps into three categories: Copycats, inappropriate content and potentially harmful applications. Copycat apps use deceptive tactics to impersonate famous apps, we saw this with WhatsApp last year, in which developers used unicode tricks to display their fake version as a legitimate one on the Play Store.
Inappropriate content bans were attributed to apps that promote illegal activities, pornography or extreme violence. Finally, potentially harmful applications were apps that contained malware to conduct fraud, act as trojans, phish user information or even form a botnet or cryptocurrency mining network.
KitGuru Says: At Google’s current rate, it will likely manage to squash over one million bad apps over the course of this year. Still, it would be preferable if the Play Store had stricter approval policies in the first place to catch apps before they can be installed.