Published: Wed, January 31, 2018
Sci-tech | By Javier West

Google Removed Over 700000 Apps from Google Play in 2017

Google Removed Over 700000 Apps from Google Play in 2017

According to Google Play Product Manager Andrew Ahn, Google pulled 70 percent more apps from its marketplace in 2017 compared to the previous year. Historically Android has held the unenvious reputation as the least secure mobile operating system when compared to current and past competition from iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackberryOS.

Google in its part credits this success to its improved ability to detect abuse "through new machine learning models and techniques". It appears that the safeguards did not really work since more than 700,000 apps were removed from Google Play a year ago. "99 percent of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them".

Sensor Tower's Store Intelligence estimates show that year-over-year spending in these apps during the fourth quarter of last year grew almost 88 percent to approximately $242 million, up from an estimated $129 million in the same quarter a year ago. Global consumer spending across the App Store and Play Store was also record-breaking in Q4, growing 20% year-over-year (YoY) to exceed $17 billion.

The company says it'll keep striving for perfection, but as malicious actors get smarter and malware becomes even harder to detect, it'll be impossible to stamp out bad apps completely. "Tens of thousands of apps with inappropriate content were taken down previous year as a result of such improved detection methods". While small in volume, PHAs pose a threat to Android users and Google invested heavily in keeping them out of the Play Store. Other malicious apps that Google removed included those called PHAs. While there weren't many of them, the mechanism reduced the number of installations by an "order of magnitude" over 2016, Google said. Google claims that many of its Files Go users use SD cards to back up their files. We take these extremely seriously, and will continue to innovate our capabilities to better detect and protect against abusive apps and the malicious actors behind them. There's only so much Google can do to help when offering the Play Store in China would involve censorship and other compromises, but that still leaves a large chunk of the Android world in a more vulnerable position.

So, is Android perfectly secure from malicious programs?

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