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Google axed 700000 bad Android apps from Play store past year

Google axed 700000 bad Android apps from Play store past year

Google has a tough job keeping its Play Store free from bad apps and malicious creators.

Google Play Protect scans installed apps to monitor for malicious activity.

With the increase of efforts from Google, this is apparently a 70 percent increase over the total removals that happened in 2016. For 2017, they not only improved on their ability to detect bad apps, they discovered new techniques that help them identify repeat offenders.

Any number of malicious apps sneaking through the cracks is nothing to be sniffed at, but at least Google is catching many more bad actors than it has in previous years.

"In fact, 99 percent of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them", Ahn said. Google also pulled tens of thousands of apps for having inappropriate content, which were flagged by Google's machine learning algorithms and then removed by the company's human reviewers.

The company credits improvements to its machine learning models and new detection models for malicious and abusive techniques.

These numbers were published today in an end-of-year report authored by Andrew Ahn, Product Manager of Google Play.

According to Ahn, copycat apps are usually created to resemble popular mainstream apps and is a popular method of deceiving users.

Both Google Play and the App Store enjoyed a 20 per cent YoY growth in consumer spend during the last quarter of the year, but the App Store maintained its nearly two-fold lead over Google Play in terms of amount spent, as $11.5bn passed through the store. Google also admitted that some malicious apps will fall through the cracks and make it on the Play Store, as no review system is ideal. Finally, Ahn went on to reiterate that Google is continuing to find new and better ways to detect and protect users against potentially malicious apps.

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