Although Google Play is quickly catching up to Apple’s App store in number of apps, Apple still holds one advantage over Google Play: safe apps. Google Play(formerly known as the Android Marketplace) has tons of malicious apps including spam apps, malware apps, and copies of other games. Google has decided to clean up its act and has added a new developer policy today.
While Apple extensively reviews each app before it is allowed on the App store, Google’s former policy would allow anyone to submit apps and would not screen any of the apps. Although they have been known to keep an eye on the store and remove malicious apps such as Find and Call, which would steal user phonebook info and spam text messages to other numbers, it looks as though they are really cracking the whip with this new policy.
To start, all Google Play apps have to use Google’s own payment system including for in-app purchases as well as downloads. To prevent copy cat apps, Google’s policy doesn’t allow apps that aren’t original or represent that of another company. They also recommend not developing apps that look too much like those that ship on Android. They’ve also detailed new rules about not implementing malware such as Trojan horses and worms as well as misleading product descriptions and the ability to send automated SMS messages and emails. Apps can no longer make ads look like system notifications or collect personal data also.
Developers will have 30 days to comply with these policies or risk the removal of their respective app. Google’s new developer policies are definitely a step in the right direction for the future of Android. With 600,000 apps currently in the Google Play store and 900,000 Android activations per day, customer reassurance of safety will be crucial for the operating system as time goes on. Let us know what you think of Google’s new developer policy in the comments section below.