One thing that I have never liked in the mobile world is the comparison of the number of apps available in each operating system's app store. I've already preached that it's the quality of apps available, not the number of apps available. This used to be obviously true with Android compared to iOS. For the most part, this was due to the lack of approval process on Android, which is great for most of the time, but can also cause problems. Over the last year or so, the quality of apps in the Play Store has improved greatly, but now Google is running into the problem of having a cluttered app selection. In order to combat this, the company did some spring cleaning earlier this month.
Back in February, Google really stepped it up in terms of app deletions from the Play Store. During the course of the month, more than 60,000 apps were deleted from the Play Store that it deemed as spam or that broke one of its other rules and guidelines. It's worth noting that not all were removed by Google, but a good amount were.
According to a summary of the apps deleted, published by a company in the mobile app industry, most fell into the ringtone and MP3 category and often offered to download copyrighted material for free, which in itself is illegal, but many didn't even perform that task and were just ad-riddled applications.
This isn't the first time Google has removed apps from the Play Store before, but is the largest number removed to date. Is this a sign that Google will begin to crack down on its terms of service more seriously? The company has a section in its agreement with developers about spam apps, so it's clearly serious about wanting to improve the overall app quality in the play store.
Developers are important partners in maintaining a great user experience on Google Play.
- Do not post repetitive content.
- Product descriptions should not be misleading or loaded with keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy in the Store's search results.
- Developers also should not attempt to change the placement of any Product in the Store by rating an application multiple times, or by offering incentives to users to rate an application with higher or lower ratings.
- Apps that are created by an automated tool or wizard service must not be submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons.
- Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to: Drive affiliate traffic to a website or provide a webview of a website not owned or administered by you (unless you have permission from the website owner/administrator to do so)
- Do not send SMS, email, or other messages on behalf of the user without providing the user with the ability to confirm content and intended recipient.
Do you think Google needs to focus on the quality of apps in the Play Store? Should it start reviewing apps before they are available to the public?