In recent years, Google has been taking a tougher stance on apps and games in the Google Play Store, and have been working to weed out the malicious apps that cause harm to its users. Google has also been explaining how it has been going after these apps and stopping them, before they get onto individual's devices. Google announced today that it actually removed a whopping 700,000 apps from the Play Store in 2017. It also mentioned that these apps never even made it to a user's device, since they were removed before they were available in the Play Store. Showing that Google's Play Protect service is really doing its job.
Google says that the 700,000 apps that violated Google Play policies is 70% more than those that were taken down in 2016. Google is quite proud of the fact that it was able to identify these apps and take action against them earlier, to protect its users. Of course, all of this was done thanks to the huge improvements Google made in its ability to detect abusive app content and behaviors, through new machine learning models and techniques. Google is using machine learning in all facets of its business, both to help the consumer and also protect them. Some of the types of apps that Google removed in 2017 included Copycats, Inappropriate Content and Potentially Harmful Applications. Copycat apps are defined as those "attempting to deceive users by impersonating famous apps" and Google says that it is one of the most common violations of its policies. Inappropriate content is pretty self-explanatory, but it includes extreme violence, hate, illegal activities and such. And Google says that there were tens of thousands of apps with inappropriate content taken down in 2017. Finally there is Potentially Harmful Applications or PHA's. These are actually the apps that most users are afraid of. These typically will install some malware on your device, or act as trojans to phish users information.
While Google did remove a record number of apps last year, the search giant recognizes that there are still plenty of apps that were able to get through the cracks, and it is working to improve its system to combat these apps that made it through as well. Google Play is a trusted platform for Android users, and Google wants to make sure it stays that way. Reiterating that it takes these kind of harmful and malicious apps very seriously and will continue to improve its system.