Google’s cracking down: removes 60,000 crapplications from the Google Play Store

Quality control has long been a strong criticism with apps and games found in the Google Play Store, one that comes with the whole “open” turf. Now, it looks like Google has finally started cracking down on developers abusing the Play Store’s lax policies to spam and promote their crapware wherever they can.

As reported by TechCrunch, Google’s been doing a little spring cleaning, removing around 60,000 games and applications from the Play Store — an all time high — in just February alone. It seems that everything could be automated and while 60,000 out of approximately 700,000 Android applications may not sound like much, it’s just nice to finally see Google making a strong effort.

Where a good portion of these were the obvious MP3 scraping applications, others, like the newly released Hazard Rush, may have violated Google’s “Spam and Placement in the Store” policy (even if only by accident):

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.

I remember a time when some sketchy developers looking for greater exposure would upload multiple copies of the same game, only with different names. I’ve also noticed that’s a whole lot less frequent these days. Of course, Google’s policy of not needing to approve apps before they go live in the Play Store (a stark contrast from Apple’s policy) could mean they’ll always be chasing violators, instead of preventing them. I’m sure they’ll come up with some complex algorithm for that in the near future. Has anyone else noticed a whole lot less crap/spam in the Play Store, or do you feel it’s overall the same?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamille-Browne/1184321457 Jamille Browne

    Good rules

  • squiddy20

    Admittedly, I don’t do a whole lot of browsing in the Play Store. If I see an app mentioned that looks interesting to me, I’ll search for that app and usually look through the “More from developer” or “users who installed/viewed this application also viewed/installed…” sections.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aarontrevor Aaron Sentell

    +1 for “Crapplications”

  • Cory Skelton

    I’ve downloaded hundreds of apps I’ve had to delete 5 seconds after I opened them. Ugh. Nice to see Google is taking this seriously.

  • yankeesusa

    This is great news.

  • pr0xidian

    I generally find what I’m looking for. Very rarely do I uninstall an app.

  • Samuel Serafim

    How this apps got high rating?

  • bob

    Bout damn time

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Poulos/629584504 Chris Poulos

    Hope they finally get rid of the samsung .biz hardware wireless dongle update, tired of seeing it pop up in my app updates…

  • irishrally

    Great news, and 60,000 is a lot of apps, around 8.5% of the store. Earlier on I don’t think Google would have wanted to cut almost 10% of the apps when the iOS, Android app count comparisons were being made. Nice to see that’s all in the past now … because “we” rock.

  • Nicole Gagneux

    This is great news. Good job, Google, doing some spring cleaning. Next: control why the heck an app that gives me weather needs access to my contacts or “dial numbers without my permission”.

    And those are just mild permissions, I’ve seen worse.

  • http://twitter.com/SFIndustries Curtis Coburn

    This is good to see! The number of applications does not matter, but the quality of them matters the world.

  • http://profiles.google.com/kylecpcs Kyle Kennedy

    At least google has a generous return/refund policy on apps. Also, being able to browse via my web browser, and then pick an app and push it to any of my devices makes searching, reading, and installing far simpler than anything iTunes or anyone else offers.

    • NuLLnVoiD

      Google has a terrible return/refund policy. A 15 minute window isn’t enough for some of the games coming out now. They can take 5 minutes to download and 30 minutes to get the app data. Just look at Bard’s Tale (3.5 Gb for the HD version). Google used to give 24 hours. Many developers have had to provide refunds through their own sites in order to extend a return policy that Google screwed up on. This just creates more hassle for everyone involved.

      I’m still glad to see that Google is doing a little house keeping. You are right about the simplicity of pushing to a single device from the computer. That was a HUGE improvement.

      • queenren

        If you think Google’s return policy is terrible, take a look at Apple’s app store return policy….oh that’s right…they don’t have one.

        I don’t complain about Google’s policy.

  • TheHowiie

    Seeing better games and apps. Nice to see Google taking a firm stand.

  • John Wentworth

    Glad they are taking cleaning up the app store seriously, I’ve downloaded a few crappy applications and even mistakenly paid for a few that were deleted within minutes of downloading. Generally these days I have most of the apps I really need set, any new apps are generally from recommendations, either personal or from a website I frequent.

  • aholsteinson

    Good for Google, they need to protect the quality of the Play Store and a stronger enforcement of the rules will encourage developers to add more polish to their apps.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    LOL i bet if Google did some serious house cleaning, they would lose 50% of all apps LMAO!

  • itmustbejj

    I remember back when Google almost encouraged these to bloat their app store numbers. I’m glad the Play Store has evolved past that point to where they can start being more serious about quality.

  • jomama

    Old news

  • Steve

    There are many apps that contribute to freeze -ups….many conflicting ones…upon removing them no more freezes…need a bit better control