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    Google Follows in Apple’s Footsteps by Cleaning up its Play Store

    Introduction

    Developing apps has become too easy nowadays. There are a million mobile applications available online, each with distinct features and innovative interfaces. The applications are not just restricted to games or financial and banking applications. Developers are trying to outperform each other by launching smart apps quite frequently. There are many resources available online that can help users to develop new apps. Automated tools, app development wizards, and templates can be accessed online for free. Many of these resources have turned amateur programmers into full-time app developers. App development has become the theme for many new business startups. Other small business units turn to such app developers for marketing their products using smart apps.

     

    iOS App Cleanup

    The Apple application store was flooded with many redundant applications. Apple decided to clean up their app store after its Worldwide Developers Conference. The Apple management decided to ban some of the apps from its play store and perform a thorough cleanup. The ban was enforced mainly on apps that were created using automated commercialized template based wizards or through automatic app generation services. This cleanup was aimed at reducing many of the spam applications. These applications generally included low-quality applications and clone apps which were used to market small businesses. The ramifications of Apple’s decision to clean up its app store mainly hit small business enterprises and iOS App Developers.

     

    Google to follow Apple Strategy of app store cleanup

    Google also followed suit to apps decision to clean up its online store. Google has also released a new developers policy specifying a new set of guidelines for publishing apps. This policy follows the strategy adopted by Apple. Google has decided to clean up its play store and remove spam applications. On a broader scale, the ban covers applications which are used to mine cryptocurrencies, applications that promote the sale of firearms, and also automate app development tools and wizards which provide standardized templates for designing new apps.

    The primary reason to target such applications is to maintain a higher integrity of applications available on the play store. If low-quality applications keep growing exponentially and they keep passing off poor content to the consumers, it does affect the overall quality of the play store. In a way, this does raise questions about the integrity of other applications in the store. Many spam apps lead to a clutter in the play store, which affects all users worldwide. Undoubtedly, there are genuine apps designed to support the growth of small business units. But there has to be some distinction amongst such apps and low-grade apps which spam the internet space. Google has implemented a blanket ban, which covers many of the apps created for the purpose of marketing small businesses. Applications created for promoting local restaurants and clubs are some instances which promote local business. But these apps are generally poorly designed because of lack of expertise. Such entrepreneurs do not have any app development designs, not any in-house app designers and they end up using the standard app making wizards.

     

    Effect of Change in Policy

    Google has made some changes in its developer’s policy with the intent to clean up spam apps and redundant installable lying in its play store. The policy specifies guidelines on submission of apps to Google. Previously, many of the business and service providers used automated wizards to create applications. But when they submitted this application, it was from the account of the business unit. This made the app seem genuine as if the business unit has created a specialized application. However, this impression given to the users was not true. As a corrective step, Google has made some amends in the developer’s policy. The new policy lays down some guidelines about who can submit the apps to Google. Google reserves the right to publish or discard any app on its play store. The new policy states that such applications will be published in the play store only if they are submitted by the developer of such applications. If a business develops an app it has to compulsorily publish it in the name of the developer and not from the account of the enterprise.

     

    Google Policies vs Apple Policies

    Apple was the leader in raising the concern of app store spamming out to the world. Apple took the first corrective measures to clean up its application store. But Apple decided to implement a blank ban and cover all applications that were created using an automated tool. This affected not only small business enterprises but many application developers as well. This was met with a lot of criticism and many prominent people ended up questioning Apple’s intent to clean up the store. It felt as Apple did not want small business to compete with the bigger brands using the iOS platform.

    Google came it up with its new developer’s policy. Google did take into consideration some of the opinions voiced against Apple Inc. Google decided to target apps which were poorly designed or which were designed with mal-intent. Google decided to primarily ban cryptocurrency applications. There were quite a lot of apps which used the user’s resources to mine cryptocurrencies. Many such apps were disguised or marketed as utility apps. But in the background, these apps used the user’s resources to mine crypto-coins. Such apps generally had shady extensions which were used to mislead users.

    Google has also extended the ban to cover applications that sell firearms and ammunition, explosives and firearm accessories. This step is inclined towards taking a moral stand against gun control related risks. Applications that sold conversion kits for firearms, ammunition magazines, and Gatling triggers were also rounded up by Google under the blanket ban.

    There were some applications in the play store that appealed to children and minors with adult-themed apps. Such applications raised integrity question on the developers and service providers and the play store became the platform to market such products. Google policies focus on raising its application standards by cracking down on such apps.

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