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Android and poor quality applications: six things that Google can do to improve the Play Store

Android and poor quality applications
Android and poor quality applications

It seems that Google is starting to take its role in keeping its application store clean and safe more seriously . Recently we have seen how it forced developers to include the privacy policy, it was hard on applications with accessibility permissions and it prohibited applications from modifying the blocking screen (unless it was an application for that).

All these measures are a start, but anyone who has spent more than five minutes on Google Play knows that garbage abounds, and in large quantities with this in mind, we have taken out the wish book to draft other rules that Google should apply to Google Play to make it great again.

Limit to advertising

Google Adsense has a more or less clear policy of three ad blocks per web page, but in Android there really is no limit. Some apps show ad after ad, every time you press a button. Ads above, ads below, videos that can not be paused and that are downloaded using your data, whether you want it or not.

If someone wants to put a ton and a half of advertising on their application, they are free to do so, but they should not find a distribution platform on Google Play. The content policy on Google Play has several estimates about ads, but none speaks about the number of ads or their periodicity .

AdvertisementsIf you have ever used an app that does not stop showing video ads, you know what I’m talking about…

Ok, developers need and deserve to monetize their applications, but here we are talking about the difference between use and abuse. I’m sure Google engineers will be able to agree on a number of how many ads and how often they are acceptable and how many are excessive.

Rewards for installing apps / doing tasks

A few years ago applications abounded, especially games, where you could earn points / money / gems / etc by installing applications or performing tasks. This system continues to exist today and Google Play does not have any policy about it beyond forbidding applications to download APK from outside of Google Play. The system is not bad by itself, it is a way to earn “premium” things by doing things instead of paying, but the problem is in those tasks.


From the “install an application to earn credits” we have gone to install an application, open it, reach level 57 and then go out to the street and do the bridge pine with double corkscrew back. The problem is not so much that but other tasks as “go to a certain web page and play a web game” that have all the appearance of being malicious web pages.

Scoring requests

How many times have you received the notice “if you like this application, rate it on Google Play”? Some developers follow the good practice of giving you the option of not remembering again, but in others the warning may jump at any time. Just like when you go to a hotel they do not call incessantly from reception to rate you on TripAdvisor, we could expect the same from apps and Google Play. If I want to score it, I will score it for myself, thank you.


It is a lost battle because Google does so in its applications (although I will say in its defense that at least the reminder is very from time to time), so I do not have much hope that we say goodbye to this mobile evolution of the old windows pop-up At least it should be mandatory to give the option of not remembering again.

Read SMS for trivial things

Many applications require the registration and verification of your phone number by SMS. To make your life easier, include permission to read your SMS. You press a button giving permission and the application verifies itself, without you having to remember and write numbers of an SMS in another application.

Verify more

This is very good to save some work, but with this we are training users to give permission to read SMS like that. The same means by which you receive confirmation codes to log in or to confirm payments. It is a key too important to give lightly, and more and more applications ask us to open it, in your registry.

Just as Google does not like applications to use accessibility services for things other than accessibility, it seems to make sense that applications should not read your SMS unless they really need it to function (SMS clients, for example). example). Giving the entire permission to read a single message seems something that should certainly be done otherwise.

False applications, “jokes”

A joke is when someone pretends to be a bronze statue and suddenly moves and scares the passers-by. An application that says it does something and then does not do it , saying it is a joke in tiny and to avoid technically having a misleading description (if penalized in Google Play standards), it is not a joke, it is a hoax.


Let’s admit it, almost nobody reads the descriptions of the applications. Every day thousands of people are downloading chargers solar battery , hackeadores WiFi , lie detectors and many other rogue applications hidden under the mask of the joke. It is not just a waste of time, because some of these applications are also full of advertising to the top.

In short, jokes yes, false applications do not. As in this year, humanity has thrown its hands in the head because of fake news , it is time we do the same with fake apps.

Bad applications

All of the above could almost be summarized in one point. The most lousy applications should not be available on Google Play, or at least they should be half hidden, far from the fingers of the novice users willing to install anything. The problem is, of course, who is going to determine that an application is very bad or not.

I Am Rich

While in the App Store applications go through a revision prior to publication, Google continues to cling to its algorithms and AI before having human beings of flesh and blood. Okay, but I’m sure Google engineers are able to determine a karma system based on installations, ratings and uninstallations to assign visibility to an application. Those that get a low score, could be directly hidden or displayed with a warning. “Hey, our data indicates that this application can be pretty bad. Greetings, Google.”

Technically there are already some rules about this in Google Play policies, but at this point it should be obvious that they are not being met. For each successful application there are 30 with a similar name and icon , three “guide” apps that have four truisms and ten ads and the odd scam.

PrismWhen Prisma came out on Android, we did not find it on Google Play among so many fakes

Google has had a somewhat passive attitude on Google Play, allowing everyone to do and undo within the rules, and that is what God wants. However, it is the responsibility of the owner of the store to ensure the quality of what is sold and exhibited in it. Just as you would think badly about the delicatessen on the corner if they had rotten products, the same goes for Google Play. If you do not want it, do not buy it, yes, but I still think twice before going to the delicatessen.

Let us help you, Google

Finally, it would be appreciated if Google Play allowed us to report applications in an easier way. Those of us who, like me, have to dive into the depths of Google Play and have seen things that you would not believe would have no problem helping keep Google Play clean … if it were easier.

Today the process to report an application on Google Play for being false, misleading or dangerous is as tedious as making the income statement. It is a boring web form that will take a few minutes to fill out. Once you send it, you never get news again and you always have the doubt of whether these reports do not end up directly in the trash.


While Google takes advantage of crowdsourcing in Google Maps with the Local Guide, in Google Play the collective intelligence is lost and there is no easy, quick and painless option to give feedback on applications. Neither Google watches over the quality of its store nor lets users do it, a recipe that will only bring us more and more garbage and spam unless Google changes the chip.


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