Google is removing tens of thousands of apps from its Play Store a continued effort to battle spam and remove non-compliant software.
Google has been deleting massive amounts of apps from its Play Store, hitting a record high in February with 60,000 apps deleted during that month alone. Some apps have been deleted by individual publishers as well, but overwhelmingly, Google seems to be spring cleaning. The majority of affected apps were those in the mp3 or ringtone category, many of which are made by some dubious developers. It is possible that the clean-out is in preparation of a rumored update to the store.
The focus of the removals has been spam applications and other programs which in some way break the Terms of Service for the Play Store. Unlike Apple which only allows internally approved apps in their store, Google doesn’t vet their content beforehand. Needless to say, this does lead to some spam, but historically, Google has combated this by simply reacting to the apps as they’ve trickled in. A large scale sweep is something different.
The difference between Google and Apple’s approach is that Apple requires a team of reviewers to constantly examine new submissions. Meanwhile, Google can automate the process, using algorithms from an ever increasing library of apps, to determine via computer which programs are most likely spam. Regardless though, both companies boast a massive number of apps, with Apple’s App store listing around 800,000 apps and Google’s Play Store officially sitting on 700,000.