Print 19 comment(s) - last by djc208.. on Jan 13 at 4:55 PM

Google finds that some are abusive of its app store permissiveness

With a few scant exceptions like unauthorized tethering apps, Google has been rather permissive in what it allows on its Android Market -- its counter to the iTunes App Store.  Whereas approval through Apple can be filled with months of rejections and delays for some unlucky developers, Google has tried harder to make the process of publishing an app as straight forward as possible.

Some malicious parties, though, have tried to take advantage of the company's permissive nature.  On December 22, First Tech Credit Union wrote that a "fraudster developed a rogue Android Smartphone app" that spoofs users with a fake bank interface, trying to get users to fill in their account information.  That day BayPort Credit Union's mobile bank provider, MShift, announced similar concerns, stating that it had contacted Google on the December 15 about another rogue app.

It turns out that the developer -- 09Droid -- actually had a plethora of fake bank apps available on the Android Market, including apps posing as Chase, Sun Trust and Bank of America.  Google has at last removed those apps from the market, explaining that they clearly violate its terms of use.

Writes a Google spokesperson, "The Android Market Content Policy clearly states that we don't allow applications on Android Market to identify themselves with third-party marks without permission. If an application violates the content policy, we will remove it from Android Market, and developer accounts will be terminated for repeated violations."

They add, "For example, we have a policy against inappropriate content, which includes malware. A developer must also abide by our Developer Distribution Agreement in order to upload an application to Android Market. We also may check applications for compliance with the Market Content Policies (in order to remove malware, porn, spam, or profanity)."

While the Android Market clearly has rules, it is an interesting question whether Google's permissiveness is the reason rogue apps like this have been able to slip through to a greater degree than competitor Apple.  Despite an enormous volume of apps, few, if any, rogue apps have made it to Apple's iTunes App store thus far.

Regardless of the answer to that question, Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at F-Secure, says rogue applications are a sign of smart phone attack attempts to come.  He also points out that smart phone manufacturer Symbian's app approval process has also been subverted.  He writes, "Some of them will try to target online banking, others will try to call premium-rate numbers or send text message spam and so [on]. Signing and certifying programs are in a key position on smartphone systems to prevent problems like this ... [although] we have seen the 'Signed by Symbian' certification process subverted a couple of times."

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App Store > Android Market
By reader1 on 1/13/2010 8:56:36 AM , Rating: -1
Games for iPhone generated 13 percent of Gameloft's revenue in the last quarter. "We are selling 400 times more games on iPhone than on Android,"

"Gameloft says it, others reining in Android plans"

"Survey Says Nearly 60 Percent Of Android Developers Unhappy With Profits"

According to AndroLib, fully 62.2% of the apps available are completely free, compared to just 37.8% that are paid apps. That's in stark contrast to the App Store, which now has over 100,000 individual apps, of which (by some recent counts) a hefty 77% are paid applications...

"Android Market hits 20,000 apps, over 60 percent free""

Android has no chance against the iPhone because it's not a closed platform. Closed platforms are more secure, have less piracy and make a lot more money for developers. iFart alone will make more money in a year than all of the Android apps combined.

Android and Chrome OS will have to become closed platforms to compete.

RE: App Store > Android Market
By reader1 on 1/13/10, Rating: -1
By damianrobertjones on 1/13/2010 9:41:52 AM , Rating: 2
But... most people I know have jailbroken their iPhones. Lock something down, people will break into it.

RE: App Store > Android Market
By djc208 on 1/13/2010 9:54:56 AM , Rating: 2
Android has no chance against the iPhone because it's not a closed platform. Closed platforms are more secure, have less piracy and make a lot more money for developers.

Sure, that's why Mac is more popular then PCs, and why Apple changed to Intel vs PowerPC. And we've all read how much more secure OS X is than Windows or Linux.

Google and Android has some growing to do for certain. And as with any system, the more freedom the greater the dangers and risks. But time and again open systems have evolved to be more popular and usually better than closed versions.

Besides, it's only a matter of time before this starts to affect Apple too. If reduced or free Android apps prove good enough to draw users to Android then how long before developers either need to move to stay with the market, or have to reduce or eliminate prices to compete against Android counterparts?

We've already heard of blocked apps that Apple or AT&T have killed because they don't want the competition or strain on their systems. These are the types of apps that will start to win Android market share.

RE: App Store > Android Market
By reader1 on 1/13/10, Rating: -1
RE: App Store > Android Market
By djc208 on 1/13/2010 4:55:06 PM , Rating: 2
Consoles are cheaper than PCs by a fair margin, hence the sales descrpency. But the comparison is apples and oranges. I could say that productivity software sales on the game consoles is nothing compared to PCs as proof against game consoles.

A fair comparison would be amount of software & freeware downloaded or purchased per PC vs the number of games sold per game console. I'd imagine the PC would win that comparison since it is capable of far more than a game console.

There's no doubt the app store is impressive and Apple could maintain it's hold on that market, but only if they get off of AT&T. Otherwise the sheer volume of things running Android could force developers to go there if they want to be a part of the market.

By Shining Arcanine on 1/13/2010 3:40:09 PM , Rating: 2
Macintosh computers are PCs. :/

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