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Google Starts Scanning Android Apps 172

Posted by timothy
from the bender's-job-between-seasons dept.
eldavojohn writes "A recent blog post has Android developers talking about Google finally scanning third party applications for malware. Oddly enough, Google claims this service (codenamed 'Bouncer') has been active for some time: 'The service has been looking for malicious apps in Market for a while now, and between the first and second halves of 2011, we saw a 40% decrease in the number of potentially-malicious downloads from Android Market. This drop occurred at the same time that companies who market and sell anti-malware and security software have been reporting that malicious applications are on the rise.' So it appears that they allow the software to be sold even before it is scanned and it also appears that no one has been bitten by a false positive from this software. Apparently Bouncer is not as oppressive as Apple's solution although given recent news its effectiveness must be questioned. Have any readers had their apps flagged or pulled by Bouncer?"
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Google Starts Scanning Android Apps

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  • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Friday February 03, 2012 @10:56AM (#38914819)

    It is good that they are going to finally scan for malware.

    Yes.

    But in the end Android apps need better quality control.

    No.

    Look, this site espouses the value of open source and more open markets in general. Android is pretty open as far as markets go, but the caveat that comes with that is that there is a lot of garbage. If you aggregated every, say, Wordpress blog on the Wordpress.com website, 95% of them would probably be unreadable drivel. The same goes for programs.

    If an app exists but it doesn't work for you, then go to a competing app. If an app exists, is really crappy, and is the only one of its kind, that is what we call a "business opportunity". The market lacks quality software and that's a hole that you can fill. If an app doesn't exist but it would be useful (or fun!), then do it and make some money.

  • by Daetrin (576516) on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:02AM (#38914911)
    Uh, scanning for malware is great. But i don't want Google putting itself in the position of deciding what apps are "good enough" to be in their store. There have already been enough questionable decisions based on things like copyright, i don't want them having to make judgement calls on something even more nebulous like "quality."

    If you've found apps that aren't of high enough quality to suit you i suggest you just find a better app and/or tell the author what the problems are and ask them to improve it. Or if you can't find a better version and the problems really bother you that much, just uninstall it. If the problem is dealt with by Google wielding a ban hammer then it is "solved" not only for you, but also for all the people who thought the value of the app was worth dealing with the problems.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 03, 2012 @11:06AM (#38914963)

    So it appears that they allow the software to be sold even before it is scanned and it also appears that no one has been bitten by a false positive from this software.

    Why does it 'appear' that they allow the software to be sold even before it is scanned? It could be true but it doesn't seem to follow from anything else that was said. It sounds as if it scans items that "are in the market" but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't scanned before they go into the market, just that they continue to be scanned as the scanning techniques improve/change.

    Why does it 'appear' that no one has been bitten by a false positive? I don't see anything that could lead to that conclusion.

    Either or both of those statements could be true, but just sticking "It appears" in front of them without explanation is ridiculous.

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