Google Cracks Down On Substandard Apps
Let’s rewind back to the day of the BlackBerry Curve. I used to try as many free apps as I could. It was fun and there was no harm since it was free. If I paid for an app I was serious about it. I remember the day I stumbled across the mirror app for my BlackBerry. Now remember, this was before front facing cameras. These were the days you HAD to stand in front of the mirror to get a selfie. This .99 mirror app said it turned my phone screen into a mirror. Really?! How was it going to do that?! I didn’t spend much time thinking about how… I just typed in my info for my ninety nine cents and waited for the magic to download.
I was so excited when the download was complete! I tapped on the app and my screen went black. I pushed the power button to turn the screen back on and tried it again. Once again I tapped the app and my screen went black. I was so disappointed at this ‘broken’ app and then it hit me as I saw my reflection on my black screen. Wait. I get it…. and now I feel stupid. To be fair, it did exactly what it said it would. I saw my reflection – sorta. I basically paid 99 cents to turn my screen off. Lesson learned.
I’d like to say that apps have come a long way since then. Some have, some haven’t.
The Google Play Store opened it’s doors in 2008. As of March 2017 it housed over 2.8 million apps. Google has been very laid back about letting developers use their creative abilities to make whatever their heart desires. This is both good and bad. On the good side, developers are thinking outside of the boundaries of the rules and creating amazing apps. On the bad side, some developers are creating apps that cause your battery to die or fill your phone up with unwanted extras.
Google has decided to crack down on these developers. This year at Google I/O they announced that they will be using a set of metrics to test apps for speed, security and stability. Once the apps are tested any that fall in the bottom 25% will be hearing from Google. On top of a word from the “boss” low scoring metrics will greatly impact how much promotion an app gets. These items will not be as visible in the Play Store.
Google is hopeful these measures will allow them to continue to give developers the freedom to create while warning others about creating less than standard apps.