Latest News

February 7, 2014

Google Patent To Keep Out Duplicate Apps In Play Store

google-logoAs we all know Android is a very open source OS, and there are those who take advantage of this.

Google play was designed as such to create an ecosystem where the app developers could publish their creative work and be rewarded, without much interference by Google.  Unfortunately, there is a minority of people who take advantage of this system and use it to their unfair advantage, typically by copying an app, either in appearance so it seems likes a popular app or in functionality that is not original, (we only have to remember the BlackBerry BBM app being copied numerous times). While Google currently removes apps off the Play Store if they are harmful or violate the terms and conditions in some other way, it is much harder for them to find and remove these duplicated apps.

This patent could be a result of the uproar from, not only users but the likes of BlackBerry that complained to Google about pirated apps.

Patent ImagesNow we have some very good news.
Google has found a way to combat this.  In a new patent application called “Detecting Pirated Applications”, Google explains a system that they have developed to catch apps like these before they are instituted into the Play Store.  The process involves Google automatically identifying trusted assets in trusted apps and generating a signature set for them.  Then, they create signature sets for the new app in question, and should the signatures for all the new apps assets, which includes images, executable coding, audio files and data files, be matched up with those already in use, the app is set aside for manual review before entering the Play Store properly.
The automatic process is very fast and will catch these apps before landing on the Google play.
The apps that fail are then looked at by Google manually and a decision is made  as to whether they are in violation or not.  If found to be in violation, then the app will be removed before ever being viewed by the public.  The reviewer will also need to consider whether the violations are using open-source code or images that anyone can use, or if they are infringements of the original apps intellectual property.

With this new system, Google will be able to greatly reduce the number of duplicate or semi-duplicate apps are on the Play Store without having to manually inspect each and every one.
What does this mean to you?  Well, it will show developers that Google is looking out for their best interests, and in turn that they are being more developer friendly.  This can only help the Play Store grow in the number of legitimate apps available, helping the Android ecosystem as a whole.
We can see this new system over the coming weeks/months reducing the overall number of apps that are at present on Google play.
What do you think?  Let us know down below.

Via:  Cult of Android | Source:  USPTO

Be Sociable, Share!

The following two tabs change content below.


Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini