Google now tests Android apps before they hit the Play store

Google has announced it now vets all prospective Android apps prior to publishing them on the Play store.

Previously, developers were able to publish software directly to Android’s Play store without any interaction from Google.

Apple, by contrast, heavily vets its App Store, and often declines to publish apps due to software violations.

Google is now taking a similar approach, however, with humans directly involved in the app testing process.

The vetting system specifically looks to review apps for rule violations or malware, largely to help clean up the store to protect users.

“Several months ago, we began reviewing apps before they are published on Google Play to better protect the community and improve the app catalogue,” wrote Google in a blog post.

This new process involves a team of experts who are responsible for identifying violations of our developer policies earlier in the app lifecycle.”

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Google also says it’s made the app publication process significantly more transparent. Developers can now see why apps are rejected or suspended, and can ‘easily fix and resubmit’ apps if they’re rejected for minor violations.

The move to add more bureaucracy to Play store publishing seems to have gone down without a hitch with developers too.

Speaking to TechCrunch, Purnima Kochikar, Director of Business for Google Play, said: “We started reviewing all apps and games before they’re published – it’s rolled out 100 per cent and developers haven’t noticed the change.”

Machines to the majority of the work to vet apps, checking for malware in code and using image searches to filter out sexual content. Humans then test out apps that are approved by the software.

We’re constantly trying to figure out how machines can learn more,” explained Kochikar.

“So whatever the machines can catch today, the machines do. And whatever we need humans to weigh in on, humans do.”