Following the recent ban by Apple on all crypto-mining apps in the iOS App Store and Mac App Store, Google has followed suit by banning them from the Android Play Store as well. Google will still allow mining procedures to run on the cloud, but has officially banned on-device mining using Android hardware.
This ban follows Google’s shutdown of all cryptocurrency mining extensions from the Chrome Web Store, which had come right after the rise in the number of in-browser miners using CoinHive. The platform stopped taking in new mining-based extensions in April, and delisted them from the store in June. Their new altered policies read that crypto-miners may stay as long as they can satisfactorily explain their purpose. But after finding out that 90% of such extensions failed to sufficiently inform users on their working, they were banned altogether. The Android Police were the first to detect these new changes in Google policy.
Repetitive and completely similar apps with no original content or value have also been disallowed from the Play Store. “We don’t allow apps that merely provide the same experience as other apps already on Google Play. Apps should provide value to users through creation of unique content or services,” they have explained.
Google’s changes in policy will also clamp down on several other kinds of apps as well. They will now refuse apps that are automatically created by template-based tools or apps on behalf of a third party. These apps will be allowed only when published by an individually registered developer, who may use such automated tools to create the app. It will also disallow apps that have the purpose of just showing ads. It has also put in a ban on applications that “appeal to children but contain adult themes”.
Google is also issuing a shutdown on fraudulent and fake apps, or apps that would impersonate any person or organisation. Security firm ESET has warned Google of as many as 3 apps impersonating Indian banks, that are designed to somehow obtain credit card numbers and secure banking details using fake forms and then have them leaked online.