How safe is the Android app store?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by kat.hayes, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. kat.hayes macrumors 6502a

    Oct 10, 2011
    I'm use to the App store where Apple screens all apps prior to them becoming available for download. From what I understand, anyone can upload anything to the Android app market, including fake versions of apps, viruses, trojans, etc.

    1. Does Google screen any apps?
    2. Is the only way to ensure you are not downloading a virus to download apps with lots of positive reviews?

  2. Explicitic macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2012
    If you want to learn about the process of publishing an app in the Google Play store go here:
    Generally, most apps should be safe. Though from time to time, apps with malware and other viruses do sneak past them but this happens with the App Store too and they are generally removed fairly quickly. If you really are that paranoid, download antivirus software such as this one -
    I, personally, have never used any sort of antivirus software so I have no idea how well they work but this one does seem to work if the reviews are anything to go by..
  3. matttye macrumors 601

    Mar 25, 2009
    Lincoln, England
    All apps submitted to the play store are published immediately. There's no screening of any kind.

    Google has some kind of malware scanner that removes bad apps in the store, so it's reactive rather than proactive.
  4. onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011

    Android malware perspective: only 0.5% comes from the Play Store
  5. Jibbajabba macrumors 65816

    Aug 13, 2011
    Google does not release apps in the Samsungstore at all (sorry to be so pedantic), but there is a difference in Samsung App Store and Googla App Store. Samsung App Store isn't google as much as Google is Samsung.

    Edit: I read Android App Store as Samsung App Store - must be drunk or something .. Never mind.
  6. ChazUK, Nov 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2012

    ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    I believe Amazon curate their app store so if you wanted curated android apps, Amazon is the way to go.

    You can protect yourself by always checking permissions apps have when installing them, looking into the developer's history and ratings (of their other apps too).

  7. gregrose macrumors 6502

    Jun 24, 2010
    Android app store raped my mother and killed my father!
  8. ChrisTX macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2009
    I trust Google that the apps in the play store are safe, but side loading apps are done at your own risk.
  9. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Aug 11, 2010
    Your Mother was a hamster and your Father smelt of elderberries!
  10. blackhand1001 macrumors 68030


    Jan 6, 2009
    I've been using android for several years and have never gotten malware. I also side load quite a few apps which is where the majority of malware is from.
  11. Black Magic macrumors 68020

    Black Magic

    Sep 30, 2012
    If you got to ask that question, then you already know you are taking a chance. Do you ask that same question about Apple or any other store? The scary part is that most people that get a virus or compromised never knows about it until its too late.
  12. iEvolution macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Reviews reviews reviews, read them. Chances are the publisher is legit if their products are getting good reviews. I have been with android for 2 years (short compared to some) and haven't came across any naughty apps.
  13. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    You'd have to just be trying to fill up the phone with random apps to get malware. I've never had an issue. There is only so much an app can really access, if you were rooted then you'd be a bit more at risk. Same applies to jailbreak, but if you aren't stupid then its not a problem.

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