Google removed over 700,000 malicious apps from the Play Store in 2017

There are a lot of excellent apps and games to be found on the Play Store, but to no one's surprise, it can also be home to some bad seeds, too. There were quite a few reports of malicious Android apps all throughout last year, but new numbers from Google reveal that things could have been a lot worse.

In just 2017 alone, over 700,000 malicious apps were removed from the Play Store. That's 70% more than what Google removed in 2016, and of that 700,000, 99% of the apps were taken down before a single user could install them. Similar to other products and services Google is involved with, a lot of this success can be attributed to the company's machine learning systems.

There were a few nasty app trends in 2017, and Google has more evidence to back up its claims of staying on top of all these. When it comes to malicious apps that try to impersonate legitimate ones, 2017 saw Google remove a whopping 250,000 of these. Tens of thousands of applications with inappropriate content (such as pornography and extreme violence) were also removed from the Play Store last year, and the install rate of apps that are bundled with malware was reduced "by an order of magnitude compared to 2016" thanks to Google Play Protect.

Being safe with what you install on your phone has a lot to do with common sense, but for those times when app developers go the extra mile to be sneaky and deceptive, it's nice to know that Google's security measures are getting stronger and smarter.

Google Play had 145% more app installs than Apple App Store in Q4 2017

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.