Google’s numerous safeguards designed to prevent malicious apps from reaching Android users led to the removal of over 700,000 apps from the Google Play Store in 2017, the company said today. That’s a 70 percent increase over the total removals in 2016. “Not only did we remove more bad apps, we were able to identify and action against them earlier,” Google Play product manager Andrew Ahn wrote in a blog post. “99 percent of apps with abusive contents were identified and rejected before anyone could install them.”

Google attributes this success to its improved ability to detect abuse “through new machine learning models and techniques.”

Copycat apps are still a significant problem

Copycat apps designed to resemble popular mainstays remain…

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