Apps must not have names or icons that appear 'confusingly similar' to existing products

Google cracks down on fake apps

Google has changed its policies to address the problem of fake and copycat apps on the Google Play store.

Android has become increasingly popular in the past year, and is far and away the largest mobile games market.

Despite this, Android is low on the prioities list for most developers, and this means relatively little competition for the horde of fake apps and copycats that leech the success of the chosen few chart toppers.

But Android isn’t just the cheap option for consumers anymore, and is being adopted as an OS to power the Ouya console, the Raspberry PI, and other devices.

All this developer attention means more eyes on Android’s marketplace, making this an ideal time for Google to flush out the bilge.

"Developers must not divert users or provide links to any other site that mimics or passes itself off as another application or service," reads the new Google Play developer policy.

"Apps must not have names or icons that appear confusingly similar to existing products, or to apps supplied with the device (such as Camera, Gallery or Messaging)."

Developers have been concerned for some time about the mounting courage of app scammers.

Just this spring, a fake Pokemon app made its way onto Apple’s AppStore, which has a strong reputation of vetting before releasing them to consumers.

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