Android Struggles With App Trojans – Apple Approves 500,000 Apps

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While Apple have approved over 500,000 apps in the last few years opening up a new marketplace for developers and seeing a wave of competition that is rapidly altering what is available for owners of Smart Phones and Tablets, we see the Android marketplace struggle with malicious apps that could be a warning sign of things to come and I feel should be nipped in the bud early.

Will Android become the new Windows – Hell on earth?

As a recent Android convert (right now iPhones are over rated) I am relatively pleased with the Android market….however:

Talking to the European head of a leading News aggregation app News Republic the other day, I curiously quizzed him about his developers producing apps for both markets, and his response was along the lines of:

Android better to develop for:

“Android is much easier to develop for as Google allow you much more freedom of creativity and choice in getting apps approved.”

– Great news.


News republic app for iPhone and Android is a fantastic app by the way – tailor your own news and stop messing about going to all the rest!

But freedom can come at a price, and it seems this lack of control could be costing Android its reputation as a safe place to download apps to your mobile.

Quality of Apps:

Another slight issue I have with the Android marketplace as opposed to Apples is the quality of the apps:

I have only had my New Samsung S2 for two weeks now but the apps I now have are generally not as slick as the iPhone ones I was used to, yes the big ones are cool, and work better as my device is superior in almost every way, but the plethora of apps to choose from is woefully average and I can only put that down to a very weak editorial policy for new apps on Google’s Android marketplace.

i.e anything goes on Android until its an issue!…Very dangerous.

15,000 affected Android devices due to malicious Trojan apps:

F-Secure are reporting that a rogue Android developer has altered an essentially harmless app into one that covertly allows a simple mobile botnet to do the following:

“The added code will connect to a server and send details about the infected handset to the malware authors,”

With 25 apps found on the Android marketplace recently all containing a variant of the DroidDream trojan, Google have since rid their marketplace of these offenders but reports are that more infected apps have made their way into the Android app market yet again.

I am not a fear driven person but this does have me concerned.

The issues I have here are this:

For many years I chose macs to work on, mainly because over ten years ago I produced dance music on computers and Macs were the most stable operating systems to work with, I had no internet until early 2000’s and since then have no real idea what Trojans, Malware, etc really are at all as I stuck with my Apple mac, hearing reports from PC users but smuggly thinking; glad that is not a concern of mine….and for this I thank Apple and the hackers who have thought better than plaguing OSX (mainly, I hear due to market penetration being too small, and not that OSX is so robust, it is apparently not)

So anyway I thank Apple for keeping the iPhones app marketplace free of nonsense and danger.

But Google need to watch out; one major bad press release about how plagued the Android marketplace is could mean slow or immediate disaster for the Android O/S and related manufacturers, as people will simply not put up with something they used to feel they had no choice in (which PC operating system to use, Apple or Windows, with people sticking to familiarity over safety for many reasons in the past.)

in 2011 though a clear choice has emerged between Apple or Android.

If this then shifts to “Safe and unsafe” I know who will start winning the SmartPhone was yet again.

Sensitive information kept on your phone:

With so much sensitive information being stored on your phones memory, we do worry massively about these kind of issues not getting resolved and feel that Google need to step up their game immediately with regards to security and how they manage their own marketplace.

Creative freedom = security issues?

Google needs to more closely monitor its Android app marketplace before it turns into a junk yard and has users worried about downloading anything other than the supposedly trusted, well know apps, this would be a disaster for what many feel is Androids major plus point, more creative freedom.

So here are the graphical stats for Apple’s app market with a lovely looking illustration by 500K apps:


What are your thoughts on Google V Apple in terms of their marketplace for apps?

Do you have first hand experience of both markets, if so, which do you prefer? And is security a concern of yours while using Smart Phone applications?

Anthony Munns