Google is now doing a much-needed crackdown on apps that bother users with intrusive and annoying advertisements. The company says they have removed almost 600 such apps from the Play Store for Android phones. Google looked at how intrusive or disruptive these adverts were in the process of using an app or even otherwise, and then decided that almost 600 apps violate its Play Store guidelines. On Android phones, some very irritating apps would show adverts even when you may not even be using that app—imagine a full-screen ad popping up unexpectedly as you open the dialer app on your Android phone to make a call, for instance.
“We define disruptive ads as ads that are displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions. While they can occur in-app, one form of disruptive ads we’ve seen on the rise is something we call out-of-context ads, which is when malicious developers serve ads on a mobile device when the user is not actually active in their app,” says Per Bjorke, Senior Product Manager, Ad Traffic Quality at Google.
While 600 apps may be a rather small demographic among the 3 million strong Google Play Store library of apps, it is surely a start in the much-required clean-up process. Google says this is a result of a machine learning based feature that detected out-of-context adverts as well as invasive adverts on Android phones. A lot of these adverts were malicious, if nothing else, designed to potentially defraud unsuspecting users. If nothing else, Google’s crackdown may act as a deterrent for app developers.