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Google gets better at spotting bogus Play Store app installs

Its new detection method could stop Android developers from gaming the system.

It'd bad enough when you download a crummy Android app, but it's worse when you're tricked into installing that app thanks to fake installs and other tricks that make it seem more popular than it is. Google wants to fix that: it's deploying upgraded detection and filtering tech that should do a better job of catching installs meant solely to pump up an app's placement in the Play Store. Developers won't immediately get the boot if they're caught (rookie developer may not fully understand the rules), but those who make a habit of rigging the system could lose their app presence.

Is this going to eliminate app fraud? Probably not -- shady developers may find a way to circumvent detection, and it's harder to spot non-automated deception like incentivized ratings. If Google succeeds, though, that should increase the chances that apps actually deserve their positions on the Play Store charts.