GOOGLE HAS been demonstrating how its use of AI has protected the Play Store from 700,000 malicious apps and 100,000 'bad developers' in 2017.
The figure is up a staggering 70 per cent over 2016, but algorithms have meant that 99 per cent of apps were rejected before anyone had a chance to install them.
Andrew Ahn, Product Manager at Google Play explains: "Google Play is committed to providing a safe experience for billions of Android users to find and discover such apps.
"Over the years, this commitment has made Google Play a more trusted and safer place. Last year we've more than halved the probability of a user installing a bad app, protecting people and their devices from harm's way, and making Google Play a more challenging place for those who seek to abuse the app ecosystem for their own gain."
Google has always been committed to keeping the Play Store as an open environment - compared with the Apple App Store which uses manual vetting for each and every app. But it soon became clear that any hope of adopting an honour system was not going to be respected by bad guys.
That said, it's worth point out that, although the Play Store takes a lot of flack for its perceived malware problem, the vast majority of dodgy apps actually come from third-party app stores in places like China, where the Play Store isn't operating, or from "warez" - hacked games.
Additionally, the launch of Google Play Protect, the embedded anti-malware feature within Google Play Services, is estimated to have prevented over half a million rogue apps from being installed, despite coming bottom in a comparison of mobile malware apps.
But there's still work to do: "Despite the new and enhanced detection capabilities that led to a record-high takedowns of bad apps and malicious developers, we know a few still manage to evade and trick our layers of defence.
"We take these extremely seriously, and will continue to innovate our capabilities to better detect and protect against abusive apps and the malicious actors behind them. We are committed to make Google Play the most trusted and safe app store in the world."
Google recently announced that it would be using its technology to block apps from running if they contained malicious code - even if the apps hadn't originated from the Play Store. µ
Plus IoT factories and a pricey Pixel pouch
It's all fun and games until someone loses their rent
Speeding this way from the Spring
It's generating lower margins than smart-speaker rivals from Amazon and Google