Developers no longer have free rein to immediately publish apps onto Google Play without any oversight. Google has announced that apps distributed through its store are now manually tested and reviewed to uncover app violations and malware. And much like Apple, sometimes it's real people handling that job. "This new process involves a team of experts who are responsible for identifying violations of our developer policies earlier in the app lifecycle," Google wrote in a blog post.
The new system has actually been in place for a couple months, and according to TechCrunch, Google hasn't received any complaints from developers about delays. It seems no one's even noticed the change. That's got a lot to do with Google's approach; not everything here is being done by hand. The company is combining the use of automated tools — which scan apps for viruses and other obvious Google Play no-nos — with human reviewers who jump in when the system flags something unusual. "Whatever the machines can catch today, the machines do. And whatever we need humans to weigh in on, humans do," Purnima Kochikar, Play's director of business development, told TechCrunch.
The bulk of manual reviews are handled by the automated system without any human involvement, according to Recode. Google says it's able to automatically weed out other violations, too, like copyright infringement and apps that include sexual imagery. The company claims apps are still making it onto Play within a matter of hours, which is a bit speedier than the days-long wait iOS developers regularly endure.
Correction: Apple similarly uses automated tools during its App Store review process to weed out apps that violate developer guidelines.