Google Exercises Mobile Authority, Remotely Nukes Apps from Android Phones

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MrBlonde81

I wouldn't want an app installed on my phone, that could be/intended to be malicious.  That said, I didn't have the any of the apps that were removed. 

I do keep track of what apps are updated, but rarely just let everything auto update.  I also remove apps that don't work, (so if I did download that Twilight app, it'd be removed after the first attempt) so I won't be affected by having a useless app on my phone. 

What would happen if a legitimate app then adds malicious code?  Does my Droid's Free Wallpaper app get remotely removed?  Sure! What if it's an app I paid $1, or $5 for?  Well my answer is less enthusiastic and depends on the answer to "Is google going to give me a refund?"

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PawBear

 Caboose, this is an addendum to my earlier comment.  Maybe someone can enlighten me on how to respond to other comments.  I haven't figured it out.

My suggestion that Google inform it's user base first before pulling an app is dependant on sites like this.  Not everyone would know, but it would at least appear transparent.  I would wonder if they couldn't build this kind of communication directly in the os, or is it already?

"Either we conform the Truth to our desires or we conform our desires to the Truth."

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Caboose

 below the post is a little speach bubble with a + in it. That's the reply option.

 

As for your suggestion about them posting it on websites like these. It'd be very difficult  to get all tech sites to release the info at the same time, all over. Plus not everyone reads these sites. And at times, some people don't really have much access to the net. It'd be almost like Dodge posting a recall on 'Motor Trend's website'. You wouldn't think to visit Motor Trend's website to check for product recalls.

I guess Google could post something on all Google homepages. A red box with text in it that reads "ANDROID MARKET NOTICE: Product X has been removed from the market and will be removed from all Android handsets due to 'Reason Y'. Click here for more information'

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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PawBear

 Ahhhhh... Thank you.  I had to turn off AdBlock Plus to see it.

"Either we conform the Truth to our desires or we conform our desires to the Truth."

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Albuca

I completely agree with Google's course of action on this one. It’s why the
big companies have the big red button in the first place. At least they were
smart and told people this is what we did, and this is why we did it.

Personally, I'm not expecting the same transparency from Jobs. It’s known
that Apple has a kill switch, but as far as I know, the public has never been
told if it has been used or not. 

Sore 1 for Google, 0 for Apple (probably won’t ever change)

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MdX MaxX

Google should have the power to quarantine malicious apps, but the user should still have control over whether to delete the app or unblock it and keep using it.  I know that there's a slim-to-none chance that Google would mistakenly pull an app, but I'm all for giving the user as much control as is practical, even if the user doesn't really need that level of control.

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PawBear

 Would Google retain more credibility had users been informed first?  Explanations can go a long way to preventing upset.

*** "Either we conform the Truth to our desires or we conform our desires to the Truth." ***

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Caboose

 That can get kinda tricky, mass SMS? But what about those that don't subscribe to any sort of SMS feature, or have it blocked?

Could email everyone? But then people will start bitching about privacy concerns. And phone calls are out of the question.

 Unless Google has a method of issuing important/critical messages/alerts to all Android users regardless of what Android OS they're using (official builds, or mods).

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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TheZomb

A notification within the OS saying an app was removed. If they have system to remotely remove an app they can implement one to tell you about it.

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Alphadog

Just like Microsoft, Google now has numerous operating systems for many devices.  Both companies are responsible for the quality and integrity of their software which reflects on their brand name.  Microsoft tries to squash viruses and rootkits with security updates, monthly signature updates and other removal tools.  In my opinion, Google is trying to do the same by means of remote access to OSes on mobile devices.

Kudos to them for implementing this feature--as long as they don't abuse it.

 

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Mighty BOB!

That's a really big "as long as.."

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Caboose

This shouldn't be an issue. If an app goes against the ToS, and/or is found to be malicious, Google should have every right to remove it from the market and Android handsets without a second though.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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Aviar

Being an android user, I think that in certain instances like this, it's ok to push the button on apps.  Devs that do this type of thing should be banned from releasing anything further on the marketplace though.  There's no need for someone to be releasing apps like this.  Gives everyone in the open source community a bad name.

 

Remember, don't take life too seriously.  You won't make it out alive anyways.

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bigdog9586

Didn't someone do that with a movie or something and then agreed to credit those that it did it to.

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azathir

Amazon remotely deleted a couple of ebooks from users' Kindles. Quite a different situation considering these apps had absolutely no functionality whereas those books obviously did.

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