In just the past few days it has become clear that people who use the Google Play Store are not completely protected from malicious and fake applications. Virus Shield, the most popular paid application at the time of its removal, turned out to be bogus even though it brought in as much as $40,000.
Its developers are now claiming that a lone developer accidentally published the version of the app that was reported to be fake. Whether or not this is the case (the developers have said that they will provide refunds), it shows that people who pay for an app can not just assume that it is actually real or worthwhile.
Virus Shield cost $3.99, had high rating, and had been downloaded thousands of times. However, instead of protecting users, it displayed a check mark graphic that provided the illusion that a device was secure and protected.
After reading the article created by AndroidPolice, we immediately unpublished our app from the marketplace to upload the intended version. However, our Google Play Developer account was suspended before we could make said amendments. We have not withdrawn any earnings received from Virus Shield and intend to refund all purchases. We may possibly upload the intended version of the app for free to everyone. – Jesse Carter, developer, Virus Shield (Deviant Solutions)
If what Carter has written is indeed what occurred, then there is no reason to actually be mad at the developers behind Virus Shield. Instead, an argument could be made that Google should validate app updates in the same way that Apple does on its iOS app store. On iOS, every update is verified and in some situations, even rejected by the app store. Since Google does not do this, “fake” apps like Virus Shield can go unnoticed while simultaneously collecting a large sum of money.
Question – Do you believe that the fake version of Virus Shield was just a mistake?
Summary: The developers behind Virus Shield say that the “fake” version of the app was never supposed to be released and was just a mistake. Refunds are going to be issued to people who paid for the app.
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