Apple’s semi-arbitrary approach to app store management may have problems, but Android (as much as I love it) is a jungle in comparison. Just tonight Google has pulled an app that, if downloaded, would have essentially rooted your phone and sent off every single detail it could find to a server in Fremont, California. Not only that, but it had the ability to download more code, potentially making it even more dangerous.
Redditor lompolo was investigating a suspicious app (Super Guitar Solo) that appeared to be a dupe of an existing app (Guitar Solo Lite), and found that it did indeed contain root exploits. Google pulled the code shortly after the guys at Android Police posted it, but it looks like at least 50,000 people have already downloaded the app, and there are a bunch more from the same publisher.
It’s the peril of an open app economy, but I have to say there’s rather a mismatch between the mentality behind the app store (essentially that behind the wave of download sites on the web in the late 90s) and the type of people increasingly using the OS. Right now this stuff is pretty limited, but if users get wind of it, or enough of these apps take down enough Droids, people will decide Android isn’t a “safe” mobile phone OS.