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Is there a blacklist yet for Android apps? After reading things like this on slashdot, I think this sort of thing would be extremely helpful. As much as I like Android because I'm not censored as to what I can and cannot install, I would like resources that help me censor myself. I tried googling but I didn't see anything obvious.

7

The problem with something like this is it's really hard to keep up. Somethings are easily seen as bad, but others, are harder to judge. Would you black list a twitter client that has access to your location? That's a feature since people can attach their location to their tweets. It's not one I use, but it's one some people do. What about a note taking app that has location and camera access? Is there any use case at all for something like that needing your location or the camera? You would need to create a standard for what's not acceptable and what is.

The sad corollary is, do people installing apps really pay attention to what permissions their applications want?

  • I know I didn't really pay attention until Froyo's 'Update All' feature of forcing manual updates for changes in permissions. Pre-froyo, I would have read through the first several comments, but if there was no mention of changes...I went ahead and installed. – Jay Cummins Oct 1 '10 at 13:42
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Google have removed apps from the Market in the past for security related reasons but this doesn't normally remove them from devices when they're already installed, and there was also a case a few months ago when there was particularly misleading software that Google removed from the Market, and also forcibly removed from people's phones. *

However all of this only protects you if you get your app from the standard Android Market. If you use an alternative market, or side-load the app then you're on your own, I don't believe that there's an in the OS blacklist to block malware, it's all handled at the Market level.

*AndroidGuys.com: Android Team Employs Remote Application Removal

Android Developers Blog: Exercising Our Remote Application Removal Feature

0

Maybe you want to try a anti-malware app? e.g. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ikarus.mobile.security or https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sophos.smsec

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