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Play time over for 60K low-quality apps as Google fights Android spam

post #1 of 62
Thread Starter 
Google recently undertook a considerable spring cleaning effort in its Play Store, sweeping away nearly 10 percent of the apps in the Android app repository in order to cut down on the number of "spammy" apps ? a move that could signal a more Apple-like approach to Google's handling of its marketplace.

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"a company in the mobile app industry" with insight into the process said Google had played a part in the removal of some 60,000 apps since February of this year, TechCrunch reported this week. Some apps are said to have been pulled by publishers themselves, but the scale of the Play Store cleaning suggests that Google itself had a hand in the overall app reduction.

The 60,000 app figure represents, depending on one's estimate of the Play Store's size, between 7.5 and 10 percent of the apps in Google's Android app repository.

Google doesn't exert the same degree of control that Apple does over its App Store, preferring instead to simply delete only apps that violate its Terms of Service by spreading malware, infringing copyrights, or featuring graphic sexual material. The new round of removals, though, appears to have targeted ringtone/MP3 apps in large part, signaling perhaps that Google is looking to moderate its Play Store more thoroughly for quality.

Unlike Apple, though, Google appears to be going about its quality moderation in an almost entirely automated manner. Whereas Apple has apps go through an approval process before they can be posted to the App Store, Google looks to be exerting a looser form of quality control on the tail end of the process, removing unsatisfactory apps later.
post #2 of 62

They will be left with hardly 120000 apps. Out of them, 119900 are not at all downloaded at least once.

post #3 of 62
This is good news for developers and users of Android. I wonder if there are still countless "Hello World" apps on Google Play?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandra69 View Post

They will be left with hardly 120000 apps. Out of them, 119900 are not at all downloaded at least once.

For comparison, Windows Phone had over 150,000 as of last December and Blackberry 10's app store hit 100,000 just last month.

Apple is still far in the lead with the best development platform, most efficient and best looking apps, most approved apps at over 1 million, and over 800,000 currently available apps (300,000 being designed specifically for the iPad), and most popular app store with over 40 billion downloaded.

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post #4 of 62

Whereas Apple has apps go through an approval process before they can be posted to the App Store, Google looks to be exerting a looser form of quality control on the tail end of the process, removing unsatisfactory apps later.

 

In other words, Apple applies an ounce of prevention, Google applies a pound of cure.

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post #5 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Google can't possibly be thinking of telling developers what they can and can't put on on "open" store can they?
 

 

You might want to correct yourself... it is an open platform, NOT an open store. There are policies and terms to get an app on the Google Play. Violate the rules and your app will be removed.

 

I am free to make all the "crappy" apps I want and place them on any number of third-party store or even on my own website for side loading. Just dont expect to have them on Google Play or at least for very long. The platform is open.

 

Was that enough spin for you and your "fantard" expectations?

post #6 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

You might want to correct yourself... it is an open platform, NOT an open store. There are policies and terms to get an app on the Google Play. Violate the rules and your app will be removed.

I am free to make all the "crappy" apps I want and place them on any number of third-party store or even on my own website for side loading. Just dont expect to have them on Google Play or at least for very long. The platform is open.

Was that enough spin for you and your "fantard" expectations?

How does google define "crappy"?
post #7 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


How does google define "crappy"?

 

Notice the " <---

 

You want a definition? Took all of 2 seconds. They are very very specific on this. This is good enough for you?

 

 

Google Play Developer Program Policies

The policies listed below play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for everyone using Google Play. Defined terms used here have the same meaning as in the Developer Distribution Agreement. Be sure to check back from time to time, as these policies may change.

Content Policies


Our content policies apply to any content your application displays or links to, including any ads it shows to users and any user-generated content it hosts or links to. In addition to complying with these policies, the content of your app must be rated in accordance with our Content Rating Guidelines.

  • Sexually Explicit Material: We don't allow content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material. Google has a zero-tolerance policy against child pornography. If we become aware of content with child pornography, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and delete the Google Accounts of those involved with the distribution.
  • Violence and Bullying: Depictions of gratuitous violence are not allowed. Applications should not contain materials that threaten, harass or bully other users.
  • Hate Speech: We don't allow the promotion of hatred toward groups of people based on their race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.
  • Impersonation or Deceptive Behavior: Don't pretend to be someone else, and don't represent that your app is authorized by or produced by another company or organization if that is not the case. Products or the ads they contain also must not mimic functionality or warnings from the operating system or other applications. Developers must not divert users or provide links to any other site that mimics or passes itself off as another application or service. Apps must not have names or icons that appear confusingly similar to existing products, or to apps supplied with the device (such as Camera, Gallery or Messaging).
  • Personal and Confidential Information: We don't allow unauthorized publishing or disclosure of people's private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, driver's and other license numbers, or any other information that is not publicly accessible.
  • Intellectual Property: Don’t infringe on the intellectual property rights of others, (including patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright, and other proprietary rights), or encourage or induce infringement of intellectual property rights. We will respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement. For more information or to file a DMCA request, please visit our copyright procedures.
  • Illegal Activities: Keep it legal. Don't engage in unlawful activities on this product.
  • Gambling: We don’t allow content or services that facilitate online gambling, including but not limited to, online casinos, sports betting and lotteries.
  • Dangerous Products: Don't transmit viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses, malware, or any other items that may introduce security vulnerabilities to or harm user devices, applications, or personal data. We don't allow content that harms, interferes with the operation of, or accesses in an unauthorized manner, networks, servers, or other infrastructure. Apps that collect information (such as the user's location or behavior) without the user's knowledge (spyware), malicious scripts and password phishing scams are also prohibited on Google Play, as are applications that cause users to unknowingly download or install applications from sources outside of Google Play.

Network Usage and Terms
Applications must not create unpredictable network usage that has an adverse impact on a user's service charges or an Authorized Carrier's network. Applications also may not knowingly violate an Authorized Carrier's terms of service for allowed usage or any Google terms of service.

Spam and Placement in the Store
Developers are important partners in maintaining a great user experience on Google Play.

  • Do not post repetitive content.
  • Product descriptions should not be misleading or loaded with keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy in the Store’s search results.
  • Developers also should not attempt to change the placement of any Product in the Store by rating an application multiple times, or by offering incentives to users to rate an application with higher or lower ratings.
  • Apps that are created by an automated tool or wizard service must not be submitted to Google Play by the operator of that service on behalf of other persons.
  • Do not post an app where the primary functionality is to:
    • Drive affiliate traffic to a website or
    • Provide a webview of a website not owned or administered by you (unless you have permission from the website owner/administrator to do so)
  • Do not send SMS, email, or other messages on behalf of the user without providing the user with the ability to confirm content and intended recipient.

Paid and Free Applications

  • App purchases: Developers charging for applications and downloads from Google Play must do so by using Google Play's payment system.
  • In-app purchases: Developers offering additional content, services or functionality within an application downloaded from Google Play must use Google Play's payment system as the method of payment, except:
    • where payment is primarily for physical goods or services (e.g. buying movie tickets; e.g. buying a publication where the price also includes a hard copy subscription); or
    • where payment is for digital content or goods that may be consumed outside of the application itself (e.g. buying songs that can be played on other music players)

Developers must not mislead users about the applications they are selling nor about any in-app services, goods, content or functionality they are selling.

Subscriptions and Cancellations
Google's subscription cancellation policy is that a user will not receive a refund for the current billing period when cancelling a subscription, but will continue to receive issues and updates of the relevant subscription content (if any) for the remainder of the billing period, regardless of the cancellation.
You (as the content or access provider) may implement a more flexible refund policy with your users directly, and it is your responsibility to notify your users of those policies and ensure that the policies comply with applicable law.

Ad Policy


The policy below covers all ads that are implemented in and bundled with apps. These rules are important in maintaining a positive experience for everyone using Android apps from Google Play. Be sure to check back from time to time, as these policies may change.

  1. Developer Terms apply to the entire user experience of your application/extension
    Please be aware that Google’s Developer Distribution Agreement and Developer Program Policies (together, “Developer Terms”) apply to each application (“app”) as well as any ads or third-party libraries bundled or made available through the app. Offer your users a consistent, policy compliant, and well communicated user experience.

    In general, ads are considered part of your app for purposes of content review and compliance with the Developer Terms. Therefore all of the policies, including those concerning illegal activities, violence, sexually explicit content, and privacy violations, apply. Please take care to use advertising which does not violate these policies.

    Ads which are inconsistent with the app’s content rating also violate our Developer Terms.

  2. Ads Context
    It must be clear to the user which app each ad is associated with or implemented in. Ads must not make changes to the functioning of the user’s device outside the ad by doing things such as installing shortcuts, bookmarks or icons or changing default settings without the user’s knowledge and consent. If an ad makes such changes it must be clear to the user which app has made the change and the user must be able to reverse the change easily, by either adjusting the settings on the device, advertising preferences in the app, or uninstalling the app altogether.

    Ads must not simulate or impersonate system notifications or warnings.

  3. Ad Walls
    Forcing the user to click on ads or submit personal information for advertising purposes in order to fully use an app provides a poor user experience and is prohibited. Users must be able to dismiss the ad without penalty.

  4. Interfering with Third-party Ads and Websites
    Ads associated with your app must not interfere with any ads on a third-party application.

Policy Enforcement
In the event that your application is removed from Google Play, you will receive an email notification to that effect. If you have any questions or concerns regarding a removal or a rating/comment from a user, you may contact us at http://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer. Serious or repeated violations of the Developer Distribution Agreement or this Content Policy will result in account termination. Repeated infringement of intellectual property rights, including copyright, will also result in account termination. For more information on Google's copyright policies, please see here.

post #8 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Google Play Developer Program Policies



[…]


So Google isn't as open as people try to make it out to be.

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post #9 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


So Google isn't as open as people try to make it out to be.

 

Might want to look that up.  Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software  and http://opensource.org/docs/osd in case you actually want to learn what open means. But, I know better.

post #10 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Notice the " <---

So, not as open and care free as claimed. When it is Apple and the App Store, Apple may just pull your app and make front page news world wide. It is the danger of developing for iOS. Your app might get pulled and that won't happen with Android. Yes, there are hundreds of articles talking about that specific advantage of Android over iOS.

Big when Google culls 60,000+ apps (do we need 10,000 hellos world apps?) it is simply maintaining quality?

Massive double standard.
post #11 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

(do we need 10,000 hellos world apps?)

They seem to still exist: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=inutilsoft.HelloWorld&hl=en
Quote:
Massive double standard.

At least they've released their search algorithms to the public domain¡

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post #12 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

So Google isn't as open as people try to make it out to be.

Could be that people have no idea what they're talking about.
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post #13 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

 

Might want to look that up.  Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software  and http://opensource.org/docs/osd in case you actually want to learn what open means. But, I know better.

 

Maybe you want to take your own advice and read what open source actually means and then compare it to Android. Android is far from open source and is widely regarded as the "least open" of the open source projects out there.

 

Android used on Samsung, Motorola and other popular devices is not the same version of Android that is free to download and customize any way you want (like Amazon did). Once you do that you're no longer allowed access to Google Play.

 

Open Source is a buzz word thrown around by fandroids who don't have a clue about software development. But hey, it sounds cool to say you use a product that's "open".

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post #14 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

Your app might get pulled and that won't happen with Android. Yes, there are hundreds of articles talking about that specific advantage of Android over iOS.
 

 

Cool, can you post a few links to a couple of those articles? I would love to read about how you can violate policies, terms and conditions with no repercussions. Just put any app you want on the Google Play store and they don't do anything about it.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


At least they've released their search algorithms to the public domain¡

 

Whoever said that their search algorithms was open source? I am sure it is a great business model to just release to the public the core of your product. Just think about all the companies out there that do that? Coke, Apple, Corning, etc.

post #15 of 62

For every Fandroid who has ever uttered the term "walled garden" to refer to the iTunes app store, that crow has to taste pretty bitter right about now.

 

What I want to know is, what changed?  Why are 60,000 apps suddenly slated for mass removal?  At that order of magnitude, these couldn't have all been new apps.  What policy change went into effect that meant 1 out of every 10 apps had to be pulled.  What does that curation process look like?  And why institute a process that allows any app in, only to review them at a later time, then have to pull 10% of them?  Why allow those apps into their store to begin with?

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post #16 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Whoever said that their search algorithms was open source? I am sure it is a great business model to just release to the public the core of your product. Just think about all the companies out there that do that? Coke, Apple, Corning, etc.

But Google is all for "openness". None of those companies claim to be open.
post #17 of 62
malta that was a waste of space, it says nothing in there about quality requirements of an app.
Google is evil.
post #18 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven N. View Post

So, not as open and care free as claimed. When it is Apple and the App Store, Apple may just pull your app and make front page news world wide. It is the danger of developing for iOS. Your app might get pulled and that won't happen with Android. Yes, there are hundreds of articles talking about that specific advantage of Android over iOS.

Big when Google culls 60,000+ apps (do we need 10,000 hellos world apps?) it is simply maintaining quality?

Massive double standard.

Question is who set the standard? It could be that they're pulling apps that they're just now realizing violated policy. Apple has a approval process before the app is allowed into the app store so then why are apps pulled post approval?
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post #19 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Whoever said that their search algorithms was open source? I am sure it is a great business model to just release to the public the core of your product. Just think about all the companies out there that do that? Coke, Apple, Corning, etc.

 

Ever heard of DarwinWebkitALAC?

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post #20 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Android used on Samsung, Motorola and other popular devices is not the same version of Android that is free to download and customize any way you want

 

 

Why did you just contradict yourself there when you claim Android is not open?

post #21 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post
...

Was that enough spin for you and your "fantard" expectations?


Actually no... but please, by all means please continue.  You seem to be pretty good at it. :)

post #22 of 62

Since the large majority of apps are themes for launchers, widgets and wallpapers, if they remove that they end up with maybe 5 apps. lol

post #23 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

But Google is all for "openness".

 

Please show me where Google claimed its search engine was open.

post #24 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

For every Fandroid who has ever uttered the term "walled garden" to refer to the iTunes app store, that crow has to taste pretty bitter right about now.

What I want to know is, what changed?  Why are 60,000 apps suddenly slated for mass removal?  At that order of magnitude, these couldn't have all been new apps.  What policy change went into effect that meant 1 out of every 10 apps had to be pulled.  What does that curation process look like?  And why institute a process that allows any app in, only to review them at a later time, then have to pull 10% of them?  Why allow those apps into their store to begin with?

Again, Apple pulls apps that they already approved. So what's their curation process? An open garden should still look like a garden which means pulling out the weeds every so often. Any pulled app of worth can be easily side loaded if need be.
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post #25 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

For every Fandroid who has ever uttered the term "walled garden" to refer to the iTunes app store, that crow has to taste pretty bitter right about now.

 

The Apple App Store is still a walled garden, with no alternative unless we jailbreak.  That hasn't changed.

 

Quote:

Why allow those apps into their store to begin with?

 

Lots of us used to ask that about Apple, back when they were letting all sorts of crap in just to build the number of apps.

 

Finally, Apple had enough, and did several purges of thousands of apps that were just web page pointers, fart and flashlight apps, were "too sexy", and so forth.  Of course, sometimes they went a bit too far, like when they banned that Pulitzer Prize satirist at first.  Or the other way, when they approved that "baby shaker" killer app.

 

As long as they fix things up, then for both Google or Apple, better late than never.

post #26 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Might want to look that up.  Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source
   
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software
  and 
http://opensource.org/docs/osd
 
in case you actually want to learn what open means. But, I know better.
Poor guy can't stand a little teasing on an Apple blog. Look, the reality is that Google and the millions of bloggers out there who love to champion them, claim that everything about Google is open and free, and that just turns out to be a bunch of bull in the end. So when this kind of stuff happens and people make a little fun of it, sorry, but they had it coming. Don't get your panties in a wad.
post #27 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Why did you just contradict yourself there when you claim Android is not open?
No contradiction at all. There are 2 versions of Android. One is open the other is not.

Guess which one has access to Google Play? Here's a hint - it's not the open version.

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post #28 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

Please show me where Google claimed its search engine was open.
Sarcasm eludes you.

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post #29 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

No contradiction at all. There are 2 versions of Android. One is open the other is not.

Guess which one has access to Google Play? Here's a hint - it's not the open version.

Amazon chose to close it and only allow access to it's app store, but that can be circumvented if need be.
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post #30 of 62

Well they have to do something...

 

I think I heard this correctly, 97% of the malware on mobile devices is on Android phones! Ugh!

post #31 of 62
Citaion needed
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Well they have to do something...

I think I heard this correctly, 97% of the malware on mobile devices is on Android phones! Ugh!
post #32 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by malta View Post

 

Whoever said that their search algorithms was open source? I am sure it is a great business model to just release to the public the core of your product. Just think about all the companies out there that do that? Coke, Apple, Corning, etc.

 

I like how you're purposely trying to be obtuse in order to fudge the argument. How many of those companies you listed are constantly proclaiming the virtues of "open" and attacking competing products because of lack of "openness"? How many of those companies use that as a bullet point, an advantage, and a reason to choose their products in marketing? Yeah, so if Google is constantly shrieking about "open" where it suits them most, ignoring the fact that most of their products are NOT open, there's a problem with that, and a fair bit of hypocricy. Apple doesn't throw around the word "open" as a reason to buy their products, but Google does, and it implies inherent advantages, so it should be held by some basic standards as to how "open" their products actually are.  

post #33 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by bleh1234 View Post

Citaion needed

 

Here ya go- now instead of accepting it, you will predictably attack the source. 

 

http://www.mcafee.com/ca/security-awareness/articles/mobile-malware-growth-continuing-2013.aspx

 

"The Android platform continues to make up the bulk of malware targets, representing 97% of total mobile malware. McAfee Labs researchers are tracking a range of mobile malware targeting these devices, including backdoors that enable attackers to gain control of a smartphone, new mobile exploits, and spyware."

post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


Amazon chose to close it and only allow access to it's app store, but that can be circumvented if need be.

 

That's not true. Amazon forked Android and made their own version. Because of that Google no longer allows access to Google Play. Amazon isn't member of the OHA, so they are allowed to do this with Android. Amazon made the choice to fork Android, but they didn't "deny" access to Google Play - their right to access Google Play was termiated when they forked Android. Quit trying to make it sound like Amazon closed it off as a choice and could allow access if they desired. Amazon will never get access to Google Play.

 

Members of the OHA (any major Android phone vendor) has very strict guidelines as to what they can modify in order to maintain compatibility and allow access to Google Play.

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post #35 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

No contradiction at all. There are 2 versions of Android. One is open the other is not.

Guess which one has access to Google Play? Here's a hint - it's not the open version.

You were referring to the skins that manufacturers put on their phones in your other post, not the Amazon fork. Those skins directly contradict your attempted point because they could only exist and access the Play Store if Android was an open operating system.
post #36 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

I like how you're purposely trying to be obtuse in order to fudge the argument. How many of those companies you listed are constantly proclaiming the virtues of "open" and attacking competing products because of lack of "openness"? How many of those companies use that as a bullet point, an advantage, and a reason to choose their products in marketing? Yeah, so if Google is constantly shrieking about "open" where it suits them most, ignoring the fact that most of their products are NOT open, there's a problem with that, and a fair bit of hypocricy. Apple doesn't throw around the word "open" as a reason to buy their products, but Google does, and it implies inherent advantages, so it should be held by some basic standards as to how "open" their products actually are.  

What products does Google describe as open besides Android and Chrome?
post #37 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post


What products does Google describe as open besides Android and Chrome?

 

Wow. Again, you completely miss the point. Which was, that Google defines open as good only when it wants to push certain products, and giving no indication WHY being open is good for consumers. It's better because its "open". Meanwhile, they have a shitload of closed products, and because opening these products does not suit Google's agenda, they don't do it, but only products in which its in their strategic interest to define as open. So it's hypocritical for them to trumpet away at open-ness as an ideal, while they don't follow that ideal in most of their products. Their message is fraudulent and dishonest. It's as if I said only vegetarian dishes are good and meat dishes are evil, while running a restaurant which serves meat dishes as long as these make money. 

post #38 of 62
Looks like overtime in China:
Change app name from superhdwallpaper to superduperhdwallpaper job done.
post #39 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

But...but... Google is "open", and "Free", and not part of "The Man"!!!

Google can't possibly be thinking of telling developers what they can and can't put on on "open" store can they?

 

All apps are equal; Google apps are more equal.

post #40 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post


You were referring to the skins that manufacturers put on their phones in your other post, not the Amazon fork. Those skins directly contradict your attempted point because they could only exist and access the Play Store if Android was an open operating system.

 

Bull. Yet so typical. Take what I said out of context (or outright make something up) so you have something to point out where I made a mistake or contradicted myself. My original post (which in un-edited):

 

Android used on Samsung, Motorola and other popular devices is not the same version of Android that is free to download and customize any way you want (like Amazon did). Once you do that you're no longer allowed access to Google Play.

 

Your reading comprehension is poor if you took my original quote and somehow thought I was talking about skins. I'm clearly talking about two versions of Android - the one Samsung and others use and the one Amazon uses.

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