Google Bans Apps That Hijack Device Resources

John Lister's picture

Google is to ban several categories of apps from its app store. They include so-called "cryptomining" apps that can suck up a resources from a device for somebody else's financial benefits.

The changes come in the latest update of the Play Store Developer Policy. The relevant apps will no longer be available through the official Play Store, meaning that although users can still install them, they'll get much less prominence and exposure.

The ban is specifically on apps that use a device's processor for mining cryptocurrencies. In very simple terms, mining involves computers racing to solve a problem (through computation), which is used as part of the process of verifying and recording transactions that use the virtual currencies. Bitcoin is the most prominent cryptocurrency that uses such a process.

Apps Can Overheat Devices

The winner of this race receives a freshly created unit of the currency, which can be worth a lot of real world money. This incentive is designed to make sure there's always a computer available to verify the transaction, which is key to the way such virtual currencies work without needing a central bank or other regulator.

Some apps, either with or without the user's knowledge, will remotely use a mobile device's processing power as part of the effort to solve the problem. This risks the device slowing down or overheating and can severely drain the battery. (Source:

Firearm Sales Get The Axe

Google has previously banned similar tools from extensions in its Chrome Web Store, which hijacked the processors of desktop and laptop computers in a similar way.

Other apps now banned from the Google Play Store include those which promote violence, self-harm, hate speech and discrimination. The ban also covers apps which include images of children being abused, or apps that are aimed at children but include content of an adult nature. Apps that help users sell firearms and related products are also banned. (Source:

There's also a ban on apps that, regardless of their content, are misleading about who created them or what they do. Finally, while advertising is still allowed, apps that bring up an ad every time a user touches the screen are now banned.

What's Your Opinion?

Is Google right to ban the cryptomining apps? Should they be allowed if the developers are open about what the apps do and the user accepts it as the price for using the app? Do the other categories of banned apps sound reasonable?

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equestrian_colt's picture

However they need to leave politics out of business. They do not have the right to ban apps that sells firearms or any other tool PERIOD. You want to go down that path of something you ban because you disagree with it I will watch your business go down the sewer of bankruptcy and you will become nothing more then a has been. I highly suggest all you businesses that jump on that Libtard band wagon leave your opinions where they belong, "TOO YOURSELVES" PERIOD.

diddleyman666's picture

Agree with all the bans. People have plenty of ways (unfortunately) to sell firearms already. The previous writer using some kind of derogatory term for people who would like a more civil society--libtard? reallY? sounds like a FOX news (a misnomer if ever there was one) junkie.

BTW The correct form of 'to' here is not 'too' and hasbeen is one word. And surprised that this person does not realize the right of this business( and Google is, if nothing else, a business) to ban these things. Please note that this is a one time comment and I will not be engaging in any further tit for tat nor responding further. A waste of time. Enough said.

nospam_5346's picture

Equestrian colt: You show your lack of substantive argument once you resort to name calling. I'm as liberal as they come and I have a safe full of guns. You also show your ignorance.

I don't believe in bans of anything, but Google is a business and they have the right to ban anything they want. If someone doesn't like it, they are free to start their own business and offer what they want.

Chief's picture

Apps should be allowed as long as they do exactly as promised.
Any app which fails to do the above should be immediately banned.
If Google decides to take sides politically it is at their peril.