Whenever there is a popular new game that hits mobile, there are always a lot of clones that come along to capitalize on the success of the original. A clear example is Flappy Bird. There are so many “Flappy” apps on the Play Store. It is a constant struggle for companies like Apple and Google to keep clones out of their respective app stores, but Google has apparently come up with a method to fight back against clones, according to a new patent filing.
Google applied for the patent back in June 2013, and the patent itself gets pretty complicated very quickly. It is essentially a multi-layered approach which uses various processes to determine a “similarity rating” for apps, and generate signatures for apps which can then be compared to determine which came first, and how alike they are. If two apps are too similar in code or “trusted assets”, Google determines which one is the original, and would remove the others. Of course, being an advocate of open-source, Google has also devised a way to sort out apps that are using code that is freely available to be used by others.
There is no word yet on this feature coming to Google Play, but it seems to be the logical use case for a system like this. It would certainly help to clear out the clones that you find on the Play Store.