Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Family-friendly app browsing on AppBrain

Since last February, we have been optimizing the app discovery experience on Android with the AppBrain website and the AppBrain Android app. We think Google has done an excellent job in creating the Android operating system; it is both user-friendly and developer-friendly. However, as both user and developer we found that the Android market is lacking in many places, which is why we chose to create AppBrain.

A particularly big annoyance is the overflow of incoming 'spam' apps in the Android market. We tackled this problem on AppBrain a long time ago by hiding these bad apps from most users' eyes, which greatly improved the app browsing experience. However, we never fully remove these bad apps from our site to still allow users to see them if they really want to.

Even though the Android Market Content Policies do not allow apps with sexually explicit material, there are plenty of such apps available in the market. Ironically we also got notified by the Google AdSense team that it's not allowed to show ads next to information about these apps, which are present on their own Google Android market.
As with the spam apps we will not censor or remove these apps from our site, but instead we implemented an advanced 'mature content' filter on top of our already existing spam filter.
The new 'mature content' filter warns users when entering a page which shows an app with sexually explicit content. (Those apps which should not be in the Android Market according to the Android Market Content Policies):

We launched this feature on the AppBrain website today, and it will be also available in the AppBrain app in the next update!

We hope this will make it even easier for you to find the good apps you want without being bothered by spam and porn.

Happy holidays,

Mathijs for the AppBrain team.