There’s a zombie hunt underway, but it has nothing to do with Halloween. While tales of biohazardous viruses and hordes of the undead can be great scary entertainment, there’s nothing fun about downloading content to your mobile device that poses a threat. This particular zombie hunt is hoping to protect customers from faulty software found in the App Store.
In this case, a “zombie app” is an app that no longer functions, has been reported by consumers to have flaws or contains malicious or compromised code. This zombie hunt means that its team of app engineers will go through every single app in the store—all two million of them—looking for any available content titles that can cause harm or inconvenience to its customers.
One of the many things that differentiate Apple from Android is the sales model of the two platforms’ app stores. Apple maintains a tight control over its store, meaning third-party developers are allowed to sell their apps to iPhone and iPad customers but only if they meet certain standards. Android, on the other hand, operates from a number of different app stores. Two of the major sites, the Google Play store, and the Amazon Kindle Fire app store have strict standards of their own but operate under a different set of guidelines for what kind of content can be posted and what specifications that content must meet.
That’s not to say that one store is necessarily “better” than the other, they’re just different. It is worth noting that Android customers have their work cut out for them when it comes to using third-party vendors for apps and games. There’s a lot more content available for Android devices largely because anyone can set up a website and sell compatible apps; Apple does not allow its products to download content—at least not easily and not in a way that won’t violate the warranty or user agreement—from any site but its own app store.
Apple has some specific reasons for taking down these zombie apps. First, they can clog up customers’ devices and slow down the productivity of their phones, tablets, and watches. Second, these useless and sometimes harmful apps take up space in the App Store and make it difficult for customers to find new apps and games. Anything that makes the search process easier—and helps ensure that only working, secure apps get through—produces a more quality experience for the consumer.
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the Identity Theft Resource Center for toll-free, no-cost assistance at (888) 400-5530. Find more information about current scams and alerts here.