Google's Communications and Public Relations, and especially Elijah Lawal, recently unveiled the many ways in which the giant company protects Android users from potentially harmful applications, an element of Android's security features.
The list of potentially harmful applications (PHA) includes backdoors, which are applications that allow hacker to control the smartphone by giving them access to personal data. Additional apps that could be involved in billing scams that deliberately charge users in a deceptive way with SMS scams or even with phone calls.
Spyware is another category of potentially harmful applications that collect personal data from Android phones without the user's consent. Other apps can download malicious programs and some even have Trojan viruses, thus even doing unwanted effects on the phone.
To keep Android users safe, Google uses Cloud-based Verify Apps, which controls each app before it starts running. Google Verify Apps checks more than 6 billion installed apps and scans about 400 million devices per day. When it detects a PHA, the service warns users to immediately remove the application from their phones.
In some cases, the service can automatically remove the application without receiving confirmation from the user. Google reports that over 99% of all devices Android were free of PHAs 2015. Only the 0,15% of the users they did install apps and games from Google Play had PHA in the same year.