Google may show advertising apps in Play Store search: Report

Tech News

Google is reportedly testing advertising apps for Play Store search. According to a report by 9to5Google, the search field on Play Store showed three apps that they have never searched for. At present, Google Play Store shows you the last four searches when you tap on the search field. But these are based on the past queries followed by autocomplete suggestions. Now, folks at 9to5Google have reported seeing app suggestions that they never interacted with.

“On one device today (running version 33.0.17-21 of the Play Store), clicking the field shows three apps that I’ve never searched for or interacted with. They are all games, complete with their icons: Summoners War: Chronicles, Call of Duty Mobile Season 10, and Fishdom Solitaire,” it says.

However, it is unclear whether these application search suggestions are paid or are mere random suggestions. Interestingly, these apps did not appear in the Games tab in the Ads-supported “Suggested for you” carousel.

The 9to5Google report says that the change could possibly be related to the most recent Google Play System Update for November which includes “[Phone] New formats for search results” and “New Features to help you discover the Apps & Games you love. But nothing seems certain right now.

In another news, cybersecurity service provider MalwareBytes has released a list of Google Play Store apps that are infected with viruses. In a blog post, the company writes that a family of malicious apps from developer Mobile apps Group are listed on Google Play and infected with Android/Trojan.HiddenAds.BTGTHB. List of the app includes Bluetooth Auto Connect, Bluetooth App Sender, Driver: Bluetooth, USB, Wi-Fi and Mobile Transfer: smart switch. These four apps hide malware behavior for some time and eventually start opening phishing sites in Chrome. Together these apps have amassed more than one million downloads. It says that older versions of these apps have already been detected in the past as different variants of Android/Trojan.HiddenAds.

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