Google employee Andrea Janus takes a picture with her phone as her co-worker Tracy McNeilly looks on at the new Google office in Toronto, November 13, 2012. Reuters/Mark Blinch
Search giant Google is forcing Play Store users to reveal their identities and wants to link app reviews to social media accounts.
The move is a bid to improve the quality and trustworthiness of app reviews on the Google Play app site and therefore improve user experience. Unlike Apple's App Store, Google doesn't personally check and authenticate every app that is released for sale or download to Android users, though it does have something called Google Bouncer, a program on its servers that can check any app for potential malware or virus threats. Without the strict quality control of its chief smartphone competitor, trusted reviews have taken on even greater importance as a means for customers to select the right app.
By adding Google+ integration to Play Store, reviews left on the site will be permanently linked back to a social media account and therefore to the writer's ‘true' identity. It is hoped this move will also reduce the incidence of trolling.