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Google Play cleans up the Swing Copters clone mess, reportedly removing hundreds of apps

Like Flappy Bird, Swing Copter has been the victim of hundreds of cheap clones. Thankfully, Google has now cleaned up the Play Store removing most of them in the process.
August 22, 2014

If you were among those that were happy to see the Flappy Bird craze die off, you’re probably already wishing that Swing Copter would go away. Still, the crazy-hard game has certainly made a pretty big splash so far, and that includes being followed up by an endless number of cheap clones.Yesterday searching for Swing Copters in Google Play meant you were more likely to run into a clone than the actual game, but this is no longer the case.

Google has now cleaned up the Play Store a bit, removing reportedly hundreds of Swing Copters clones in the process. Basically any game that utilizes the Swing Copter name or is an obvious clone (art work, design, etc) seems to have been removed. There are probably a few less-obvious clones left, but at least the biggest offenders are gone.

Was Google looking out for clones on their own, or did Dong Nguyen simply issue a complaint over copyright?

While this is a great move, let’s not applaud Google just yet. For one thing, it’s unclear why the games were removed. Was Google looking out for clones on their own, or did Dong Nguyen simply issue a complaint over copyright? Either possibility could be correct, but even if Google did remove the clones on their own without being prompted, that doesn’t change the fact that there are plenty of cheap clones of popular apps out there.

We understand that Google receives countless numbers of app submissions all the time and it’s near impossible to detect which apps are ‘cheap copies’ and those that are inspired by existing apps but stand out in their own right. Still, when high profile apps like Swing Copters arrive and end up 63rd in search rankings due to clones — it’s clear that there is a problem and that Google needs to find a solution. For one thing, after approving a few dozen of these Swing Copter clones, you think a red flag would have went up.

Of course, Google isn’t alone in this situation, as you’ll find clone apps in just about every mobile ecosystem. Maybe it’s just too big of a problem to effectively tackle? What do you think, should Google act more aggressively to keep clone apps from popping up?