Google’s Throwing Out a Bunch of Android Photo Apps for Being Malware


There’s no shortage of photography apps on Android and iOS smartphones.

But can you distinguish photography apps that you can trust from those that you can’t?

Can anyone?

Pixel 4 from Google

After all, a lot of people trust in Google and Apple respectively to curate safe applications in their respective stores.

Yet that’s not always the case, particularly with some Android apps.

And let’s not kid around: Giving something access to your camera roll is a big deal. If you’re like most people, your camera roll might be pretty personal.

So let this story serve as a warning before downloading any photo app out there because Google is banning a bevy of photography apps from its Google Play store basically being malware.

What’s that mean? In its simplest form, a lot of these photo apps do what they say they will do, but also do a whole lot of stuff they didn’t tell you about.

Overall, 29 apps were identified by Google according to DPReview.

Violations ranged from retaining user data to displaying malicious ads that filled the screen – and even displayed randomly when you weren’t using the phone – to some that stored your photos on a private server. You read that last one correctly: Some of these apps straight up stole some peoples’ pics.


The majority of the apps identified as being malicious by Google are mainly found in the beauty and selfie-enhancement category. The three most popular apps identified by TrendMicro are Pro Camera Beauty, Cartoon Art Photo, and Emoji Camera with other names including Super Camera, Art Editor, Art Effect as well as Art Effects for Photo, Pixture, and Prizma Photo Effect.

If you’re an Android user and you’re addicted to photo apps (like I am) make sure you didn’t download any of the above baddies or your info could be compromised.

As always: Buyer beware and READ reviews first before downloading.

Did you download any of these malicious photo apps? Have you done so in the past? Tell us your story in the comments below.

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About Author

Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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