Google Play is slowly gaining on Apple's App Store. In fact, it now has more than 600,000 applications available for download. However, the most noticeable difference between the two mobile marketplaces is how applications are submitted and accepted.

Apple keeps a close eye on the apps that are submitted to the App Store and has a long drawn out approval process. Meanwhile, Google Play is virtually open to any developer who wants to submit an app. This hands-off approach has led to the Google Play being flooded with loads of ad-heavy applications, apps that are near-duplicates of others even SMS bots. Worse, third party app stores are home to hordes of malicious malware and copycat apps. Google, for its part, has no control over those stores, however.  Now, the firm is taking a more proactive approach to how it handles app submissions and how it approves the ones that get published.

Google sent a letter to software developers on Wednesday that outlined its new approval process.. Developers will be given 30 days to adhere to Google's new standards or will otherwise risk having their existing apps removed from the Google Play store.

In an effort to reduce copycat applications, Google will now prohibit any deceptive behavior, meaning that developers need to clearly detail represent what their apps is and where it comes from. Google flat out says, "don't pretend to be someone else." Apps should also avoid having images or names similar to existing or pre-installed apps that ship on an Android device.

Google also specified applications that carry malicious software, send spam emails, or text messages will not be tolerated. To prevent the misuse of in-app ads, developers can no longer use ads that look like system notifications.

By implementing these new changes, Google is reinforcing its commitment to its customers. Hopefully these new measures will result in a swift reduction of dangerous applications found on Google Play. However, you should always exercise caution when purchasing applications from any mobile platform. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.