The Register was the first in my feeds to have a story many other sources picked up. The comparison to Apple is once again telling. Sure, both have the capability to remotely remove applications but Android clearly declaims as much in the terms of service for their store, the Android Market.
Even if most users won’t bother to read the fine print, here is something else to consider. Apple has received quite a bit of scrutiny from the usual technology observers and commentators for its increasingly draconian license terms. Google is far from perfect with Android but is clearly better than Apple in this regard judging by the dearth of stories about their abuses of developer and user good will.
The two applications removed were mostly harmless. They were built and released by security researchers and didn’t do much of anything, other than violate the Market’s ToS. The firm responsible even voluntarily removed the applications themselves, so Google’s actions here are more clean up than outright kibosh. I do agree, to a point with the article’s concern that the mere existence of this capability is concerning but so far, the intent behind it has been manifestly different than the same tool in the hands of Apple.