Android developers question Google’s app/account suspension policies
Android is undoubtedly one of the most popular mobile operating systems today. One thing that contributes to the OS’ immense popularity is Google Play Store, an app market place that hosts millions of apps.
As you’d expect, Google has policies in place to regulate app submissions from developers. If an app or a developer goes against these policies, the search giant takes action which could result in the app listing being taken down or in worst cases, developer account being suspended.
While all this may sound fair enough, the ground reality is apparently not so rosy.
An Android app developer – who requested anonymity as their own app was banned last year – reached out to us over email to share the current situation in the Android app development scene. Here’s what they have to say:
Google unreasonably suspend apps and developer accounts. The worst thing is that the ban comes from the robots and a developer can’t talk to a human (or humans are like robots)
To quell any doubts that you might have over the claim, the tipster also shared links to a couple of Reddit threads (linked at the bottom of this story) that have gained a large amount of reader-engagement in the past 24 hours.
The original poster in one of these threads calls Google’s policies as “ridiculously unsustainable,” saying the company takes actions based on”unknown/superficial reasons,” something which is effectively “poisoning the open and healthy ecosystem that it used to be.”
Many of us totally depend our income on the possibility to publish apps on the Play Store, privately or for companies. Imagine if your account, and all the associated one, will get terminated due to some Google mistake. This will exclude you from publishing an Android app ever again. This happened before and it can happen to anybody at any time. Do you really want to live with that?
The thread has close to 2,000 upvotes and hundreds of comments. Here are some of them:
Thanks for writing this up. It sums up my feelings that have built up over the years in the Android dev community
Agreed. The amount of ambiguity in their suspension/ban notifications is stupid
This is by far the most important discussion concerning the Android ecosystem and especially independent developers. Hell, its not just Android, its YouTube too!
There are far too many posts of people losing their apps / accounts and this issue needs to be discussed and addressed.
We are not in a position to decide who is right and who is wrong, but when you read about stories from users that say their developer account got terminated without even uploading a single app, you just can’t turn a blind eye and think everything is alright.
Going through comments posted on Reddit threads, it appears the main problem that developers face is they don’t get enough information when an action is initiated against them. Most complainants say they need human to human interaction instead of getting emails from bots.
This post and the points it raises are extremely important. Please make it sticky. In case of problem with anything you can always contact a real human to talk to. Except Google. Google does not want to talk to individuals
Given the size of Android development community, we’re not sure how easy it’s for Google to dedicate resources to meet this demand. But something definitely needs to be done to get this issue sorted. We really hope Google will take notice and come up with a solution sooner than later.
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