Hello everyone, we have to say good-bye this time. Here’s our story in brief (I really don’t have the mood to write anything in length right now
As many of you know, we develop an app named ‘Open Home’ which allows users to develop themes for to replace their phones’ standard home screen. In addition, we realize that while many artists may have the skills to develop themes but they don’t necessary have the knowledge to publish them on the android market. Therefore, we allow our users to send their themes to us and we will publish them on the market for them for free. Open Home was one of the very first few popular paid app for the android market when android was still in its infancy.
During the life of Open Home (about 2 years up to this point), we have received 2 app suspension notifications from Google for 2 of the skins we published. Since then, we had been really careful about publishing anything that are likely to have copyright issues. About 10 days ago, we suddenly received a notification from Google that tells us our developer account was suspended (see post below for more details). From the vague suspension email, we suspected that our account might have been suspended because some of these skins that we have published over the years. We tried contacting Google but received no responses. Therefore, we decided to just upload the 3 apps that we are sure have no copyright problems: Better Keyboard, Better Cut and Better Alarm back to the market. In less than 3 days of republishing Better Keyboard, one of our most popular apps, the app had already received over 20,000 downloads.
This morning we finally received an official statement from Google regarding the suspension of our account:
Thank you for your note. We apologize for our delayed response. Your
Android Market Publisher account has been suspended due to multiple
suspension violations of our Terms of Service. You may view these terms
Please note that Android Market Publisher suspensions are associated with
developers, and may span multiple account registrations and related Google
services. Please do not register a new developer account. We will contact
you should your account become reinstated.
We will not be restoring your account at this time.
The Android Market Team”
The email was clearer this time, our account was suspended because of multiple violation of TOS, which we honestly did had over the years of publishing different skins for Open Home. What we really concerned are the part that it gives the developer little chance to correct the mistake, it says “Please note that Android Market Publisher suspensions are associated with developers, and may span multiple account registrations and related Google services. “. It basically says once your account is terminated once, not only the apps that violates the market TOS are banned, ALL of your apps, regardless of what they are, will be banned from the market
And that’s what they did, a couple of hours ago, the new developer account we registered to upload Better Keyboard, Better Cut and Better Alarm was terminated again.
Unfortunately this time we really don’t feel like dealing with the Google android market anymore. We think pulling the apps for copyright issues are understandable, but banning all apps from a developer because of some of the apps the developer had published is absolutely despicable
For all our paid users of Better Keyboard, Open Home, Better Cut, etc, all we can say at this point is that we are truly sorry about this. If you have the unlock key, please make sure you back it up using apps such as “Astro File Manager”. We will offer our apps on alternative android market instead such as the Amazon AppStore, and slideme.org in the next couple of days.
We know we should share some of the blames, but if you think we took your money and left, we really didn’t. It’s Google who took your purchase away for ridiculous collateral banning policy. You should also know that we are not the first, the popular emulator developer YongZh was a very famous example (http://mashable.com/2011/05/30/emulators-banned-android-market/
) . That was probably a million dollar worth of purchases (perhaps more) that was taken away from the android users in that incident. If you feel angry about this ridiculous practice like we do, you should voice your opinion by writing to the android market using the following link:
Contacting Support - Android Market Help