Google Removes Fusion Voicemail Plus from Android Market

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    In a move that, at first, was a big surprise, Google has removed the very popular Fusion Voicemail Plus from the Android market. This app has been around for a few years and has garnered over a million downloads. The app, which was designed by 'Phone Fusion', basically creates a singular 'home-base' server where all your voicemails from multiple sources are forwarded, allowing you to organize and source them better.

    The problem that caused Google to remove it from the app market was not a technical one; rather, it was a payment issue. Phone Fusion was getting around their requirement to pay Google a slice of their profits for any paid app. They did this by giving away the app for free on Google's market, but then charging users for 'premium' service upgrades on their own website.

    Some might think it was cheesy of Google to pull the app, but it's not hard to see it both ways. Phone Fusion basically found a sneaky way to bypass section 3.3 of the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement, and eliminate Google as a 'middleman', but in the process they were getting basically free advertising and free market penetration to consumers.

    If all they had to market their product was their website then they would probably never have reached even half the user-base they were able to with Android. They were effectively 'biting the hand the fed them.' Share you ideas in the forum.

    Source: PhoneArena
  2. BayouFlyFisher
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    BayouFlyFisher Rescue Squad Rescue Squad

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    I think Phone Fusion just once again proved the old saying, "Some times you can be just a little too smart for your own good"!!
  3. Jaxidian
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    Jaxidian Team FreeMyMoto Premium Member Developer

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    Them and ~25% of other free apps too. Google is going to REALLY tick some people off if they start banning all apps like this. And what makes matters worse is that there is not a clear path to transitioning an app from free to paid. In fact, there isn't a clear path to do anything non-conventional with the Market.

    Not saying it's wrong, just saying that there is going to be some unrest and Google doesn't want to upset the developer base for Android. Afterall, that's the only reason Android is successful. Without developers and quality apps, Android will go by the wayside.
  4. mjforte
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    mjforte Member

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    Does something like LauncherPro Do the same thing though?
  5. johnomaz
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    johnomaz Silver Member

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    Damn good question. I paid via paypal for the unlock code. Hmmmmmmm.

    There are a plethora of apps that have free and paid versions. What, is it too hard to go back to the market and buy the paid version? Also, this only applies to apps on the Market. If they don't publish on the Market, there is no issue. Do you think Google would put ads on google.com if they weren't paid?
  6. wierdo124
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    wierdo124 Member

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    If google continues doing this with other apps, hell's gonna break loose. Deserved, i'll say.
  7. Jaxidian
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    Jaxidian Team FreeMyMoto Premium Member Developer

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    Well, think about it with LauncherPro Plus. That is a perfectly valid example of another app that Google should ban for the same reasons.

    One possibility is that Google may only allow them on the market if they take out the unlockable features from the free version and also add a paid version (that you must buy on the market even though you've already paid for these features). However, when you update your version of LauncherPro, you will effectively LOSE functionality that you rightfully paid for. Additionally, Google won't care that you already paid for those features. If you want them back, you'll have to pay for them again!

    That's effectively what this policy is going to mean. Google already screwed the pooch by not enforcing this from the beginning. If they decide to begin enforcing it now, really, all hell will break loose and there will be some very upset developers and customers.
  8. Big Ry
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    Big Ry Active Member

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    If its in their policy, then its fair game.

    However, as already stated, there are numerous apps like this in the market. So I could definitely see this causing some unrest in the community.

    Sent from my DROID2 using Tapatalk
  9. shiccy
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    shiccy Member

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    I'm going to have to throw it out there that I think that this is a completely appropriate response for a few reasons.

    #1- The platform is free. Of the few resources that create revenue for Google for Android are paid apps.
    #2- I, myself, am DAMN sick and tired of downloading apps from the market listed as 'free', only to find out that the app is SEVERELY crippled and you have to use a third party pay scheme to pay for the full version.

    I would have NO problem with paying for these apps with my google account and the card that is associated with my account, HOWEVER I *refuse* to sign up for a third party account to pay for something, especially when initially listed as free. I think it's skeezy and wrong. Not to mention if you're that concerned about revenue from a .99 app, make the damn thing $1.99 and call it a day.
  10. ilikemoneygreen
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    ilikemoneygreen Silver Member

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    I dont see this as being a big problem. Its googles app store... If one doesnt like the policy then just get behind another app store, except for those atrix users who i believe have third party software disabled. Although i disagree with the actions. Google should have enforced this since the beginning... Since it wasnt, maybe let the apps be grandfathered in and let future apps bite the dust. Or even a hey, "we realize that we have failed to enforce this policy and unfortunately many apps violate it by going through third party payment systems, we value your services as a developer for our OS but we regretfully must take action. Henceforth all apps not following this policy will have 2 months from this date to get back onto authorized payment system. After the 2 month period we will then remove the app from the market if it still violates the policy. Any app created from after this notice will not have the courtesy 2 months and will have their apps removed for violating policy."
    I should work in that department, i think id be good. :)
  11. BayouFlyFisher
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    BayouFlyFisher Rescue Squad Rescue Squad

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    Google isn't going to start doing this on a wholesale basis. This was just a "shot across" the bow of the other developers. They now know the rules are going to be enforced and have some length of time to get their apps and policies in-line.
  12. geoff5093
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    geoff5093 Senior Member

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    I wonder when they will catch on to LauncherPro...
  13. soulpatch
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    soulpatch Active Member

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    Yes it will hurt their marketing but sicne we are not locked down to use google's app store and can use things like App brain and other options to put SW on our phone I dont think it will be a huge issue.

    I will care more when they decide to try to mess with my Rhapsody. LOL
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