If you ever tried to submit an application to the App Store, you know it’s a horribly bureaucratic process and there’s absolutely no guarantee, that the app fairies of Apple will give your software the chance to compete against Angry Birds OR Tiny Wings. Google Play on the other hand used to be a place where you could just upload your app, and share it to the world, at least as long as it’s not malware. But the happy days are over.
A week ago Google started removing several ad-blocking applications from its mobile app marketplace, because they allegedly violate part (section 4.4) of the Developer Distribution Agreement. The notification email sent to AdblockPlus developers was made public and it’s clear that Google was planning to make this move for quite some time. The search engine giant tries to make this look like they are protecting the integrity of other developer’s work, but this move pissed of a lot of users, developers and even the Electronic Frontier Foundation raised their voice against this censorship.
This is the same bad practice that Apple use, and puts developers in this unpredictable situation. They put in months of work into an app, that Google can pull any day from the store.
AdblockPlus is already available from their website, just like the popular browser extension. But hunting for apps on different websites is really inconvenient for the users, and this will definitely lower the usage of apps that don’t make it to the Play Store. Maybe this is not all bad. Maybe a new breed of android stores will emerge and developers will be at ease knowing, that their apps are in a safe place.