When I first posted my first app, it was a fun joke app. I never wanted to make money and I didn’t think I was breaking any copyright laws, and I still don’t but we’re past that. The app was up for a while with no issues but I lost my signing key so I could no longer post updates. So I had to stop the app and reupload new one. When I reuploaded the app it was immediately flagged. I think because it looked exactly like my previous app, because it was. I tried disputing but all I got was a frustrating generic answer that I could not dispute; horrible support. I had such a high to build apps but it was crushed by Google Play’s Developer Admins. I felt frustrated and it ruined my experience across other Google platforms because I had 2 flagged apps posted to my account with only one chance left, MAYBE, if by the graces of Google they decided to not arbitrarily delete my account. There’s not much competition so for people that make this their livelihoods, they’re left hopeless and screwed.
“This particular app has been disabled as a policy strike. If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a policy compliant version of this application as a new package name.” (From the email about the suspension of my app… Is it really worth risking another strike on my account?)
With 2 strikes from the same app, I felt like I was walking on egg shells. I lost my motivation to develop or learn about developing Android apps.
I just recently contacted the Google Play Team again. I was actually surprised with how responsive they were being. They actually seemed to be there for any questions I had. Though, still offered no real solutions for me. I even felt like the member was avoiding my biggest question, “With 2 strikes, what happens with if I get another?” She referred me to the help page. I have to at least say that I can tell they’re working on giving better support, it’s noticeable.
I’ve heard of other developers just having their entire accounts ruined because of some small mistakes, and then I’ve heard of other people just developing, collecting money, then when their account get flagged they ditch it and get another one; those are the bad people. I, I only wanted to make a small joke app for some friends on my account I had future plans to make a small dev company out of.
I understand that the Play Team needs to protect themselves from being sued, but Android developers are their entire being. They need developers to make these apps for them, and the last thing they want to do is piss them off. I’m not really an Android developer, and I really had any super big plans of being one. But I could have been, and they could have lost a good one.
Solution: Possibly do a PRECHECK on apps before allowing them to be posted to the market, like Apple does. I know a lot of apps are posted everyday and there would be a longer waiting time, like with Apple apps, but wouldn’t that stop a lot of spam and stop decent developers from getting a strike against their account? Also, offer some strike removal system, like after a year or 6 months of good standing, remove the strike. This would hands down bring me back to the Android developing platform for Google. Finally, maybe provide better and more interactive support to your developers. These people already paid a $35 license fee just to be able to post apps to your store, give them some more support.
My solution: I’m distancing myself from relying on Google products as much. I still use Google over Bing, for now (O.O), and I also use YouTube all the time. But I’m now deleting my Google Business account, which I’ve paid $10/month for the last 2 years, and instead using Amazon as my cloud service, they’re way cheaper too. Although, I really do recommend Google Apps for Business, I’m sorry… I can’t lie.
Also, check out some of the links below for more some other people like me: