09
Dec
avatar_07774cc27946_128

Update: Looks like YouMail has gotten to the bottom of the issue. Turns out that it was a bug in the code (a bug they were aware of, no less) and they didn't realize how severe the issue actually was. They've since corrected the issue (or are in the process of), and will be back in the Android Market shortly. For full details, check out the YouMail Blog.

YouMail, a popular (and free) visual voice mail solution, mysteriously disappeared from the Android Market today. In an email notification, the makers of YouMail were informed that the app was pulled due to a complaint from T-Mobile that the app was causing "adverse network disruption." Here's the full text of the email:

This is a notification that the application, YouMail Visual Voicemail Pro, with package ID com.youmail.android.wm has been removed from Android Market due to a violation of Android Market developer terms. It has come to our attention that this application could be used in a way that is harmful to devices, networks, or users. Specifically, we have received a complaint from T-Mobile that this application is causing adverse network disruption. We encourage you to contact T-Mobile to negotiate a revision and/or agreement to republish this application and update your existing users.

Sounds a bit fishy, no? To start with, YouMail has been around for a while now, serving over 75 million unique users, and raising almost $13 million to further build their technology. It seems odd that T-Mobile would complain only after YouMail has already handled over a billion calls, while all other carriers remain silent (even those who preload YouMail on their devices, like Viaero or Immix). It's also worth noting that T-Mobile never contacted YouMail directly before lodging the complaint.

YouMail's blog post on the subject speculates that this action could be anti-competitive behavior (because YouMail is free, and, according to their blog, far superior to T-Mobile's service), but the truth isn't exactly clear. If and when more details emerge, we'll be here to report. In the meantime, YouMail is still available from Amazon's App Store.

Source: YouMail Blog

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • thetruth

    tmobilse visual voicemail is also free. I don't see this as them protecting their free service

  • http://cafe-ti.blog.br Alroger Jr

    Thank you all masses for buying carrier contracts to allow hardware vendores to lower their prices so we can buy the hardware we want and put in the software we want.

    • thetruth

      amen. When will people wake up from this carrier nightmare. People love their contracts,
      well next time you see a phone for a $0.01, think "in for a penny in for a pound".ing of your a$$

      • BK Phil

        Couldn't agree more. Unfortunately there are about 3 people in this country that get it, and everyone else is busy telling their friends about the great phone they got for free.

        Sigh.

        • edd

          Yep, I mostly agree, my last two phones (HD2, SGS2) were both off-contract, the best phones on the market, both only £290 (new, soon after release), and over the course of 24 months (monthly rolling contract, swappable at any time) it all average to £18 a month ($26ish). As I could sell both phones for £150-200), it became even lower (well, I've not sold the SGS2 because I want to keep it!!).

          Contracts may make sense for some people but my two points are:
          1) You're tied into them almost longer than and perhaps more contractually-binding than employment, marriage, or white-collar jail sentences.
          2) You can't change your contract every six months to get even better $/minutes/data deal (I didn't bother with this, but if I had been more penny-conscious I could have paid £10 a month for my tariff (300 minutes, unlimited text/data) rather than £14 for the last nine months).

          tld:dr - contracts are hideously expensive..

  • David

    It's about time. YouMail seems like a nice idea but it's a nuisance. It took me forever to get rid of that crap and get my voicemails again.

    Granted I have now moved to a more elegant solution of Google Voice. Oddly enough I withdrew from Sprint, paying the early termination fee, and went to Verizon while porting my Sprint number to Google Voice. All of this about 3 weeks before Sprint did their Google Voice integration. I still made the right move.

  • BVN

    Something has been wrong with my YouMail (on TMOUS) for quite some time now. I haven't been getting any notifications for ~10 hours after the phone call.

  • murdawg

    I have had YouMail for a few years now and I love it. But I do have to admit for the last month or so notification of new voicemails has been delayed for long periods of time. Has there been any response from YouMail's developers?

  • pegi

    I've used YouMail for years and it has always worked perfectly..still does.

  • Ivo

    Whether YouMail is a great service on its own or not, this is just a prime example of carrier bullying at its worst. American anticompetitive carrier practices need to be stopped.

    Companies will always try to create monopolies for themselves, and they don't give a shit whether that's to the detriment of their customers or not, because that's what will earn them the most $. This is TMobile using its position to make a vapid complaint to knock a competing service out, plain and simple.

    • Guest

      Free service to free service is being competitive to become a monopoly?

  • Mongrel

    Well, there's still other options on the market such as HulloMail, which imo do a better job, so no biggie tbh.

  • Tim M

    I didn't realize people used visual voicemail apart from google voice. TIL.

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