This story was originally published and last updated .
We haven't heard a lot from Pushbullet lately, but it's still out there mirroring notifications and flinging data between devices. It almost had to stop, though. Google threatened to remove the Pushbullet extension from the Chrome Web Store, but it didn't explain why. As a result, the developers had to scramble to address Google's concerns... whatever those were. After a little helpful prodding, Google has accepted Pushbullet's updated extension.
Pushbullet is a handy service that lets you send links, text, and files between devices. On a computer, it mirrors your Android notifications and lets you reply to messages. The Chrome extension enables a lot of that functionality, and it might not be available much longer. Google alerted the developers that the extension violated the "Use of Permissions" rules, but it didn't tell the devs how exactly it was in violation. Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. We hear about Android developers flummoxed by Google's vague violation alerts on an almost daily basis. Pushbullet has posted the full text of Google's email, if you want to check that out.
Yeah, that's where I'm still catching up. The changes you've made look good at first blush, so I'm a little lost on the follow-up rejection. I'm going to open an appeal to get a second opinion.
— Simeon.__proto__ (@DotProto) May 13, 2020
The developers tried to reduce the number of permissions in the extension to the bare minimum. Unfortunately, that update didn't meet Google's unknowable requirements, and that left them with just seven days remaining. The team was hesitant to push updates rapid-fire for fear of getting a permanent ban. Luckily, some Chrome devs on Twitter have taken note of the issue. After looking into the extension, the Chrome team has approved the extension a few days shy of the scheduled removal. So, Pushbullet lives on.
We did it!
— Artem Russakovskii (@ArtemR) May 14, 2020
Meanwhile, developer Joao Dias dealt with an almost identical situation for his Join extension, which has a very similar use case to Pushbullet. Google threatened to remove the Join extension from the web store if Dias didn't reduce the number of permissions it uses. He managed to get a dialog going with a Google rep, but it was not helpful in the least. You can read the exchange here. A more productive conversation with Google's Chrome Dev Advocate on Twitter moved things along, and Dias was able to get an update published a week after our original posting.
Story updated to reflect Join is also having similar problems.
Story updated to reflect that Pushbullet's app was once again approved for the Chrome Web Store
Updated to reflect Join's new extension update.