Google's history of draconian and arbitrary decisions regarding developer infractions on the Play Store is extensively documented. In this latest episode, the open-source torrent client LibreTorrent has been removed from the Play Store due to "spam," with Google claiming that the app is a low-quality duplicate of several others on the Play Store. The twist this time is that LibreTorrent is actually the original app, and it's the others that are the ad-filled "spam" clones. Read More
Given the popularity of our previous coverage for the app, many of our readers are fans of App Cloner, which — as the name suggests — allows you to duplicate an installed app. That's especially useful when a given app only allows one account login at a time. Unfortunately for its many fans, App Cloner was just yanked from the Play Store after allegedly violating Google's policies, and the communication received by the developer from Google during the process stands as another example of the company's ongoing support failure. Read More
Weather Timeline, the award-winning, material design-toting weather forecast app by Sam Ruston, has just been unpublished on the Play Store. Those that already bought the app will continue to have access to it, but new customers are out of luck. Read More
We might be fans of Android in general here, but we've also been vocal critics of Android TV—though Google promises to make things better someday. But even in its current form, it's a popular platform for many via devices like Nvidia's SHIELD TV. In a strange development, Viacom appears to have removed Android TV support for many of its apps, including Comedy Central, VH1, MTV, and BET. Even weirder, for a brief period some of the apps themselves seemed to have disappeared from Android TV devices. Read More
The removal of Facebook posts that violate some of the social network's policies can now be appealed. Content flagged for certain violations will be made private, and the poster presented the option to begin an appeals process to restore the post. Read More
Remember those shortcuts at the top of the Feed in the Google app for things like weather and restaurants? They've been missing from the app for the past week or two. Turns out, their absence isn't an oversight. Google has intentionally removed those shortcuts from the Feed. Read More
UC Browser is massively popular in India, with over 500 million installs on the Play Store. But just two days ago, the app was removed from the store. Now it appears that a setting in the browser itself, rather than rumored data theft or misleading promotions, is the reason it has been removed. Read More
The original Moto 360 was the smartwatch to have - the first with a round display (barring the 'flat tire'), and one of the first powered by Android Wear. Unfortunately, the lack of an always-on display, the ancient TI OMAP 3 processor, and small battery were sources of frustration for early adopters. The second-generation model fixed many of the original's shortcomings, but it did arrive with a hefty price tag of $300. Read More
OK, Amazon, I can sympathize with your plight. As both the legal operator of a massive software distribution service and a TV, movie, and music vendor beholden to various rights holders, you might be tempted to remove anything from your app store that even whiffs of piracy or copyright infringement. Hell, I could help you spot some examples if you want. But that really doesn't excuse booting legitimate, useful apps off of your store without a second thought, as appears to be the case with Kodi Media Center.
AFTV reports that Amazon removed Kodi, a highly technical open-source media manager (formerly called XBMC), from the Amazon Appstore last week. Read More
Feel free to change the channel if you've seen this one before, but the widely used SeriesGuide app has disappeared from Google Play. This piece of phone and tablet-friendly software is great for tracking which episodes and series you've watched and keeping up with new releases. Earlier today the developers sent out a tweet alerting users to the app's removal.
If we had to wager a guess as to why Google pulled SeriesGuide, it's probably from the use of unapproved images on the app's Play Store page. Read More