policy

Dear readers and customers,

here is AETHYX MEDIAE, your friendly and most independent online publishing house from Europe!

Today we want to tell you about a neverending tale of How Google is violating our patience policy as indie publishers!

We’re developing Android apps inhouse since 2013, to be exact. During these times we never got any problems with them regarding any kinds of violations.

This is no wonder as we do our business seriously, and represent open-source to the fullest with all its quirks and hacks and stuff, but never illegally or bad or intentionally wrong, etc.

It’s mid August now and we already had to eat five takedowns since January. All because of the same fake bulls**t reason:

Google Play Store vs. AETHYX MEDIAE

This is a snapshot from the automatically generated Email you get when your app is taken down but with no further information what the problem was exactly.

In the past we didn’t ask them what the problem was. We just provided them a new APK, let them check it, and were good for the next couple of months.

This time we tried a different approach and asked them for a more detailed answer.

This is the answer followed by a graphic which, according to Google, violated their policy:

“During review, we found that your app violates the Payments policy. You can read through the Payments policy page for more details.

For example, your app provides methods for users to donate without using Google Play’s payment system in app and in the store listing. Please refer to the attached screenshot for further information.

Donations may only be collected within an app under certain conditions:

Donations are only permitted for validated non-profit charitable organizations (for example, a validated 501(c)(3) charitable organization or the local equivalent).
Donations must be facilitated via a web browser, and any collection must be made through a secure payment system.

You can learn more about in-app billing in the Android Developers Help Center. Note that all of these conditions need to be fulfilled for us to reinstate your app.”

This is the same nonsense they send you automatically when your app is taken down. It simply means we aren’t allowed to use donation(!) buttons we designed ourselves(!) on our own(!) apps and websites.

Don’t believe us? Then here’s the graphic with the “violation” in red:

Google Play Store vs. AETHYX MEDIAE: the fake violation

For historical reasons we didn’t change the naming of the file, we just resized it to get down to the violation from us according to Google.

As if this wouldn’t be enough, “Big G” knocked us down another time.

This time, same(!) EMail, we would violate a “YouTube autoplay policy”:

Additionally, during review, we also found that your app violates the Device and Network Abuse policy by enabling background play of YouTube videos.
One example to illustrate background play is YouTube video continues to play even after the screen is locked. Please refer to the attached screenshot (1) for further information.

Please update your app to fix these issues. You’ll need to disable background play functionality of YouTube videos in your app before submitting it for another review. You may also want to double check that your app complies with all other policies listed in the Developer Policy Center as additional enforcement could occur if there are further policy violations.”

They sent us a snapshot here too:

Google Play Store vs. AETHYX MEDIAE: fake YouTube violation

We think there is no more concrete way to tell you in one Email “we don’t like you, and we don’t support what you do, either”. DAMN.

If we wouldn’t have asked for a more detailed description about the first “violation”, we wouldn’t have received the second one about YouTube autoplay. Oh my…

Well, we’re the underdogs here, we can’t do anything about rules made by Google. Their Play Store still is the #1 reason why developers publish Android apps and this never changed and it will never change in the future.

So, what we’ll do, we can only nod our sad head and comply with them. As always.

As we’re already on our way out from tainted and non-GDPR-complying advertising schemes (as promised by us in an article back in March this year), we’re thinking about bringing back Google Adsense at least for those projects which offer Android app functionality. We never used Google Payments and don’t know what this is, and as far as we’re concerned we just won’t use it in the future for the reasons found herein, obviously.

For the time being, we can’t provide a working Android app for the aforementioned project. Let’s hope for the best!

Good luck to all the Android indie developers out there.

Take care,
the aethyx staff


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