[update3] APNdroid is republished in Market with notification ads removed. I received email from Google that confirms that the app was suspended because many users reported it as malicious or malware-like. Apparently even without Market review process, Android users are able to deal with idiots of my kind. I can only hope they will continue to love this app, even though I deserve some ass-kicking.
[update2] I’ve really learned my lesson on this. The feedback was enormous and 99% was negative. I guess there’s something about that.
[update1] I received response from Google on my appeal and app is restored and ready to get published again. No word on what has happened, just saying this: “…Upon further review, we’ve accepted your appeal and have reinstated your application. You will need to log back into your Developer Console to re-publish the application so it is available again on Android Market…”
Few hours ago I received email from Google that notified me about the fact that my app APNdroid (1.6M downloads, 4.5 average rating) was suspended because it violated some policy. No exact reason given, I responded to the email and now I am waiting for the response.
What has happened? In the last update of the app I introduced new ads provided by AirPush. These ads are not visible as part of the app, instead they appear in notification bar. They will appear max once a day and are easily cancelable (as any kind of notification). This update has started the wave of negative user comments and 1-star ratings.
I do realize that I should have probably notify user about these new ads in app directly, not just in What’s new section on Android Market, but I still think there is no reason to such a panic and definitely not to suspend the application. Users who don’t like advertising are able to purchase the paid version without ads.
Also, I still think these ads are the best kind of ads for the user, because they don’t stand in the way while the application is used, they can be cancelled easily and they do not appear very often. Personally I think that regular TV ad that fills the whole TV screen for several minutes in the middle of the movie is much worse, it’s just OK because we are used to that.
[update] Guys you are right, this can’t be compared. TV ads are there only during the show, while push ads appear anytime, even while you do not use the app. I completely missed this point.
I do apologize to all the users who were negatively impacted and I’ll do whatever is needed to get the application back. In the meantime you can either downloads Beta version of upcoming APNdroid release or purchase the Pro version for minimum possible Market price of $0.99 (or adequate in other countries).