Pulled from the Android Market, remains available

June 22nd, 2011 by Eric Kok Leave a reply »

I have just received an e-mail from Google that Transdroid, both the free and donate version, have been pulled form the Android Market. This is due to apparent violations in the content policies of publishing in the Android Market:

This is a notification that the application, Transdroid Torrent Manager with package ID org.transdroid has been removed from Android Market due to a violation of the Developer Content Policy. Please review the Content Policies and Business and Program Policies before you create or upload additional applications.

Note that Transdroid has been available for around 2 years on the Android Market. During this time there have been over 400.000 users who downloaded the app, who rated the app with a very high 4.6 stars average. Also, the Torrent Search module connecting to news feeds of sites that link to trackers by which media content can be obtained is still available.

I have requested an explanation on the specific reasons behind the removal of the app, to which I will post any follow-ups here. Until a hopefully soon reappearance it is possible to download Transdroid directly from this site or even get the full source code, hosted at Google Code, as you like, under a GPLv3 license.

Thanks to all Transdroid users for their support and enthusiasm. Let me be clear that I am happy to build a version for the Android Market that does satisfy their policies and can still help thousands of happy BitTorrent users around the world. If you feel the same way and can spare a donation, please consider a PayPal donation.

Update: Transdroid’s removal from the Market has been covered by sites such as Slashdot and TorrentFreak. Irony: Google hosts Transdroid’s code and Google awarded the app with a free phone.

Update: I have asked Google for reinstatement of the app on the Android Market. Torrent Search has been removed from the Market and a new version of Transdroid, stripped from the search and ezRSS features, has been mailed to them.

Dear Android Market Team,

Attached you will find an updated version of Transdroid. I kindly ask to consider reinstating Transdroid Torrent Manager on the Android Market by evaluating this new version. Since I have not received any details regarding the exact violations with the Android Market Content Policies, I have made the assumption that the violations applied to searching for media (as provides by internet sites and the now-removed Torrent Search application). This functionality has been removed.

Thank you for your consideration and hope to hear back regarding the reinstatement (or additional problems with the content policies) soon.

Regards,
Eric Kok
2312 development

The new version can be downloaded from the Google Code project website. Google is fully entitled to set rules for their own application market and I hope to yet again comply with these in the new stripped-down version.

Update: Feature on AndroidGuys, too. And Android Police. And Planet Android. And Digg. And Geek.com. And others…

Update: Google replied!

Thank you for your note. We apologize for our delayed response and appreciate the opportunity to review your appeal regarding the suspension of your application from Android Market. After an investigation, we affirm our initial decision and will not be reinstating your original application at this time.

If your developer account is still in good standing and you would like to upload a new, compliant version of this application to Android Market, please apply the following Content Policy guidelines to future releases:

[zip]

We are unable to reinstate applications that have been suspended due to policy violations. Please upload a new instance of the application which complies with Android Market Policies and Guidelines.

I am considering uploading a new Transdroid Lite version without torrent search and ezRSS feeds. The full version will, of course, remain available from this site.

Advertisement

50 comments

  1. Arthur says:

    Could you move it to the amazon app store?
    Android is an open platform and competition exists for a reason. Amazon is putting marketing money behind their competing app store so they will be more available than direct downloads because people will still have an “market like” way of discovering transdroid.

    love the work, sorry this happened…

  2. Jason says:

    @Arthur Amazon appstore is useless as it only works in the US.

  3. Eric Kok says:

    I’m afraid Jason is right. It is only open for Americans and I can’t even publish there since I don’t have a US tax number. I could publish in any of the dozens of other applications markets around but really their disparity and tiny user bases make it not very worthwile. Apart from publishing here I hope to receive word from Google on how to get Transdroid publishable again for the Android Market. Only if that doesn’t work out I’ll see what the best alternative is.

  4. Jason says:

    If you have an email address at Google we should lobby to get it back on the market, let us know l!

  5. dan says:

    I’ve used Transdroid for probably a year and I was very disappointed to not see it in the Market yesterday. I’ll be sending a donation and like Jason said, if you have an email address at Google where we can voice our outrage then please let us know. As far as I’m concerned, Transdroid is the only torrent manager app out there. Thanks for you hard work on this awesome app!

  6. theonlymikeg says:

    I was sad to see this vanish from the market the other day after having installed this on my first Andy-phone.

    @Jason; yes a simple email to google in theory sounds like a good plan.. “If I can get (insert large number) to email google in outrage over this app being removed, we can get them to overturn this” News flash, it aint going to happen, the developer has to be in compliance with the google market standards. The devs have to work hard to follow these guidelines that change.

    @Transdroid Devs; I love this app, best of luck to you in working with google – you have my email feel free to email me I have a couple of ideas/ways that you might be-able to circumvent the “violation” in the google market..

    — thanks TheOnlyMikeG.

  7. Eric Kok says:

    Thanks for your support. I hope to get any response from Google whatsoever in the coming days and am happy to adjust the app in order to comply with their guidelines. As I have expressed earlier Transdroid itself does not directly or indirectly link to any content but makes use of Torrent Search, which does indirectly link to media and which is still available. I am happy to cut off this connection but see no reason why the main app violates any of their content policies.

    Just hoping to get any response so I can solve this issue together. Note that I can also not upload a new version at the moment.

  8. Eli says:

    Did you recently edit the description of your app? Also different Google review people apply their policy differently. We recently had an app banned as well after editing the description. Their response to our followup request on why it was banned is as follows. Suffice to say they aren’t very specific.

    Hello,

    Thank you for your note. We apologize for our delayed response and
    appreciate the opportunity to review your appeal regarding the suspension
    of “X” from Android Market. After an investigation, we
    affirm our initial decision and will not be reinstating your application
    at this time.

    If you would like to upload a new version of this application to Android
    Market that complies with the developer agreement, please note the
    following policy:

    Android Market Developer Program Policy
    (Please see “Spam and Placement in the Store”):
    http://www.android.com/us/developer-content-policy.html

    If you have additional applications in your catalog, please review them
    for compliance. Please also consult the following developer agreement and
    best practices for your catalog of applications:

    Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement (DDA):
    http://www.android.com/us/developer-distribution-agreement.html

    Application Rating Guidance:
    http://market.android.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=188189

    We are unable to reinstate applications that have been suspended due to
    policy violations. Please upload a new instance of the application which
    complies with Android Market Policies and Guidelines.
    Please note that repeated violations may result in a suspension of your
    Android Market Publisher account.

    We appreciate your assistance in providing a relevant and accurate app
    discovery experience for Android Market users.

    Regards,
    The Android Market Team

    • Eric Kok says:

      That isn’t very hopeful, then. I am sorry to hear this and can only hope I am not treated similarly. I have not changed the app description for some time though. Not sure what set this off; probably will never know.

  9. rec9140 says:

    This is just more and totally unacceptable collusion from meida companies… Just publish on your own… this will get the word out thanks to this dumb dumb dumb DUMB! move… Prepare to be very popular!

    Just dump google and their market I would rather get it direct from the author any way.

    Do no evil?? ? Have you read that lately google? ? ? OH thats only if it suits your needs and GREED!

  10. Charlie says:

    Damn, sorry to hear this – as I love this app. If you don’t get anywhere with Google and you still consider it’s worth your time to continue developing this app (I hope you do, though it’s quite understandable if you chose not to) then would you consider setting up an email list so we can get update notifications? I guess in a future version you could include them in the app, but for now it’d be a useful way to keep informed. Good luck with things, hope it gets resolved quickly.

  11. v0idnull says:

    Don’t forget to put up the Transdroid Torrent Search application as well please, thanks

  12. Kevin says:

    Transdroid is still available in f-droid (http://f-droid.org) along with lots of other free software for android.

    Please continue to make a full featured version for those who don’t use the android market exclusively.

  13. Mike says:

    Our app, DroidTV was recently removed from the Android Market as well. We received the exact same, word-for-word email from Google. We worked very hard to ensure that DroidTV didn’t violate any intellectual property rights, so we don’t know what the complaint was. Unfortunately, Google won’t give any specific reason for “noncompliance”, so developers don’t know what to do to correct the issue. I suspect in this case that Hulu or NetFlix may have had a hand in this, since they released their products within a few days of pulling DroidTV from the market.

    • Eric Kok says:

      We are not alone. The official Market forum (and other resources/sites) are full of messages from developers who are complaining about their apps being pulled. I think Google has the right to do so but should at least indicate the reasons for a removal and communicate with the developer. Sometimes it’s an easy fix but if we don’t know WHAT to fix…

  14. Forceflow says:

    Hey,

    Sad to see this pulled from the market. A similar app called TorrentFu is still up. You could try and contact them to see how they comply. Fat chance however is that they will get the boot as well.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Where can we donate now?

    Jeroen

    • Eric Kok says:

      I do not think Torrent-Fu is still there because they do anything different, but just that there are below the radar – as for several other apps who do torrenting (management).

      Donations are possible through PayPal. Thanks in advance!

  15. jon says:

    Sucks this had to happen. I’m still confused though since ttorrent is an actual bittorrent app for your phone, like you are literally downloading files….on your phone. O.o

  16. Read our similar story here.
    http://moonbeamdevelopment.com/?name=google-android-developer-suspension-notice

    This is becoming a common theme among android developers in the Google market.

  17. Brad says:

    Great app. I just downloaded and installed Transdroid and Torrent Search separately on an up to date Nexus S. Unfortunately, I do not see the search icon next to the refresh icon as I have seen in screenshots. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • Eric Kok says:

      Make sure you’ve install the full version (latest release is 1.0.4) and not the Market version (1.0.5-market) that was stripped from any search functionality.

  18. Dag Notland says:

    Name of TransDroid has already been taken on Market, would not be surprised if the new app dev is also the reason for the takedown…
    Who knows, I wouldn’t be too surprised anymore when one see how low some people are willing to sink some times…

  19. rc says:

    Mine just got taken down with no reason as well.
    http://hit-mob.com/

    If Google just gave a reason, then developers can fix the problem. As it stands, with no reason and NO response (after multiple attempts at contact), good developers are just grasping at straws. If you don’t figure it out correctly, then your account will just be suspended.

    • Discount Furniture RI says:

      Hey rc,
      is there anyplace for developers to get together and be as a group heard be Google and respond to our undaunting requests to give reason or something for their disapproval. My apps, which worked to provide integration of furniture inventory management, keep getting disapproved and I feared getting suspended from Google.

  20. Shaun says:

    I have a little complaint actually that I hope you can fix in a future version. I have a very large seedbox with over 150 torrents on it. I categorised each one via Deluge. Upon connecting to my box via Transdroid, it deleted every label. Please fix this in future versions…

  21. dbareis says:

    If you haven’t got any reason from Google yet, I have a possible answer, there is another app with the same name:

    http://www.appbrain.com/app/transdroid/cl.droid.transantiago

  22. Sarreq Teryx says:

    If nothing else, maybe you could work with the TorrentToise guys. There’s some things transdroid does better, some things torrenttoise does better (especially interface-wise)

    both could use better priorities handling.

  23. Jonas says:

    Geniaal! Bedankt man :)

  24. bazem says:

    It’s ironic if Google pull down the app from market because it can be used to search torrents. Following this rule, google search can be used for the same thing and is also “illegal”.

  25. spi says:

    wow! pulling transdroid was pretty lame. getting no answer is really atrocious. been using the app for a while and looked for an upgrade recently, couldn’t find it. now i discovered why.

    keep up the good work i’m sure rumors of your great app will spread anyway.

    • Eric Kok says:

      I do not support any version other than the on on this site or the Google Code site, as these are often older and I they might be altered in some way.

  26. Gregor Shapiro says:

    Eric – Your setup instructions, at least for Ubuntu, include the following text which you should change until the situation is such that it is true
    “Install the software from the Android Market and…”

  27. AJ Quick says:

    This is unfortunate. One of my apps was recently ‘asked’ to be removed by the Google Market team. They didn’t pull it for me, and then sent the email.. rather they told me I had 2 days to remove it or else. (The email was essentially the same as the one they sent you.) My app was a very simple dog whistle app. Push a button, emit a noise. No ads. No bloatware. They said it violated the spam policy. Which it didn’t do. No response is given to our emails.

  28. Joost E says:

    What idiot at google removed your app from the market, it was great! Searched a little bit and came here and read what happened…

    Hope you get back on the market soon, installed transdroid manually. torrent-fu sucks and I don’t want to use that new remote function that utorrent 3.0 provides.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Eric Kok says:

      Google has stated that I may upload a ‘compatible’ version, under the treat that my account may be deleted altogether. I am not going to risk that. I do know that there are many (much more) discriminating apps in the Play Store, but it was just a matter of being the app that was most famous/widely used.

  29. Gunnar says:

    Transdroid is not visible from the F-Droid app unless it is already installed on the device. Then I can uninstall it and reinstall it from F-Droid with the right key. This defeats the purpose of an appstore.

    • Eric Kok says:

      Sounds like it does indeed. Not sure how F-Droid works. You can get my app directly form this site, at the moment. There will be a version in the Play Store in some months from now, I can promise that.

Leave a Reply