Google removes Koush’s ROM Manager due to IAP policy violation

December 19, 2013
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rom-manager Rootzwiki

It seems like a little bit of drama has hit the Android world, as the popular app ROM Manager has now been pulled from the Google Play Store due to a violation of the Google Play developer policies.

Up until its pull, ROM Manager allowed folks to upgrade to the premium version directly from within the app using either Google’s IAP system or an alternative system that allows Paypal payments. The problem is that Google Play has a policy in place that requires users to only use Google’s own in-app purchase system, which has been in force since about mid-2012.

Under the policy, Google could have flagged and subsequently removed these apps over a year ago, but apparently the issue went unnoticed until recently when well-known developer Koushik Dutta (aka Koush) received notification from Google that his newer Helium app was in violation of Google’s IAP policy. Google said he had six weeks to fix the issue in any apps that violated the policy, or they would be pulled.

violation-letter

Violation notice from Google.

Koush then responded saying that he would address the problem, but that he had several other apps that would also need to be adjusted. With two weeks left on the deadline, ROM Manager was taken down today without further notice.

So why did Google remove the app, even though the developer should have had two more weeks to correct the issue? It’s hard to say, though it’s at least somewhat possible that the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

Since Koush’s developer account had already been flagged for an IAP violation, it is possible someone at Google might have went through his other works and noticed that several older apps were in violation of the policy — and then simply decided to pull the app in question.

koushik-dutta-response

Koush’s original response.

Considering Koush was under the impression he had more time, the removal seems a bit harsh. On the other hand, some could argue that the developer had well over a year to address the issue.

For now the app remains pulled from the Play Store, though it’s likely just a matter of time before Koush either fully addresses the issue or reaches some kind of agreement with Google.

What do you think of the whole issue, was it right for Google to take down the app or should the developer have been given more time after his official warning? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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