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Android L Keyboard removed from Play Store, found in violation of developer agreement

Shen Ye's port of the Android L Keyboard has now been removed from Google Play after 800k downloads, due to a violation of Google's developer distribution agreement.
July 9, 2014

With the arrival of Android L we’ve seen a large number of Nexus owners dive right in and download the Developer Preview (myself included), more recently this even includes Nexus 4 users as well. Of course not everyone owns a compatible device or is willing to put up with the bugs and other issues that come with an unfinished OS preview.

For these types of users that are still curious about the future of Android, the solution has been to download apps that are designed to give an Android L-like experience on existing stable versions of Android. One of these such apps is the Android L Keyboard, which arrived unofficially to Google Play back in late June thanks to the efforts of developer Shen Ye. For those that already downloaded the app, consider yourself lucky, after 800,000 downloads it has now been pulled from Google Play.

The reason for removal is that the app has been found to be in violation of “section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement”. Simply put, the Android L Keyboard wasn’t a “look-alike” of the keyboard found in Android L — it was ripped from the preview and modified to work on any Android 4.0+ device. Considering Android L’s keyboard is really Google Keyboard 3.1.20006 with a Material Design theme, it really isn’t too surprising that this happened.

For those that have rooted devices, there are still other side-loading methods and it’s probably only a matter of time before Shen Ye’s keyboard APK makes its way to the net through other channels. What do you think, was Google well within its rights here or should they have let this one slide?