First strike... Looking for advice to find out what's wrong with our App...

Hello fellow developers!

After over a year development, we uploaded our APK and started our closed beta, when suddenly Google Play decided to suspend our app and deny our appeal :mad:. It didn’t really hurt us because we didn’t have a user-base or ratings yet but it scares the hell out of us. We invested everything in this project and I’m here to get some advice on what we should change before uploading our next version and risking the second strike.

The app builds on libspotify and Spotify WebAPI and it is completely free. It allows Spotify Premium users to create ringtones using the Spotify service.

App title was: “UTone for Spotify”

The description was something like (out of my head because the actual listing was deleted): " SPOTIFY PREMIUM REQUIRED! UTone allows you to create as many ringtones you like using Spotify Premium."

All images used: imgur: the simple image sharer

I suspect the images to be a problem here because we used covers but that’s just a guess.
Please let me know if you have any ideas what it might be.

Thanks in advance!

P.S.: If you hate how Google treats us Android developers please consider signing this petition.
https://www.change.org/p/sergey-brin-respect-the-efforts-of-small-and-indie-android-developers

Probably the use of “Spotify”, specially on the title?

Yes that’s a thing I suspect but my team mates think it is ok because Google Play guidelines suggests that it’s OK to use “X for [brand]” opposed to “[brand] X” as seen in this image:

But you might be right, reading: https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/answer/2986097?hl=en

“Don’t use another app’s branding— Don’t use another product, person, or company name in your app title or description if you have not been given express permission to do so, as this may give the impression that your app is officially sponsored when it is not.”

But dropping the “for Spotify” in the title is on our list for changes anyway.

Thanks for your response!

What was the reason they gave for suspension?.

This is a notification that your application, UTone for Spotify, with package ID xxx, has been removed from the Google Play Store. REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of the intellectual property and impersonation or deceptive behavior provisions of the Content Policy. Please refer to the IP infringement and impersonation policy help article for more information. This particular app has been disabled as a policy strike. If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a policy compliant version of this application as a new package name. This notification also serves as notice for remaining, unsuspended violations in your catalog, and you may avoid further app suspensions by immediately unpublishing any apps in violation of (but not limited to) the above policy. Once you have resolved any existing violations, you may republish the app(s) at will. Before publishing applications, please ensure your apps’ compliance with the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy. All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and payment transaction fees) from you. If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit the Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal. The Google Play Team

I think images could be the culprit.And i would reduce the usage of spotify as much as possible if i want to republish the app.
I donot mean to scare you.But there is more chance of getting a second strike.Since we donot know what exactly google doesnot like.

Try asking on reddit too.I hope your app will get accepted.

Thank you tyrion.

Can you suggest an appropriate subreddit ?

Developing Android Apps

And if i may suggest many sell developer accounts here.Why dont you buy one and publish on them after removing images etc to check whether they suspend app again.And also you could be safe from ban.Then you could unpublish and publish on your account(I HAVE NEVER TRIED THIS).However all the best wish you all the success.

That’s a good idea, thanks!

I re-posted the thread here First strike. Looking for advice to find out what’s wrong with our App… : androiddev
Would be nice to get an upvote.

Of course if anyone else here has an idea or advice I’m happy to hear it.

Soounds EXACTLY like the situation i just went through few days ago.

Here is my thread: http://forums.makingmoneywithandroid.com/android-development/19415-my-first-google-play-suspension-help-me-understand-why.html#post105698

In all honesty, i think this has something to do with the type/category of the app you are making. The music category/type of app is #1 spam target and I think the bot is in furious mode when receiving submissions in there.

Best luck resolving your problem brother! Make sure you spread that petition so eventually we will get heard. (fingers crossed)

We actually chose the Customization category…
The people of Reddit suggested the Google bot hates covers. (basically everyone is saying my images violate the rules)
So let’s hope that’s it.

Somebody needs to sue Google, i’ve been dealing with this shit for years now. I am down for a class action

It could be the covers and spotify logo in your image.

I am going to go ahead and say it’s probably the covers.

Google bot has probably got an algorithm for detecting covers in screenshots recently.

So I created new screenshots with fake covers and lost every Spotify logo…

You guys think it’s ok now?

It should be ok. But Google is random, so I couldn’t confirm.

You may optionally add a disclaimer in your description stating that spotify is register trademarked, you are using their api which is free, but you got no affiliation with them.

Thanks for you response!

We already had “This product uses Music by Spotify but is not endorsed, certified or otherwise approved in any way by Spotify. Spotify is the registered trade mark of the Spotify Group.” in the description which is the standard and part of Spotify’s guideline but someone suggested Google might interpret that as keyword stuffing. (smh)

So we are probably better off violating Spotify guidelines a bit than risking being picked up as spam… Luckily Spotify isn’t as ruthless and you can talk to humans.

It really frustrates me that I have to worry about these things instead focusing on improving my app.

Maybe you may add the disclaimer inside the app itself? Just an about activity.

Anyway, no one will 100% sure what Google wants. Good luck.

Over here, I think the reason behind suspension is because of the name “Spotify” I think you should consider changing that name! As I guess you have have taken down because of the same, anyway can you tell us the reason (message received from the Google) behind the suspension.