My very popular app got suspended


It is a sad week for me as my app : “Vibrator : Classic” who had 7 million plus downloads :mad: was suspended due to a violation against the “Sexual explicit” policy. (See attachment)

Vibrator : Classic - Android app op AppBrain

The Google Play store is still filled with vibrator apps but mine was most popular so I guess they don’t want that to be popular…
The funny thing is, my paid Pro version is still online :

So do they don’t look at your other apps…?

It is really sad how google handles his developers. No warning, just banning your app.
Why aren’t they giving you a chance to update your app to make it compliant or something…
I was making 4 figures a month with this app. It had at its highest 40.000 downloads a day and was now averaging 7000 downloads a day.

I made an appeal but like we know, it’s like sending something to /dev/null .
Google just has the WORST support ever in my opinion.

If someone wants to make a blog post about it don’t hesitate to contact me, I can give more details and screenshots.

Anyone think I make a chance they will reinstate the app?



What was it suspended for ?

Sexual explicit … that is not explicit i think

Probably very aggressive ads (icon, push etc. there is no other way to make 4 figures with app like this) and that lead users to flag this app as inappropriate after some time app collect enough complaints and some software-bot just took down app. That can explain why his paid version is still there, much less downloads and not enough complaints for taking down (probably none because ads are not included in paid version or I guess so).

Well, it just means two things:

  1. Your probably had it with the incorrect rating. The app should have been adult rated.
  2. The Google reviewer is a prude. People masturbate. It is normal. Girls do it too. People in the USA are very backward when it comes to sex though.

No it was given the maturest rating possible.
altough the problem was I think people were dating through the comments, even leaving phone numbers :(.
I could not delete comments , what could I do about it :s. They where using it like a date channel.

Sorry for you loss. In my mind, the probability of having the app unbanned is close to absolute zero.
I would recommend to re-publish it right away with another package name. On the same account if your paid app generated less than 10% of your revenue, on another one othwerwise.

We tried a couple of time dispute a ban of an app / account - and always got a template answer with no actions.

Wouldn’t reuploading risk his entire account?

Yeah, i won’t reupload. I’m still earning some money on my other apps.
If i still going to make some apps for android, they first need a decent support and have damn respect for their developers who paid.
Hence i’d pay yearly for an account if they gave you the chance to talk.
I have already developed some Windows 8 apps and the microsoft support is marvelous, hence they even TEST your app on errors.
And they answer every mail. There is even live support chat … WOW.
I love developing for android, maybe i’ll try the Mikandi store … then i’m out of google’s reach.
I wish Microsoft bought android some years ago. At least we developers would be respected and not treated like garbage.
Unless your a big player like Rovio or a big developer your nothing to them but store filling crap.

The dashboard altough looks so nice to work with, but the support is like a Windows Millenium installation, it crashes.

Hey, that with these comments was truly a problem. It’s nice to have a possibilty to speak to you.

A very popular youtuber in germany once made a video of your app. He found it extremely boring because he couldn’t think of a girl that puts his phone there. But what disturbed him much more was the fact that so many 12-24 y/o boys posted their kik or phone number in there - as well as girls. Germany is (and I appreciate it) strictly against pedophilic actions and I think this was the reason about it.

tl;dr? He couldn’t do anything against his ban

I’m sorry for your loss.

I am having a bad time with Google support also (on a total unrelated matter). Now that I needed their support for the first time, I can’t believe how crappy their support is, Im really astonished. Amazon and even Apple are light-years ahead of Google in customer caring. Makes me think twice to continue developing to Google Play platform: something like you described could happen to anyone for any reason they desire, feels like a monopoly/dictatorship.

Even tho I dont like Apple, but since Amazon is still too small, instead of releasing new games on Android I will most likely soon buy a Mac and starting porting my current games for iOS, as well as the next releases also.

Note: I heard AdWords support is excellent, so I believe the problem lies mostly on Google Play part of the company.

@lordraider, its better to move on and don’t bother about banned apps (I mean re-uploading).
Like you said, there are alternatives including Windows Phone

Google adwords … sure , they earn money from it. If they don’t listen you won’t pay.
I would even pay 5 $ a month for their play market if they would have real customer care and not act like north korea

Because in adword you pay Google while in Google Play and adMob they have to pay you.


Yes, the comments was truly a plague for my app. And mostly in Germany. Do you know the youtube video you speak of?
Google needed to shut it down, a shame they couldn’t close commenting. If people want to destroy your app they can it seems.

@rottz, you can first try a Mac os based virtual machine using VMWare or VirtualBox before actually buying a mac.

@lordraider but we pay close to that already (25 a year = 2 a month), and they make money from us, so there are no excuses. I had a problem with my Kindle (reader) a few months ago, and the support from Amazon was incredible. They were LOSING money with the replacement (and shipping), and still the support was flawless.

@javaexp thanks, I will try it, never thought that was possible! I use VMs regularly, but never tried a Mac one.

My advice would be - if you have the money - to buy a used mac (maybe 1 year old) - that will allow you to do BOTH android and mac development.

The switch from windows to mac will take you 1 month to really get comfortable (i.e. just navigating - figuring out alternatives you were comfortable with on windows etc.).

However the development environment will be BETTER on mac - because it has BSD (unix) built into it - so no complication compared to windows where you need to stick on with bubblegum some unix stuff like cygwin etc.

You will notice that MOST google employees use mac laptops - why ?

I think for developers while windows is an excellent platform now - with the uncertainty of win 8 - and the stability of mac OS X - and it’s cross platform usability for both Android and iOS (it’s needed for iOS actually) - it makes sense to use a mac.

The reality however is that if you are doing Android - you just may not have the time to start the mac development you were thinking of doing (but since you are determined to do so - in your case switching to a mac maybe a reasonable decision).

EDIT: however, remember that on Apple App Store the requirements for apps is MORE stringent - I think they are less tolerant of R-rated apps. Meanwhile on Android it is the “wild West” where anything including copyright-infringging stuff is rampant - though technically not allowed - which results in people getting banned, then Google hard to reach - result you have this phenomenon of “I want to buy a new Google account”. On Apple you just will be rejected if your app doesn’t fit their standard. So there is that risk - perhaps one way to test the waters is to make a lite version - and see if that gets approved - then build the full version. Or if that subject already has apps on App Store - that maybe good indication that your app on same subject may be accepted.

The Android development environment on mac OS X is BETTER than on windows - no USB driver etc. needed (same as on linux I think) - the unix tools are built in (I think you need to download a free package from App Store - it is provided as a package for Xcode - so you will have gcc etc. if you need to do JNI/native development for Android).

The reasons favoring windows are if you want to do games or other stuff - but if you will be doing development 90% of the time - then you will not find any issues developing on mac for Android.

I have yet to start iOS development - though my intention was to start that - given my negative impression on profitability on Android (and it’s whole business model). Also on App Store I could sell apps - but Google Payments not available at our location.

However, over time my impression of profitabiity on Android has changed also - it is clear some types of apps will NEVER get the revenue you expect - those apps MAY be sellable on iOS (though I haven’t done that so I can’t say that with any level of authority). But other types of apps may work on Android - IF you have enough of them - though it is possible you may get a hit with 1 out of 10 apps (or your first one) - but an app that requires 6 months to develop and then fails is a risk you maybe better positioned to take if you already have 10 apps on the market and have not only some revenue buffer but also some exposure to how the market works - which may save you money when developing your longer-term game (as you may avoid doing some very simple things that you were not aware of earlier).

Also favoring Android is my perception that it will get about 5x bigger in 1-2 years - though much of that market growth will be in Asia - non-English speaking countries. The reason is cheap Android phones are inundating the market - by next year it will reach the BOTTOM tier of cell phone users. Which means the market will be HUGE.

This is one thing favoring Android - where even a non-profitable ad model may wind up making many apps profitable (which are not currently profitable). Though I wonder what an expanded market means - will ad market scale to fill the gap ? The rise of localized ad markets for the emerging markets may fill some of that gap.

So this is really militating in favor of Android - and one does then reconsider whether one should devote the mindshare to iOS …

HOWEVER, then one sees the random banning of apps and that is cautionary …

Maybe one can just start doing some small iOS stuff on the side first (loud thinking) …

If Apple wants to remain a player it BETTER start making an ULTRA-cheap version for the vast emerging markets - else it will be facing similar situation as mac vs. windows. IF it does that (and that will be great for developers also) - there will continue to be an iOS/Android alternative - which would keep Google megalomania in check hopefully to some degree (in dealing with developers).

IF someone is writing Vibrator apps, they are not going to make it on iOS. Competition is tough and its really hard for new developers to make it on iOS.
I would say best thing to do is improve on quality of apps on Android and your revenue will definitely improve.

That is another thing I have asked here before - how is the app discovery issue on iOS vs. Android ?

While there is much talk of the greater payment potential from iOS (wealthier demographic, more used to paying) - and the greater advertising potential (roughly 1.5x to 2x ad revenue on iOS vs. Android) - here is a recent chart by chartboost (from their data):
ipod - $1.30 CPI
iphone - $1.69 CPI
ipad - $1.81 CPI
Android - $1.00 CPI

One issue not mentioned as much with iOS is app discovery - and I have seen some articles pointing to that - and the way the App Store has changed how apps are shown (bigger graphics, fewer on page etc.).

In addition, I would not be surprised if App Store has weaker/less dynamic/nimble search technology at work - than Google whose bread and butter is search and how to optimize vale, identify “importance” etc.

In some recent tests on iOS - I have seen one huge glaring problem - some new apps do not show ANY comments (just because there are no local comments) - if you check out itunes/app store page it shows the comments by U.S. users.

This is not only bad for developers - but also for users - this means a bad app - which has started getting bad reviews in the U.S. will still be bought by users in other countries - until a negative comment base builds up for that country.

So any thoughts on “app discovery” on iOS - is it any easier there ?