My app just got removed with no prior warning

 My app just got de-listed from Google Play with no prior warning. The reason:


My app correctly offered a privacy policy link in its Google Play listing (https://www.groupsapp.online/privacy-policy) and it also showed a link within the app's login menu:


Furthermore, a link to the website (where the privacy policy can also be found) was offered in the help menu:

App:
Website:


So the only case where the privacy policy could not be found (in the app), was when a user had already been offered to see the privacy policy and had proceeded to log in

I agree that it should always be accessible (which it is via the "website" button)

Anyway, I proceeded to upload a version that includes a permanent link to the privacy policy, but then was presented with the below (forgot to take a screenshot of this one):

It can take up to 7 days to process your request

These are my conclusions:

    1) Unexpectedly pulling an app with no warning  and then imposing a 7-day review period is not reasonable. OK, my app only has tens of thousands of downloads. But I know some users will be upset. They will tell others to download the app so they can work together and won't be able to find it. What if I had been on holidays with no internet access? Are we expected to be available 24/7/365 to act on Google's unforeseeable impulses?

    2) App stores have reached a size that can now be considered a "para-web". The 2 companies that police them (Google and Apple) don't have the resources to offer a solid experience for neither users nor developers. 

And this is the solution I think would work for now:

    1) App stores should review apps at set frequencies. Developers should know the expected date for their next review so that they can prepare for unexpected consequences that require direct action. Similar to how traditional app certificates have a set lifespan and require to be renewed. Furthermore, the process of review should involve both parties and a conversation should be started that leads to possible changes but never to unannounced app removals

Here is a link to the comments section of this post's HackerNews entry



Comments

  1. Replies
    1. I started this journey one month ago, but don't expect to have a working version very soon. I am not adding any packaged framework on purpose to minimize app size. Will only rely on CSS and vanilla JS

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    2. @Javier I recommend looking at svelte - state management with vanilla JS gets out of hand very quickly, and Svelte solves this, without being a stray, heavy framework far from javascript. Bonus is you can finish svelte.dev/tutorial in < 1 hour

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