From time to time, Google does announce a list of apps which would no longer be available on the Play Store. The main reason for this is the non-compliance of the app in accordance to Google policies which include copyright infringement and requirement of rooted android devices. Below is a compilation of the most popular apps banned from Play Store:
“Honesty is the best policy” is something we all learned during primary education and ‘Sarahah’ tried to take a step further, strengthening the old proverb by making an app which allows the users to send anonymous messages. It was primarily aimed at providing honest feedbacks to friends and co-workers until its purpose was abused to send bullying and offensive messages which resulted in Google taking it off the Play Store.
2. CM Installer
CyanogenMod is a tweaked version of the Android firmware installed on smartphones. It gives the user more freedom and control over the device enabling the user to unveil all the capabilities of an Android phone. The user can delete the pre-installed apps, make changes in settings otherwise restricted and do a complete makeover of the phone in terms of fonts, icons and more, without even having to root their device. The reason for removing this app has not been specified by Google.
Tubemate is an app that assists the user to watch YouTube videos, download them for later user and extract the audio as mp3 if required. Its functionality also included resuming the download if interrupted and choose between resolutions while downloading the videos. However, as downloading videos from YouTube breaches Google’s terms of service, this app was taken down from the Play Store.
4. TV Portal
TV Portal is a video streaming app that enables the users to watch TV Series directly on their Android Devices. It allowed the user to search through thousands of episodes from hundreds of different TV programs and gain access to external links to watch them outside of the application. Due to copyright issues, Google banned TV Portal from the Play Store.
5. AdAway app
AdAway app, as the name suggests, AdAway assisted the users to get rid of annoying ads on their Android devices. It was regarded as one of the best ad-blocking tool which would block any pop-ups or ads while browsing thus saving time and bandwidth. It also allowed the user to manage hostnames under white and black lists which would allow the user to view ads from a website while disabling others. The fact that the functionality of this app was fully utilized on a rooted android device and the ability to remove all ads efficiently led to its removal from Google Play store.
6. Lucky Patcher
On a rooted android device, Lucky Patcher examines the list of installed apps and provides the user various options to modify the App, some of which do not fall in the legal area. It empowers the user to remove advertisements, apply patches, remove license verification, change permissions and even obtain in app purchases for free. As Google does not allow apps that require rooted devices, Lucky Patcher had to be exited from Play Store.
7. Grooveshark app
GrooveShark was an online jukebox which allowed the users to create playlists of their favourite songs and enjoy them anywhere in the world. It provided a music search engine which offered free streaming music and radio stations. After receiving a complaint from the Recording Industry Association of America, Google had to remove it from the Play Store.
8. Amazon UnderGround
It is an online software distribution service developed by Amazon. In simpler terms, it is another version of Google Play Store which enabled the users to get access to a huge variety of apps and games, some of them are at very reasonable price and some even for free. Google has also removed this app from the Play Store as it was violating its policies.
9. Popcorn Time
Popcorn time was an app which allowed the user to enjoy eating popcorn by enabling the user to download the film or TV series they wish to watch on their torrent client. The user could first watch the trailer, then choose subtitles, video quality and download content to their systems to watch later. However, because downloading content in this manner breaches copyright laws, Google made sure that this app isn’t available on Play Store.
10. Xposed Framework
Xposed Framework is a framework which assists the user to tweak with the system level functionality of the android device. Not only it helps to change the looks of the android device, but also increase its performance and install other apps and mods which cannot be installed otherwise. However, the app cannot function if the device is not rooted. It is for this reason that it cannot be found on Google Play Store.
Aptoide is an app market which allows one to search, browse and install applications in the Android phone. It doesn’t require any registration either and lets users create their own ‘stores’ and share their apps with one another. It has been blocked by Google due to non-compliance with Google terms of service.
To conclude, Google has taken the right step in banning apps which breach the copyright laws, because getting apps, songs movies etc for free is as good as stealing if the concerned people who created that content are not getting paid. Similarly, rooting an android device can make it succumb to hackers thus compromising the security of customer’s personal information.