It is definitely annoying when a pop-up message or ad suddenly appears whenever you are browsing the Internet, launching an app or especially when playing a game using your Android device. For me, I just hate it when I am playing a game. It just disrupts my momentum. These are among the reasons why ad blocker programs are much sought by users.
However, Google started removing ad blocker apps since yesterday from its Google Play store. This report came in from CNET after the author of the report noticed that the ad blocker apps began disappearing one by one.
According to the source, among the ad blockers which were yanked from the Google Play store include AdAway, AdBlock and Adfree. The developers of these apps received notices from Google stating that they violated the Developer Distribution Agreement of the site.
The specific clause violated by the developers that Google cited in their notice is the section 4.4 of the agreement which states the “Prohibited Actions” of a developer.
Here is the content of Section 4.4 that the developers violated according to Google:
“You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Market to sell or distribute Products outside of the Market.”
Jared Rummer, the developer of the Ad Blocker Root app, shared in his Twitter account that he received a notification from Google Play saying that his app has been removed from its online store because it interferes or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner. In other words, it gets in the way of the company’s advertising. Then, Google reiterated that continuous violations from developers can result to their accounts getting terminated.
In addition, Google advised the developers of the affected apps that if they wish to continue publishing their work, they should adhere to the terms of the Play store or revise their software in a way that it will no longer interfere with the company’s ad campaigns.
Despite the ban of ad blocking apps from the Google Play store, it should be noted that these could still be sold or distributed in venues outside Google’s reach according to CNET. Users can still get them from other sources on the Internet and install them in their devices. Aside from this, users who already have the apps installed on their cell phones can still continue to use them.
So far, there’s no word yet from Google when CNET tried to get their comment about the subject. But we can’t really blame them for the move because the ads are their primary source of revenue based on CNET. The ads are also the users’ way of compensating for the free apps that they are enjoying. On the other hand, users can avoid the ads anyway if they officially purchase the apps that they are using.
Sources: CNET and Google Play