Posts Tagged Android Market

Google Suspended my Android Market Developer Account

For the past month, I’ve been developing Android Apps to see if there is any opportunity for an Irish company to make a decent living via creating and selling apps through the Android Play Store.

After weeks of research, I opted to develop apps for the personalisation category of the market as it appeared that this area was the one that most people who used the Android market were likely to part with their cash. It took a couple of weeks to get going, but when it did, I was very impressed.

When I finally figured out what would sell, I was making over €100 per day. This run lasted for a solid 12 days. I was very content that there was a living to be made out of the market, but it was still such early days that I was still pretty much testing the water.

Unfortunately, my run ended late last night. I got an email from Google which said:

“Your Android Market developer account has been suspended due to prior developer account suspension violations of our developer agreement and policies. “

One of my strategies was to offer free apps, which I would use to cross sell my paid for apps. This was ultimately what I thought led to my account being suspended.

I had stupidly used a copyrighted image in one of my free apps. Thinking that because my free app was benefiting no-one monetarily, I thought it would be OK. But I was clearly wrong. My free apps were suspended.

Well that is my assumption of course. Because three of my free apps were suspended prior to me receiving the notification of the account suspension. When I received those suspensions, I spent hours making sure my other Apps were 100% compliant with the Android Market Developer agreement and policies.

However, it turns out that I was not in fact banned for this – but in fact, it was that Google believe I have had other accounts suspended in the past (which I don’t) and I was trying to beat the system by creating another account.

Looking around the web for others who were banned, it seems that Google have a very strict, no retribution policy. It appears that it’s a waste of time to even question the reason for this suspension as I’m unlikely to get a response. Of course, I have tried to get in touch, to no avail as of yet.

But what does that mean for anyone trying to make a serious go at becoming an Android Developer?

In one foul swoop your whole business could be taken from under you, without any explanation from Google. Google don’t seem to offer you the chance to prove your innocence, nor the opportunity to change anything that is against their  Android Market Developer agreement and policies.

The fact that they believe my account is another account by someone who was suspended before is quite frightening. I have an idea how they have come to that conclusion – but I will keep that to myself until I know they are not willing to discuss it with me.

The sad reality is that I had hoped to build a business in this area. Creating jobs and an export market for the haggered Irish economy.

I would be extremely worried and cautious as to how viable it actually would be when you take these actions into consideration. Can you imagine walking into your workforce following a suspension by Google and saying “You’ve lost your jobs, Google has suspended our account because they believe we had an account before… Oh and they won’t respond to our requests to reconsider.” ??

The initial attraction to the Android market for me was its openness. Unlike the Apple App Store, you didn’t have to go through an approval process before your app appeared on the market. This was appealing as it allowed you to test the market before putting a huge amount of effort into something that just isn’t going to work.

Of course, from a user experience, the Android Market process isn’t ideal. It means that there is a lot of low quality apps available on the market. But on the other hand, it also means there are a lot more free apps available.

I’m now at a cross roads. I’m half way through an app that I believe will do really well on the Android Market, but not sure if I should change my focus now to iOS. Obviously, I can’t open another Android Developer account so I will need to partner up with someone on that front – but it really has left me with a dilemma.

Another issue is the fact that they didn’t just ban apps they felt were in violation, but also apps that were perfectly legit. I had some basic apps outside the personalisation category that were doing quite well and now they too are not available.

How Google think this is a good way to treat their Android Market Developers is beyond me. They should at least offer an appeal process or change their terms and conditions to allow people open more than one account.

Maybe if they brought in an approval system similar to the Apple App Market it would prevent users uploading apps that they shouldn’t be.

Either way, I’m extremely dismayed by the whole episode. It would be really nice to get some feedback from Google and find out exactly where it all went wrong. We can only learn by our mistakes!

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Sencha Touch, Admob & Phonegap

Android Market

Image via Wikipedia

I recently created a small Android mobile app using Sencha Touch & Phonegap. The app was always going to be free as it does  little more than give website owners the ability to check how their website is performing from a SEO and Social Media point of view.

I thought I might as well try and make a few bob from the app (oh the app is called My Web Performance and is available on Android Market) so the obvious option was sponsored adverts. And no place more obvious to use for sponsored ads, that Google. Google offer a program for mobile developers called Admob. Admob works pretty much along the same lines as Google Adsense in that you place Google Adsense on your website and you earn a % of the amount the advertiser is paying to place their ads on Google. Admob does this for mobile websites and applications etc.

The dilemma was that I couldn’t find out how to get this to work with Sencha Touch and Phonegap. I figured out a little hack in the end that seems to be working out for me so far. So for all you Sencha Touch users, here’s how I did it…

  1. Admob Set Up
    In Admob – when adding a site, choose “Smartphone Web App”. This will present you with Javascript that we can use later.
  2. Sencha Touch
    Ok, the idea is to basically create a new toolbar that uses an iFrame to pull in a separate html file that contains the Admob code. So firstly, create a new HTML file called adverts and paste your Admob code into it.Then in your Sencha Touch application js file add the iFrame code where-ever you think it will sit best. My panel looks like this:

            var content = new Ext.Panel({
                fullscreen: true,
                id: 'content',
                scroll: 'vertical',
                dockedItems: [{
                    id: 'status',
                    xtype: 'toolbar',
                    dock: 'top',
                    title: "My Web Performance"
    					title: 'The Latest',
    					html: '<iframe src =\"adverts.html" width=\"100%\" height=\"48\" frameBorder=\"0\" scrolling=\"no\"></iframe>',
    					id: 'feedTab',
    					border: false,
    					dock: 'bottom',

  3. Phonegap
    There’s really nothing out of the ordinary to do here – follow the usual steps and you should be laughing!



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Android app development debugging

Screenshot of Android Emulator for SDK version...
Image via Wikipedia

In my spare time, I’ve been playing around with learning how to develop native apps for android devices. It’s all brand new to me and my general way of thinking for developing web applications has to change significantly.

One of the most annoying things to date has been debugging. I’ve been using Eclipse as my tool of choice for developing the android apps, which is an excellent piece of software. Before launching your app in the android emulator, it let’s you know if you’ve got syntax errors, missing files or pretty much anything it can spot.

But there are things it doesn’t spot. And when you launch the app in the emulator and get the dreaded “The application …. has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again. Force Close” error message, it’s hard to find information on where to look to find out what has gone wrong.

With a bit of research I was able to find out that there is a logging system that should be built into your environment, if of course you have that set up correctly. Simply open a command prompt and type “adb logcat”, hit return and happy days. You’ll have access to logs that should tell you exactly what is going wrong with your android app.

Now that I know how to do that, I can now move on and find the next hurdle I must overcome! :)

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NCT Centre Finder App for Android (iPhone too!)


If you have ever worked close to an NCT Centre, you are probably familiar with constantly being asked for directions to the nearest NCT Centre. Our offices are based right next door to one very busy centre, Deansgrange NCT Centre. In fairness, it’s not the most obvious of locations and until a couple of months ago, the estate didn’t even exist on Google Maps.

It became quite frustrating when every day on my way to lunch I would be stopped and asked for directions,  when the person asking was parked literally right in front of it. Maybe it’s just my old age, but I ended up resorting to just pointing a finger in the direction of the centre to anyone that started slowing down as I passed their car – I just knew what they were going to ask.

So when at a meeting with a local client who also works from Deansgrange Business Park, discussed the annoyance of this in, they suggested “wouldn’t it be great if their was an app for directions to NCT centres…”!!

We thought this was a great idea and set out to design and develop it as our first Android App.

So here it is!!

The NCT Centre Finder App is FREE and available on the Android App Market. Just search for “NCT” in the market place and you should be able to find it quite easily.

Currently the app is very simple, it lists NCT Centres by county and A-Z. We’ve built it in such a way that most functions can be run offline without a connection to the Internet. So you can see simple maps and addresses etc. Another simple tool we added was a “Checklist”. The checklist is a simple tool that lists all the items needed in preparation for your NCT test.

We wanted to do so much more with this app, but thought we should let it fly first and see if anyone is interested in using it. Please email us with any suggestions or items you’d like added and we’ll see what we can do!

The App is also available for the iPhone, simply visit on your iPhone Web Browser and it will run from there. You can also add it to your desktop on your iPhone, which will mean you will have a lovely glossy icon on your desktop.

And of course – if you’d like an iPhone or Android app for your business – why not call us and see what we can do for you!

P.S. For those who just want to have a nosey look, you can visit in Safari Browser to get an idea of what the App does.

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