To participate, please log in to your Andromo App Maker account then come back here!

Urgent issue with Google and Pingjam

edited November 2013 in General Discussion
I just had 2 Google apps created with Andromo flagged and REMOVED  for violations due to system interference :  https://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html#system-interference

My account can be banned (or anyone else using Andromo getting flagged for this) if they find any other apps that violate this, we need to find out why this is happening asap.

OK both these apps have the following things in common... Tapgage Ads, Ping Jam and PDF activity

Good god both of those advertising networks suck and now my account has been flagged for using them. If i had to bet I assume its Ping Jam.

I think Andromo needs to look in to this and see if they are violating Google Play's TOS, because accounts could be lost over this.

Comments

  • Hi, I too have received a notification that 13 of my apps created with Andromo have been removed due to System Interference violations. Since we have no control over this, it must be due to the way Andromo builds the apps. Please look into it urgently, as we are losing revenue and risk our accounts being suspended. 

    The apps that have been suspended all had Ping Jam, Tapgage, Admob (banner and interstitial), Google Analytics in common (no Airbop). Only 2 of my apps were not removed, and these did not have any monetization activated. 

    Please assist urgently Andromo.
  • I think it's PingJam its the only oddball of the bunch, I actually forgot I had it in any of my apps for testing. The way it intercepts phone calls seems to be enough for google to not like it.
  • All my apps were removed. I had my own one, and two for my friends. Can you guys have a look into this issue. It's urgent
  • All my apps which i made with andromo are now suspended.I used pingjam,tapgage and google analytics.
    There is something fishy with build process or i don,t know may be pingjam.
    But you have to overcome it ASAP.Otherwise we don,t have any other option to leave this platform.
  • Hello,

    What a nice Saturday morning surprise... :(

    It would appear that Google decided this morning that it does not like Pingjam - despite the fact that Pingjam is in compliance with an opt-in dialog at app startup:

    "An app downloaded from Google Play (or its components or derivative elements) must not make changes to the user’s device outside of the app without the user’s knowledge and consent."

    I would recommend that you turn off Pingjam in your apps, rebuild and update in Google Play, as stated in the email you received from Google: "If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a new instance of the app that is compliant with the developer terms."

    Start with one app to make sure.

    We're investigating further and are hoping to hear back from Pingjam for their input as well.

    Please let us know if you hear anything else from Google.

    Thanks,
    Colin
  • UPDATE: Response from Pingjam's CEO:

    Hi Colin,

    I am very sorry that the apps have been removed. I can
    definitely feel the developers' pain and I really hope that all the apps
    will be reinstated soon.

    A small number of apps that have been
    working with us has been removed today and we have reached out to our
    contacts at Google to figure out what’s happening. We’ve been told that
    before Monday there is nothing that can be done and that we can hope to be hearing back on Monday.

    We
    don’t know whether this is caused by us or not but to be on the safe
    side, we have shut down our service so that the caller id isn’t working
    anymore and neither are the ads. Hopefully this will prevent further
    damage.

    Throughout the past few months we’ve had multiple
    conversations with Google and have repeatedly been assured that our
    service is fully compliant and that as long as the user is aware that
    they’re installing a caller id service then we are fine. If this turns
    out to have changed - we will be very surprised. Regardless, we are here
    to work with you to help get your apps back in the store. 

    I
    recommend that the developers write an email to the Google team to ask
    for explanation and to ask for the apps to be reinstated. We will keep
    pushing on our end. If there’s anything that we can help with - please
    don’t hesitate to let me know.


    Thanks,

    Elnor Rozenrot
    Co-Founder & CEO, Pingjam
  • I think it's safe to assume it's PingJam, I been on too many forums where others using PingJam were banned.

    Google will not allow me to replace the app with an updated package, instead everyone has to recreated all their apps if they wish to reupload them. I know the Pro Version of Andromo allows you to rename your packages, is there anyway you guys could open this up to us for a few weeks so we can rename the ones that were banned?
  • How change of package name will help? Will you get back all your comments and stars? What about admob will they recognise new name as old app to continue name money
  • No changing the name will not get you back your old downloads and reviews hat is lost. What I am trying to do is make it easy to resubmit the apps by using a different package name.

    I think the lesson here is don't use 3rd rate advertising networks.

  • A further update from Pingjam that was emailed to their customers this morning:

    Since
    yesterday we've received several reports of apps which use Pingjam and
    other ad SDKs being removed from the Play Store, citing violation of the
    “System Interference” clause (http://play.google.com/about/developer-content-policy.html#system-interference).

    I’m writing to explain what we are doing to deal with this situation.

    First
    I’d like to assure you that the Pingjam SDK hasn’t behaved in any way
    that violates the policy. No changes have been made to the device
    without the user’s consent, and banned ad methods (icons, notifications
    etc) weren’t used by us in any case.

    Our
    primary concern is that developers aren't hurt, so although we are
    certain that our system is compliant, we've disabled the Caller ID
    service until further notice. As of yesterday none of our apps display
    caller ID or ads.

    We
    are working tirelessly to reach out to Google developer relations to
    investigate the apps removal, but since this is the weekend our ability
    to create a meaningful conversation is limited. I assure you that if
    indeed we verify that Pingjam was the reason for this we will let you
    know. Our goal is to help fix the situation so that apps are restored
    with their install base and ratings.

    In
    the meantime, as a precaution, I'd like to suggest to those of you that
    haven't lost apps that you remove our SDK from your apps and republish.

    Those
    of you that have lost apps - we are working very hard to try to
    understand and resolve this with you. Let's share what we learn so that
    we can help the community get their apps back. Please share what you are
    doing in regards to communicating with Google. Hopefully we can
    identify a best practice that helps us all.

    Link to Google's appeal page - https://support.google.com/googleplay/android-developer/contact/appappeals

    I will keep you posted on our progress.

    Elnor

  • While we're still holding out hope that Pingjam will be able to resolve
    this issue with Google on Monday, we're also looking into some options
    on this side to make it easier to simply rebuild an affected app with an
    alternate package name. Hopefully Pingjam and Google will be able to
    work out their differences, as that is a better solution. It is very odd
    though, as I personally can find no reason for Google to be mass
    banning apps using Pingjam - there is a very clear opt-in dialog at app
    startup. It's also not very cool that they decided to do this in the wee
    morning hours of Saturday when nobody is working...

    In any case,
    we'll come up with a way for affected Andromo users to build with
    another package name should that be the only option.
  • edited November 2013
    I wonder if this has anything to do with Google adding search results to the phone dialer in KitKat (Android 4.4)?

    When I was going over the changes for KitKat I jokingly said to Mark, "well, there goes Pingjam." Jokingly, because Pingjam has always maintained that they confirmed with Google that their service was in compliance with the new ad policies.

    It's possible the connection with Pingjam in these bannings is coincidental, or there was a mixup somewhere and the apps were banned by mistake; but it appears that either Pingjam misinterpreted Google, or Google changed its mind.

  • We have not heard anything further from Pingjam or Google about
    their argument. So, we have gone ahead and released a new version
    of Andromo today that lets you easily set an alternate package name
    for your app.

    http://blog.andromo.com/2013/andromo-app-maker-for-android-v3-2-8-released/

    It's on the App Info tab. Select the 'Alternate' option in the
    'Package Name' field and rebuild. As it turns out, it's also a
    handy way to create 'free' and 'paid' apps from the same project by
    simply building once with the 'Standard' package name, then
    disabling ads and building again with the 'Alternate' package
    name.
  • Looks like a final comment from Pingjam's CEO just went out by email to all their users:

    Hi xxx,

    It’s
    taken us a lot of time and effort to try and talk with the right people
    at Google and we now have unofficial confirmation that the bans where
    due to our service. It seems that someone at Google changed their minds
    about our service and has initiated this ban.

    First, I want to personally apologize for this mess. You are suffering due to a service that we ran and we are really sorry.

    Second,
    we are continuing to work as hard as we can to get you reinstated. To
    date, we have ran into a brick wall and all of our requests that you be
    given 7 days to remove the SDK and reinstate your apps have been
    refused. It seems that Google isn’t interested in providing any relief
    to you. We know that for other ad networks 7 days warning has been
    granted so this is especially surprising.

    We
    will continue to push our contacts at Google to try and get you
    reinstated, but frankly - I don’t know if we will be successful.

    If you still have apps with our SDK I’d strongly encourage you to remove the jar files from your app and republish.

    Apologies again and I’ll keep you posted on our progress.

    Elnor

  • I'm going to close this discussion now. Anything further will be posted to the other thread on this topic.

    http://forums.andromo.com/discussion/799/disable-pingjam-for-apps-on-google-play
This discussion has been closed.