I’ve Been Completely BANNED From the Android Market

In case you were wondering where all of my applications went, Google decided to suspend my entire account and all applications on it on December 29th, 2010 at 8:46 PM (UTC). This is very disappointing, frustrating, and depressing, especially since I am no longer allowed to upload any new Android applications. I believe that Google went too far and should have only suspended the infringing applications instead of banning my entire account, since I had many legitimate, non-infringing applications on it, such as EliteGuard, Currency Converter, Simple Dice, Find the Mouse, and InfiniteSMS (I don’t believe simply removing the SMS sending limit qualifies as infringement). Here is the message I have received from the Android Market Support Team:

Hello Dylan,

After a regular account review, your Android Market Publisher account has
been suspended due to multiple violations of our Terms of Service. You may
view these terms here:

http://www.android.com/us/developer-distribution-agreement.html (Section
4.4).
http://www.android.com/market/terms/developer-content-policy.html

Please note that Android Market Publisher suspensions are associated with
developers, and may span multiple accounts.

We are not inclined to reverse this decision.

Regards,
The Android Market Team

An hour after receiving this message from Google, I decided to try to appeal the ban, with an apology letter directed toward the Android Market team. As of January 3rd, 2011, I have not received any reply from them at all. A copy of my response to them is below:

Dear Android Market Support,

In addition to the applications that infringe upon your terms of service, I had many ‘legitimate’ applications listed that cause no harm to any devices or networks, or infringe on your terms of service in any way. I would like to appeal your decision to suspend my account, and I would like to request a specific list of infringing applications and how they infringe upon your terms of service so that I can remove those particular applications from the market if I am given another chance to distribute my applications on the Android market. Although you say that I have multiple violations of your terms of service, the only application I wrote that I am aware may potentially infringe on your terms of service is “EliteBomb”, my text-bombing application, of which I had multiple versions listed. When I uploaded this application, I was not aware that it was against your terms of service, and I would like to apologize for any misunderstandings. I realize that you don’t have to unsuspend my developer account, but given another chance, I would like to keep my applications that do not infringe on your terms of service listed, and upload more applications in the future. I have no intention of abusing the privilege of uploading Android applications. I will not upload another text bombing application, given the chance, without your prior consent.


Dylan Taylor
http://www.dylanmtaylor.com/

Unfortunately at this point, it doesn’t look like I will be able to get my Android market developer account back, and this is really frustrating and depressing. I truly would like to continue to develop and support my applications for Android, but it does not look like Google will allow me the privilege of doing so, so I shall begin to look into alternative means of distribution. This is a truly disappointing and sorrowful moment for me. :-(

Currency Converter High Resolution Application Icon Done

If you haven’t noticed the trend, I’ve been working on creating high resolution 512 x 512 icons for my Android applications, which is now mandatory in the Android market. This icon in particular went through quite a few revisions before I was finally satisfied with the result, and I must say, it turned out a lot better than I originally thought it would, especially considering the fact that I originally created the icon at a resolution of 165 x 165 (including the space around the actual icon). Considering how much scaling, bluring, anti-aliasing, etc. I had to do in order to get this to look nice, I’m rather satisfied with the end result:


Let me know what you think. Also, after compression by the Android market, the icon still looks pretty good, but I really wish they would leave the original icons alone, or use lossless compression.

Currency Converter Version 0.4 Released

I just released version 0.4 of my currency converter to the market. This version now caches the exchange rates for when there is no connection available, allowing the application to be used without an Internet connection, as long as it was used with one at least once.

Introducing Currency Converter!

So a couple of days ago I hinted that I was working on a top-secret project. Well, that project is top-secret no more, as Currency Converter is now available for free in the Android market! Currency Converter is a basic application that I originally created in order to practice making Android applications, and to play around with user interface design, in an effort to create a professional-looking Android application. I am pleased to announce that this application ended up being much greater than I originally thought possible. Currency Converter is a extremely data-light application that uses less than 1.5 kilobytes of data every time it refreshes the currency exchange rates. That’s rather impressive, considering the fact that Currency Converter supports 94 different international currencies. The exchange rates are automatically loaded from the Internet in the form of a comma separated value file that contains the latest Google Finance currency rates by using the Google Spreadsheet API, and querying a specially formatted Google Spreadsheet document that I created specifically for this application. In order to minimize data usage, the spreadsheet only contains the current exchange rate of one US dollar to every other supported currency. Because the spreadsheet uses the Google Finance formula function, the spreadsheet is automatically updated with the latest rates. Regularly the Google Finance function is used to retrieve the latest stock quotes, but by inserting “CURRENCY:” into the function, we can use it to convert currency. For example, to convert one US dollar to Euros, we would use: ‘=GOOGLEFINANCE(“CURRENCY:USDEUR”)‘ as our function, where ‘USD’ is the ‘from’ currency’s symbol, and ‘EUR’ is the ‘to’ currency’s symbol. However, adding the full Google Spreadsheet API to the application would add bloat, and that wouldn’t be very good. After all, we only need to retrieve the data, we don’t need to do any server side manipulation or anything. Therefore, I used the next best thing. Google has a feature on their server that allows you to run a basic query on the feed of a publicly published and accessible spreadsheet document.  Because I love sharing useful things that I make, the spreadsheet document used by my currency converter is completely publicly accessible, and I have no plans on restricting access in the future. By using the query “SELECT A,B“, we can retrieve all the data in columns A and B of the spreadsheet. Click here to see an HTML representation of the data that query returns. So, we now have a very basic, stripped down version of the spreadsheet that can be accessed without being logged in, but it has a lot of extra data that we don’t need, and it would be annoying to parse out. Maybe it’s possible to optimize the server output even more? Of course it is! Google offers the ability to retrieve any spreadsheet document as a comma separated value file that’s extremely minimalistic and optimized with almost no excess data. In this case, we can simple set the PHP GET parameter called “tqx” to “out:csv“. This results in a much smaller and easier to parse file being returned by the server. Currency Converter is now available on the Android market for free. Check it out, and if you don’t like it, you can always uninstall it. Let me know what you think. To easily get to the download page in the Android market, simply scan the following QR code with a barcode scanning application: