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. :-(

EliteBomb SUSPENDED From Android Market

Google has decided to pull all three versions of EliteBomb, “Lite”, “Plus”, and the regular version without any formal notification what-so-ever. In fact, I didn’t even realize that my EliteBomb applications had been pulled this holiday season until I was notified by some of my customers. All I know for sure is that my last EliteBomb Plus order is dated December 22, 2010, which means that the applications were likely pulled between the 22nd and the 23rd. I have no intention of discontinuing support of the applications that have been pulled. I contacted them regarding this matter, but unfortunately, because of the holiday season, or some other unknown reason, I have yet to receive a response from them despite emailing them about it several days ago. Originally, I decided to wait until I received a response from them before writing up anything on my website, but out of frustration and due to emails from some of my over 45,000 EliteBomb users, I decided to post this anyways to let you guys know what happened. I hope to have EliteBomb back up soon, but if that is not possible, I will likely release a modified version that is acceptable on the Android market, under a different brand name. I was thinking along the lines of “Phoenix Text Bomber”. ;)

New EliteBomb Plus Gingerbread Screenshots Added

I’ve been working on cleaning up the market pages for my applications, and I noticed that the screenshots I had on the EliteBomb Plus page looked really stretched and unappealing, so I fired up my Android 2.3 emulator to get some better looking screenshots for use on the Android market. After playing with my app in the emulator for ~15 minutes, I finally got a really nice set of screenshots for the market, and I thought I’d post them here as well. Enjoy! :)

Introducing EliteBomb Lite (for Legacy 1.6 Devices)

I’ve been getting emails from users of legacy devices still running Android 1.6 asking why they can’t install EliteBomb, and I decided to port the application over to that version. This will be available in the Android market as “EliteBomb Lite” soon. EliteBomb lite is a copy of the free version, but without the ability to select from you contacts (which uses APIs introduced in 2.0). I don’t have any plans of porting over EliteBomb Plus to 1.6 at the moment. EliteBomb lite will be supported by advertisements, and will offer all other features present in the free version of EliteBomb, including SMS limit removal. If you have a device running a version of Android higher than 1.6, I do not recommend using EliteBomb Lite, as there are no benefits to using the Lite version. Unlike the regular and the Plus version of EliteBomb, EliteBomb Lite doesn’t even request the permission to read your contacts, since that feature isn’t available. EliteBomb Lite uses the maxSDKVersion attribute in the Android SDK in order to hopefully prevent the application from being used on version of Android greater than 1.6. Even though setting the maxSDKversion value is typically a bad idea, I believe it will help prevent people from installing the Lite version on their device if they don’t have to, since the Lite version provides a lesser user experience than the regular, free version. If you have a legacy device, expect to see EliteBomb Lite in the Android market soon. Also, here is the high resolution application icon that I created for EliteBomb Lite:

UPDATE: EliteBomb Lite is available in the Android market. Users of devices with versions of Android greater than 1.6 will not be able to see it listed.

Automatic SMS Limit Removal WORKING on Android 2.2 (Froyo)!

I’ve been messing around with the SMS limit removal code in EliteBomb Plus on my rooted Android 2.2 device (Samsung Epic 4G, running the leaked ROM), and I just managed to get the SMS limit removed 100% automatically! This is very exciting, as this feature is the #1 request I get. In fact, this feature is so major, that I will be bumping the version number to 3.0 when I get it released to the Android market. I have not tested the code for backwards compatibility with devices with Android versions less than 2.2, but I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work. This feature will be released first in EliteBomb Plus, and it will be ported over into the free version of EliteBomb shortly afterwards (I like to reward my paying customers). Before I release this, I plan on doing some further testing to ensure that everything does in fact work properly, and it’s repeatable. Unfortunately this process involves removing the limit and resetting it to default several times to make sure that it works. There isn’t much I can do about that unfortunately. However, I’m really excited to finally have this working, and it’s great to be able to release this to make removing the SMS sending limit much easier. Once again, the version with the fixed limit removal will have a version number of 3.0. Look for it in the market very soon. I will also be updating InfiniteSMS, since it’s mostly the same code. Anyways, I should stop working on writing this, and get back to work. I’m just really excited to have this working! ;)

UPDATE: Version 3.0 of EliteBomb Plus is on the market right now! Check it out in the Android market! :) The free version of EliteBomb should have the fix available very soon. Keep an eye out for it…

UPDATE 2: The fix is now available for the free version of EliteBomb as well! If you don’t have it already, I highly recommend downloading it now.

EliteBomb Plus High Resolution Application Icon Done

Just like I did with the free version of EliteBomb, I created a 512 x 512 icon for EliteBomb Plus. I spent significantly longer making the icon for EliteBomb plus, so I hope you guys enjoy it. These high resolution icons are mandatory for Android applications now, and I think Google has big plans for them. I personally think the “EliteBomb” text at the bottom is just a little bit too dark, and this icon is subject to change later, but for now, just check out the new high resolution icon for EliteBomb Plus, and let me know what you think:

Edit: It would appear that this logo came out great after Google’s compression. There’s barely any visible compression artifacts. See for yourself!

EliteBomb High Resolution Application Icon Done

I just finished working on the new mandatory high resolution application icon for the free version of EliteBomb. It’s a real shame that the Android market compresses the images that you see on your mobile devices so much. In fact, because of the ridiculous compression, having a high resolution icon is somewhat pointless. I’m speculating that these high resolution icons will be used in a future Android product, most likely a tablet, as 512 x 512 images are much too large to be used on a phone. Anyways, I think the icon came out pretty well, but, as with all artwork, you can always judge that for yourself (click the image for full size):

Just Installed Leaked Epic 4G Froyo ROM

I just installed the recently leaked Android 2.2 (Froyo) ROM on my rooted Samsung Epic 4G phone using ClockworkMod, and after playing with it for a bit, I plan on finally starting development in EliteBomb to get automatic limit removal working on rooted Android 2.2 devices once and for all. I’m really excited to finally be able to start working on fixing this, and I really hope to have a proper fix for EliteBomb and InfiniteSMS (EliteBomb Plus will receive the fix first) out soon, hopefully within a couple of days, at least before Google decides to release Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). ;) Anyways, I just wanted to let you guys know that I’m actively working on fixing the problem, and I hope to have a fix out soon. Take care. :)

UPDATE: The post describing how to manually remove the SMS sending limitations has been updated to fix a permission denied issue. The old instructions are still there, as they worked for a lot of people and only a small few are having problems with permissions being denied.

Automatic Limit Removal Still Broken On Certain Devices

Sorry, but it looks like automatic limit removal is still not working on certain rooted Android 2.2 devices. If you want to get your limit removed, and automatic removal did not work, I suggest trying the manual removal method, which has been tested and proven to work. I want to get automatic removal working very badly, but unfortunately, I don’t actually have a 2.2 device, so it’s a lot harder to make it work. When I get 2.2 on my Samsung Epic 4G, I will do everything I can to get the automatic removal working, as I know it is very important to many of my users. I’d like to apologize for how long it has been taking to get this fixed, but developing for an operating system I don’t have is hard to do. I’d like to let you all know that fixing this is very high on my priority list, and I’m trying to get a fix out as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Successful Android 2.2 SMS Limit Removal!

An EliteBomb user, Jacob Miller, and myself managed to get the SMS limit removed successfully in Android 2.2 on his Motorola Droid (Original). I’d like to personally thank Jacob for spending the time with me in the chat in order to get the limit removed on his phone. The process on the post that describes how to remove the SMS sending manually has been updated to reflect what we had to do in order to get it to work. If you have a rooted Android device running version 2.2 (Froyo), and you have not been able to automatically remove your SMS sending limitation automatically, I highly recommend trying the method on that post, as I now know that it works. In addition to Jacob’s Droid, I personally managed to get the limit removal working perfectly in an Android 2.2 virtual machine running in the Android emulator included in the Android software development kit. I now know exactly how to remove the limit manually on most devices, and I really hope to have an automated limit removal tool out soon. If you try that method, and experience issues, do not hesitate to contact me, so I could try to get the limit on your device removed. This marks a new milestone for SMS limit removal, as nobody else has any documentation on how to remove the SMS sending limit in Android 2.2 yet. Thanks to everyone who notified me of the issue, and all of you who purchased EliteBomb Plus, which encouraged me to work on getting the limit removal working. I couldn’t have done it without you guys! :)