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. :-(

Network Listing Coming Soon to FiOS WEP Calculator Lite

In order to give FiOS WEP Calculator Lite users a taste of the Pro version, and boost sales, I decided to allow users to preview the network selection feature, but not actually “select” the network unless it is remembered on the device. What this means is that they will get a listing of remembered and nearby access point listings,  but they will only be able to select and calculate WEP keys for ‘remembered’ access points automatically. They will still be able to view a listing of nearby access points, but they will not be able to select them. Having this feature will still improve the overall experience, while still giving users a reason to purchase FiOS WEP Calculator Pro.

UPDATE: I finished adding the new features to the lite version, and an update is available in the Android market. The new version of FiOS WEP Calculator brings the ability to view nearby and remembered FiOS networks, previously only available to pro users. In order to select nearby networks (not remembered ones) automatically, you need to upgrade to the pro version, but you can now view a list of nearby networks without paying for FiOS WEP Calculator Pro.

Addressing FiOS WEP Calculator PRO (Free Version) Complaints

As you may or may not know, for a limited time, I used to offer the full version of FiOS WEP Calculator PRO without any advertisements free. This version has received 96 downloads so far, but it is no longer published in the Android market. The reason for this is because I am not making any money on my applications right now. In fact, I’m actually losing money. Also, there is a free version of FiOS WEP Calculator, titled “Lite” that offers all the functionality found in the paid “PRO” version, except there is an advertisement at the top of the screen. The truth is, however, advertisements haven’t been making me very much money at all (not even $2 yet), so most of the money I receive is directly from the FiOS WEP Calculator PRO sales. Although I would love to offer my applications for free, I need to make some money, otherwise the amount of effort I put into making my applications doesn’t pay off. As a student, all my coding is done in my free time. If I don’t sell copies of my applications, I don’t get paid for my work. However, I honestly would prefer to offer my applications for free, as open source software, and without any copy protection, but realistically, with the current low amount of sales I get, and the very minimal amount of advertising revenue I receive, even with hundreds of legitimate advertisement clicks in my application (I don’t click on my own advertisements, or encourage others to do so) that’s not realistically possible. Part of the problem might be the fact that AdMob isn’t displaying very interesting or relevant advertisements in my application, but that’s another story. By offering the “PRO” version of my application for only $0.99, the least I’m allowed to sell my application for on the Android market, I believe that I’m making it perfectly reasonable and affordable for a user to upgrade from the advertisement-supported “Lite” version of my application to a version without annoying advertisements. I know that most users of my application don’t mind the advertisements, but it would be really great if I could get some more sales for my application. As it is right now, I’m actually _losing_ money, as I haven’t even sold enough copies to offset the developer registration cost for the Android market, and I definitely haven’t sold enough copies to purchase an Android phone. As an independent developer, it’s much more difficult to sell an application, than if I was an established or well-known company. So, by now you are probably wondering what brought this topic up. Well, in order to promote sales of the full version of my application, I thought it was perfectly reasonable to modify the “PRO” version of my application that was available for free for a limited time only. Now, I’m going to assume that I know what you’re thinking, and say that what I did is nothing nearly as bad and irritating as what Shazam did with the free version of their Android application, when they limited the usage of their application to 5 song taggings per month. I simply put a notification in the PRO version of the application stating that I am no longer maintaining the free version of the app, and I nicely asked users to consider purchasing the “PRO” version of the application, in order to support development. In fact, I’ll even include a screenshot of the message shown to users upon opening the application, as well as a word-for-word copy of what the message says, so you can judge for yourself whether or not you think what I did was reasonable. Here is a full, word-for-word copy of the message:

Dear User,
You are using the free version of FiOS WEP Calc PRO. This version is no longer supported, and will not be updated. This app will continue to function, but please consider buying this app for only $0.99. The money will help support the development of my future apps, and this message will not appear in the full version. Thanks for your support! :)

This message is shown once every time the application is opened. Below the message, there are two buttons. On the left, there is a button labeled “Buy Now”, which takes you to the page in the Android market for “FiOS WEP Calculator PRO”, where you can choose to purchase it. On the right, there is a button labeled “Later”, which closes the message, and allows you to use the application, without advertisements, and exactly like the full, paid “PRO” version. There is no limit to how many times you can choose “Later”, and the application will never stop working. It takes less than a second to click “Later”, and you are not, in any way, forced to choose to buy the full version. I believe that this is perfectly reasonable, as I make no money at all from the users of the “free PRO” version, not even advertising revenue. If the users are annoyed by the message, there is nothing preventing them from removing the application, and installing the Lite version, which also does the same thing for free. The reason I am writing all of this is because I have been reading the comments on my application, and I noticed one in particular from a user named “peskykid“, written on August 3rd, 2010. The commenter rated my application one star (out of 5), and wrote this (I think their message got cut-off or something, but I was able to understand what they are saying):

After this upgrade I wouldn’t support the developer out of spite.. What a Shi**y way of doing business.. Every time the app opens you have to close a.

What I think they meant to say was “every time the app opens, you have to close an advertisement.” I believe that this commenter is ungrateful that I let them download my application for free, and inconsiderate about the fact that I’m trying to make a small amount of money selling the application. Closing the advertisement isn’t that annoying, and it only takes less than a second. If you can’t handle closing the advertisement, then you have several choices:

  • Download the “Lite” version, which does the exact same same thing, except with an advertisement at the top of the screen
  • Purchase the “PRO” version for only $0.99, which will support future app development, and won’t have the pop-up message every time the application starts
  • Uninstall the application completely, and get on with your life, without any of the functionality provided by my application

Nobody is forcing you to purchase the application, and I’m letting you continue to use the application as long as you would like for free. Sorry for writing so much, but I felt the need to explain why I added that message, and rant about the feedback I have received since I implemented it. If you have any comments, whether or not you agree with me, about encouraging those who got the “PRO” version for free to purchase the application to support future development, let me know by commenting on this article. I’d love to know what you think.

FiOS WEP Calculator PRO is Back for Only $0.99!

If you’ve been wondering where the ad-free version of FiOS WEP Calculator went, well wonder no more! I removed the old Pro version because I originally published it for free, and I wasn’t making any money. I only made $0.57 so far with AdMob, and that’s almost nothing at all. I don’t really like charging very much for my applications, so the Pro version of FiOS WEP Calculator is now available for only $0.99! If you use/like this application, please consider purchasing the “PRO” version. The PRO version has all the same features as the Lite version, except it doesn’t have any advertisement, it uses absolutely no copy protection what-so-ever I don’t believe in locking down my products with worthless DRM — if you buy it, feel free to use it on as many phones as you want. I don’t mind that much if you pirate this application, but really, please consider purchasing it. It only costs $0.99, which is the minimum amount you can sell an application for on the app store, and of those $0.99, I only make $0.66 ($0.30 processing fee + 2.9% of sale price). Your purchase supports the development of this application, and all of the other Android projects I’m working on. I code applications as a hobby, and not just for profit. If you don’t pay for the application, please at least rate it and leave a positive review if you like it! Thanks for your support! :)

UPDATE: If you area looking for the free, but advertisement supported version, it’s called FiOS WEP Calculator Lite. Please consider purchasing the ‘Pro’ version to support future development. Thanks! :)

FiOS WEP Calculator Lite Edition is Up and Running!

market://details?id=com.dylantaylor.fwc_liteI finally got an AdMob account set-up so I can receive advertising revenue from people clicking ads in my application. The application is called “FiOS WEP Calc Lite” in the Android Market. I had a “PRO” version up for a few hours that I was planning on keeping free for a limited time (letting anyone who downloaded it while it was free keep it forever), but unfortunately you can’t change it to make it paid later (for those who download it after I change the price), so I pulled that until I get my account set-up to accept payments. The minimum possible price for an application in the Android Market is $0.99, so that’s the price it will cost. I’m not doing this just for the money, so if you download the “Lite” version, please rate the application, and write a review. I know that one developer, Kismet Iheke, is selling a similar application on the market for $1.99, and they have between 500 and 1000 downloads so far, so yes, I do realize that I’m losing money, since I only get paid anything at all if people click my advertisements, and even so, PayPal takes $0.30 plus like 2.9% out of my revenue, but hey, it’s better than nothing. And besides, I don’t really want to charge for my application. I want to make it free to as many people as possible. Anyways, here’s a few screenshots:

Enjoy! :)

P.S. If you notice that you are unable to enter special characters in the text field, that’s a feature, not a bug. In addition to that, all lowercase letters are automatically converted to their uppercase equivalents, since all FiOS network names are all caps, using only alphanumeric characters, and the text box has a maximum limit of 5 characters. It is not possible to calculate a WEP key for an access point that changed its ESSID from the default. Also, both the lite version and the pro version of this software have absolutely no copy protection what-so-ever. People who pirate my application will find a way around the copy protection, and I doubt very many people would pirate something when an advertisement supported version is available for free.

P.P.S. If you long press on one of the bottom boxes, you can copy the text to the clipboard… ’nuff said. ;)

UPDATE: The ‘Pro’ version without any advertisements in now available. Please consider purchasing it to support future development. Thanks! :)

<img src=”http://dylantaylor.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/lite_qrcode1.png” alt=”market://details?id=com.dylantaylor.fwc_lite”I finally got an AdMob account set-up so I can receive advertising revenue from people clicking ads in my application. The application is called “FiOS WEP Calc Lite” in the Android Market. I had a “PRO” version up for a few hours that I was planning on keeping free for a limited time (letting anyone who downloaded it while it was free keep it forever), but unfortunately you can’t change it to make it paid later (for those who download it after I change the price), so I pulled that until I get my account set-up to accept payments. The minimum possible price for an application in the Android Market is $0.99, so that’s the price it will cost. I’m not doing this just for the money, so if you download the “Lite” version, please rate the application, and write a review. I know that one developer, Kismet Iheke, is selling a similar application on the market for $1.99, and they have between 500 and 1000 downloads so far, so yes, I do realize that I’m losing money, since I only get paid anything at all if people click my advertisements, and even so, PayPal takes $0.30 plus like 2.9% out of my revenue, but hey, it’s better than nothing. And besides, I don’t really want to charge for my application. I want to make it free to as many people as possible. Anyways, here’s a few screenshots:

Enjoy! :)

<strong>P.S. </strong>If you notice that you are unable to enter special characters in the text field, that’s a feature, not a bug. In addition to that, all lowercase letters are automatically converted to their uppercase equivalents, since all FiOS network names are all caps, using only alphanumeric characters, and the text box has a maximum limit of 5 characters. It is not possible to calculate a WEP key for an access point that changed its ESSID from the default. Also, both the lite version and the pro version of this software have absolutely no copy protection what-so-ever. People who pirate my application will find a way around the copy protection, and I doubt very many people would pirate something when an advertisement supported version is available for free.