Android News

OpenHome and Better Keyboard developer banned from Android Market…again

August 12, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Apps


Better Android has been banned from the Android Market, seemingly for good this time. After first being booted from the Android Market last week without explanation, and then creating a new account a few days ago, the Better Android team was banned once again after Google said it would not restore its developer account.

There’s a good chance that you’ve used an app made by Better Android, especially in Android’s earlier days when the default UI fell short of user expectations. Open Home provided a better home screen with themes and more features, Better Cut made it possible to customize home screen icons, and Better Keyboard offered a nicer keyboard capable of loading themes. Better Android was responsible for all of that.

Skins and themes may also be what did in Better Android. The developer posted themes from users, some of which violated copyright information, but – according to the developer – it stopped posting any theme that could be considered a copyright violation months ago. That was too little too late as Google suspended the Better Android, Android Market citing repeated violations of Market rules.

Due to the violation of themes associated with Open Home, all apps were removed from the Android Market. That’s because Google doesn’t just ban apps; it bans developers and effectively removes any chance that the offending party can fix the problem. The Better Android team found that a bit harsh and I’m inclined to agree with them. Google did a terrible job of policing the Android Market for 2 years, establishing rules and not enforcing them with any consistency. Google allowed Open Home skins that violated copyright to rise to the top of the Market charts, then warned Better Android to stop the practice, only to ban them months later even after it stopped posting themes. That seems silly.

Anyone who purchased and used Better Keyboard, Open Home, and other Better Android apps will no longer be able to access those titles through the Android Market. The company plans to start supporting the Amazon Appstore and SlideMe instead.

via Better Android