Google Android based ad-blocking apps have been pulled from the Google Play Store.
In announcing its decision, Google points to the company’s Developer Distribution Agreement, specifically section 4.4 which reads:
“4.4 Prohibited Actions. You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Market to sell or distribute Products outside of the Market.”
Among the mobile apps now removed from the Google Play Store are AdBlock Plus, AdBlocker, AdAway, and AdFree.
Google sent out a letter to ad-blocking developers just hours before it pulled the plug on the programs.
Users who have already downloaded the third-party ad-blocking apps for Android will continue to maintain access to the programs.
Further, AdBlock Plus is available for download via the .apk file located on the developers website. AdAway, in the meantime, has made its program available for download on the F-Droid app repository.
While developers are sure to complain about the Google Play Store decision over the coming weeks, when all is said and done, they violated the legal agreement they agreed to upon the creation and distribution of their mobile ad-blocking apps via the Play Store.
Developers are arguing that Google Android users should have the choice to control what type of content they ultimately see on their devices. Thankfully for those users, they still have that freedom by simply visiting a store outside of the Google Play Store.
Do you think it was wrong for Google to remove mobile ad-blocking software from the company’s Google Play Store platform?