- ‘BlueMail’ was suddenly removed from the Google Play Store, and the explanation was that it copied another project.
- Google realized this was an error, and then reintroduced the app on the Play Store after its developer made the matter public.
- The creator of ‘BlueMail’ believes this was a clear case of retaliation against them.
Google has decided to kick the ‘BlueMail’ app out of the Play Store without providing any previous notice or explaining the removal to Blix, the developer of the software. After explanations were requested, Google responded to Blix, saying that apparently, they received a report by another app developer. Allegedly, the developer said ‘Blue Mail’ was copying their work, and upon investigating, the tech giant found out that this was true.
Since BlueMail is actually an original project and has been common knowledge for the past six years, Google has reinstated it after 15 hours, so they silently admitted their weird mistake.
However, according to the boss of BlueMail, Ben Volach, this was not a misjudgment or a simple error by Google, but a retaliatory action taken against them. Blix is involved in the antitrust investigations of Congress against Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple, and the company has sent five questions to the subcommittee.
Blix’s questions are mostly going against Apple, as the company also has an active lawsuit against the firm, but Volach believes that “the big tech four” are working to support each other right now.
Google just kicked @BlueMail out of the store w/out notice. We’ve been there for 6+ yrs! If this isn’t retaliation due to our role in the congressional hearing, then what is? @davidcicilline Apple & Google must be regulated. 2 gatekeepers to rule them all @sundarpichai @tim_cook pic.twitter.com/s9TNCcdegF
— Ben Volach (@benvol) July 31, 2020
Apple had removed BlueMail from the App Store in the past and then released a product of their own that looked a lot like Blix’s app. This resulted in the legal action against Apple, who decided to let BlueMail back in, albeit not in a prominent position on the store’s email app lists.
Google also attempted to implement some of the BlueMail stuff on “Gmail.” This raised Blix’s objection, who openly accused Google of copyright violations. All of this has created a problematic atmosphere for the app on both mobile platforms, and the project faced extreme anti-competitive practices.
Blix was informed about the recent removal by its users, who couldn’t find the app of the Play Store anymore. As Volach states, if Google found any problems in the code or the theming of the app, they would normally contact them to ask for the removal or the replacement of the violating component(s).
Reportedly, Google decided to send nothing and just removed BlueMail from the PlayStore. So, whatever really happened, that was a bizarre, bold move by Google, and Volach’s explanation does make sense.