Google Pulls Popular Voicemail App for In-App Payment Violation


Over recent months Google has pulled some pretty high profile apps from the Android Market without warning, taking an active role in policing the wares distributed therein. The latest, the popular app Visual Voicemail, was pulled for violating the terms of section 3.3 of the Android Market distribution agreement. The violation arrises from PhoneFusion, makers of the app, collecting in-app payments through a system other than Google’s.

Now that Google has officially announced their own means of collecting in-app payments, it seems the tech giant is buckling down on apps using third-party methods to process payments. PhoneFusion claims they were given no warning that their app was violating any specific rules. The app was pulled and PhoneFusion was told to see the above mentioned section of the distribution agreement. Visual Voicemail had over one million downloads before it was pulled. We expect PhoneFusion will make the proper updates and return the app to the market shortly.

[via BusinessInsider]

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

Android Gets another Honeycomb-Specific App with USA Today for Tablets

Previous article

Samsung Galaxy S to Receive Android 2.3 Gingerbread in March?

Next article

You may also like


  1. What does PhoneFusion’s Visual Voicemail have over Google Voice?

    In otherwords, why would someone pay for something that is provided free by Google?

  2. WTF? Google becoming apple now.

  3. @MT Google Voice doesn’t work for everyone. I’ve had so many problems with it, I had to stop using it. I need to make sure I don’t miss a call. But many people who call (including clients), get a message saying my number is not in service when I use google voice.

    In reality, Google Voice is a mediocre app with NO support.

  4. Son, you have some lesson to learn.

  5. Google started becoming Apple the moment Android was born….

  6. iking….. wow, the uneducated who blabber about stuff theyre ignorant to is HYSTERICAL!!!!! and in case you dont know who im referring to, its you and son… so, shut it if you dont know what youre talking about

  7. BW, make sure you go online and enable google voice for your cell. Maybe you did, but I had to do it twice after I upgraded my software on the phone. Been working flawlessly after I did that. Hope that helps.

    Google voice isn’t available in many parts of the world. Hence that is why not everyone uses google voice mail. :)


  8. As always, pulling an app from Android Market doesn’t mean it can’t be run on the platform. It’s nothing like Apple.

  9. Lol I have had zero problems with Google Voice.

  10. Well transcription isn’t great but the way voicemail is organized is awesome.

  11. They are hardly “becoming Apple” here. Google only pulled them from their market – there are a dozen other ways that you can diatribe your app on Android, the official Google Market being just one of them.

  12. Yes, Google Voice rocks. I’ve been using it since it’s first beta with no issue. That’s been across 3 different phones. Feel sorry for those who’s phones it won’t work.

  13. Who else thinks that it’s blasphemy for Phandroid to have Bing ads all over it?!?!?

  14. I’m sorry, but what’s the difference between this instance and say, carrier apps that may charge your bill by the month. VVM and VZNavigator bill your Verizon bill monthly. Can someone clarify why PhoneFusion’s app was any different?

  15. Don’t be Apple.

  16. @Nexeo

    Firefox + AdBlock Plus = No Ads

  17. Wait, Google is going to start retro-actively pulling apps from the Market unless they immediately re-code their application to use Google’s payment system and provide a cut?

    I’m sorry, but I’m just not okay with that. Will Google also start pulling apps because they use a different Ad-provider than Admob? What happened to “open?” I thought the intent was to make developers WANT to use this payment system because it made it easy for developers for a small fee. Forcing them is just going to cause a nasty backlash.

  18. @James, that’s what i’m saying. I thought it was just there to make it easier for developer, not forcing them to use it. That’s not cool man. NOT COOL.

  19. That’s so apple -_-

  20. Open Handset Alliance anyone?

    “Each member of the Open Handset Alliance is strongly committed to greater openness in the mobile ecosystem. Increased openness will enable everyone in our industry to innovate more rapidly and respond better to consumers’ demands. Our first joint project as a new Alliance is Android™. Android was built from the ground up with the explicit goal to be the first open, complete, and free platform created specifically for mobile devices.”

  21. Let me get this straight. Google requires developers to agree to the Android Market distribution agreement when they sign up as a developer, an app was pulled from the market without warning for violating the Android Market distribution agreement, and now the developers are crying that they received no warning?

    Cry me a river. The Android Market distribution agreement was there when they signed up, that was their warning. It isn’t Google’s fault if developers refuse to read the agreements.

    Dear Google, Thank you for sticking to your side of the agreement.. even if developers refuse to adhere to said agreement.

  22. Google are being Richards about payments. This why I like the old Palm days, a single market sucks. Crapple sucks. Google Market sucks.
    Long live Treo Central!

  23. @otis
    Chrome 10 beta + adblock plus = no ads and freaking fast!

  24. Following is the full text of section 3.3. The context matters.

    3.3 You may also choose to distribute Products for free. If the Product is free, you will not be charged a Transaction Fee. You may not collect future charges from users for copies of the Products that those users were initially allowed to download for free. This is not intended to prevent distribution of free trial versions of the Product with an “upsell” option to obtain the full version of the Product: Such free trials for Products are encouraged. However, if you want to collect fees after the free trial expires, you must collect all fees for the full version of the Product through the Payment Processor on the Market. In this Agreement, “free” means there are no charges or fees of any kind for use of the Product. All fees received by Developers for Products distributed via the Market must be processed by the Market’s Payment Processor.

    It has nothing to do with content or services, as the new Apple in-app requirement does. It has to do with basic functionality of the app. What this term says is that Google thinks free apps are important to the Marketplace ecosystem, but it doesn’t think developers should side-step payments for apps that really aren’t free if they want to be listed and hosted in the Marketplace. Developers are still free to make their products available outside the Marketplace if they like, again, a differentiation from the whole Apple system.

  25. Thanks for clearing that up Brad.
    I don’t think there needs to be any further discussion on this now really – Phonefusion were clearly trying to take advantage of the huge exposure their app gets being listed on Market, but then sidestep paying Google their fee. I agree with Google, I would’ve pulled their app straight away too.

  26. Ymail works great for me. Had some issues with gmail as well but still use it for long distance calls.

  27. Brings the true evil of single markets to the forefront. I hated Apple’s model, hate Google’s Market, and believe that the “single” market model will be dead in 2 years or less.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Apps