Adblock Fast is now back in Google Play. This is a dramatic turn around by Google after it surprisingly suspended the app from Play Store last week. This new development means that owners of Samsung smartphones can, once again, download the ad-blocker from Play Store.
The decision to reinstate the ad followed an appeal from the developers of Adblock Fast, Rocketship. Here is what Rocketship told fans in a blog post:
“Last Monday, though, Google rejected an app update we submitted. Last Tuesday, they removed Adblock Fast from the Play store altogether (which 80 more English-language articles covered).
We submitted an appeal on the Monday our update was rejected and we’re happy to report that Google has reversed their decision, both accepting our appeal in an email sent to us on Friday evening and approving and republishing Adblock Fast by the time we woke up this morning:”
Though the appeal by Adblock Fast was submitted on the 1st of this month, it took a whole 8 days before Google finally decided that the app did not violate any agreement it had with developers of third party apps. Here is the full email sent to Rocket ship by Google:
Thanks for contacting the Google Play Team.
We’ve accepted your appeal and your app has been reinstated. For the app to appear on the Play Store, you’ll need to sign into your Developer Console and submit your app again.
Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.
Thanks for supporting Google Play!
The Google Play Team
Justifying the removal of the app just one after the app was updated to work as a plugin in Samsung browsers, Google said Adblock Fast violated its agreement with developers. Specifically Google cited section 4.4 of the agreement which stated that apps on the Play store should not interfere with the operations of other apps.
Adblock Fast was part of a number of pre-installed plugins in the Samsung browser that allows users to block ads and other unwanted content from appearing when viewing websites. However, Adblock fast was not the only ad and content blocker on the Google Play store. But inexplicably, the other plugins that function the same way were not removed from Play Store. Google did not even bother to explain why it targeted Adblock Fast (and by association Samsung) while leaving the others to continue doing business. Most analyst believe Adblock fast suffered that fate as a result of the simmering feud between Samsung and Google.
One such disparity in how Google dealt with ads blocking apps can be seen in the case of the Crystal app. Though crystal had its updated version rejected by Google, the app was still allowed to remain on Play Store. This sort of underlines the fact that Adblock Fast was just an unintended victim in the Samsung/Google feud.
Though cooler heads have prevailed in the latest disagreement between Samsung and Google and Adblock Fast restored to Play Store, this does not mean all ads blockers can now be published on Play Store. Google is insisting only ads-blockers that work within other apps would be allowed to remain.