[Update: Back on the Play Store] FX File Explorer removed from the Play Store for “deceptively” advertising…a free theme
FX File Explorer is one of the more popular file explorers for Android enthusiasts. We’ve written about the app numerous times, and the developer is very active in our forums. We were surprised when the developer reached out to tell us that Google had removed his app from the Play Store, and even more surprised when we heard the reason why.
The app was removed from the Play Store for allegedly violating the Deceptive Ads policy (which you can read here). Simply put, this is a policy to make sure that ads in apps are clearly labeled, so as to not trick users into interacting with them. Google provided a screenshot of the “deceptive ad” in question and it turns out it was simply a button in the Theme settings that takes the user to the free FX Faenza Icon Theme.
The developer immediately appealed the removal, but as of the time of writing, FX File Explorer is still missing from the Play Store. A button in the Themes section that leads to a free theme from the same developer that made the app is obviously not what the Deceptive Ads policy is about. It’s easy to say Google should be more understanding and reach out before removing an app, but with millions of apps to review, these things are bound to happen. We can only hope the situation is resolved quickly.
Source: XDA Forums
Update: FX File Explorer is back on the Google Play Store
FX File Explorer has been restored back to the Google Play Store. Curiously, the developer mentions that the APK is the same as the one which was uploaded a few months ago, so no modifications were made at all. All the developer had to do was to get hold of a real human at Google in the concerned department, and the situation was rectified immediately.