Even though it’s filled with innovative apps and games, the Play Store is far from perfect. There are so many developers involved in updating and adding new apps that this is far from surprising. Due to the massive amount of workers engaged in keeping the content relevant, mistakes are routine. From introducing outrageous new policies to accidentally eliminating key features, the Google Play Store has had its fair share of controversies. Last year was no different, since Google made plenty of mistakes in 2017.
While most of the miscalculations were relatively harmless, a few Google Play adjustments were too outrageous to ignore. They put users in an uproar and became focal points of heated debates throughout the community. These blunders prove that even the biggest companies in the world are capable of making silly mistakes. To provide a brief overview of last year’s flaws, we compiled a list of the biggest Play Store incidents in 2017. They highlight the fallibility of the world’s biggest company, so learn from Google’s mistakes!
Biggest Play Store Blunders of 2017
Play Store Blunder #3: Accessibility API Restrictions – In the last few years, Accessibility API has become a godsend for mobile users. Unfortunately, its reach has become so widespread that Google decided to ban the use of accessibility services in Android. These features are crucial in many widely popular apps such as LastPass and Nova Launcher. Despite knowing that these apps had legions of fans, Google gave the developers a serious ultimatum. If they didn’t change their apps to comply with the new policy, they would be removed from the Play Store.
Fortunately, the backlash was so resounding the Google didn’t enforce this bizarre new policy. Instead of immediately pulling the apps, Google emailed all the developers saying that they had 30 days to comply. This will likely lead to representatives of the apps with the most at stake to negotiate with the Play Store. While widespread accessibility is a security risk, banning all the apps that rely on it is equally irresponsible. The answer isn’t removing all access, it’s creating a system that works for everyone.
Play Store Blunder #2: Google Assistant – When Google launched its AI assistant to non-Google devices in 2017, clients were thrilled. Unfortunately, the hype quickly turned into massive complaints when its features were examined. The first main problem was that Google Assistant wasn’t available for tablets. Even though this was an issue, the deal breaker was the different versions that Google was hiding. Unbeknownst to most users, there were two different versions of Google Assistant.
For Google Home devices, the Google Assistant worked great. Unfortunately, users only got access to a far simpler version on non-Google Home devices. This version was so archaic that it couldn’t cast video or order a pizza. Faced with a shocking amount of complaints, Google scrambled to update the software. Tablet owners can now enjoy the benefits of Google Assistant, but this app still has a long way to go.
Play Store Blunder #1: Banning Magisk Manager – While the battle between apps and root users has been ongoing, the removal of this app highlighted it. When Magisk Manager was suddenly pulled from the Google Play Store in June, it caused an uproar. This was due to the fact that this was the leading root app available. It allowed major apps like Android Play, Pokémon Go & Netflix to seamlessly run on rooted devices.
Technically Magisk Manager did violate Google Play’s ToS, but it also highlights a bigger problem. Apps are currently too restrictive on root users, which is causing a glitch in the community. Hopefully the removal of this beloved app will inspire Google to come up with a solution that works for everyone.