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Google pulls ‘Rootless Pixel Launcher’ from Play Store, developer hopes to bring back soon

Earlier this year, we showcased an app called Rootless Pixel Launcher which brings the best features of Google’s Pixel Launcher to just about any Android smartphone. Recently, that app finally made its Play Store debut, but Google has just taken it down…

Barely a week after launching on Google Play, Rootless Pixel Launcher has been pulled from the Play Store. Why? Put simply, the app has a pop-up that encourages users to download an app from a non-Play Store source.

Specifically, Rootless Pixel Launcher directs users to an APK download for a companion app which enables the launcher to work with Google Feed integration. We’ve seen this sort of integration before from apps like Nova Launcher, but those apps never directly encouraged users to download those companion apps with a pop-up. This is what triggered Google to pull Rootless Pixel Launcher from the Play Store.

The developer explains in the quote below that he hopes to bring Rootless Pixel Launcher back to Google Play by using an updated version that removes that pop-up, but he fears Google may have banned the package name. If that is the case and his appeal is denied, he’ll be forced to create a new listing which, in turn, will also force users to lose their existing settings within the app. For now, Rootless Pixel Launcher is still available for download from trusted third-party sources (via Android Police).

Great, my Play Store release got suspended for this reason: Apps that cause users to download or install applications from unknown sources outside of Google Play are prohibited.

So that means I cannot have the Bridge installation popup as it is right now and need to find an alternative solution…

Also, it seems like my package name might be permanently banned which means people will have to install the launcher again and setup their home screen again when I republish it. This happened because of a mistake from me and I will try to get it fixed as soon as possible. I don’t have a lot of time because Uni started again but I will try to get it fixed this evening.

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Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

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