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March 22, 2019

Google yanks KDE Connect from Google Play for no good reason

Ridiculous:

The official KDE Connect Android app was briefly removed from the Google Play Store for “violating” app permission policies.

Google yanked the phone-side companion app, which works with desktop tools like GSconnect, from its Android app store on March 19. It said the app did not adhere to its new rules on apps that can access to SMS messages.

But that was nonsense. KDE developer Albert Vaca Cintora explains:

KDE Connect has been removed from Google Play for violating their new policy on apps that access SMS. The policy has an explicit exception for companion apps (like KDE Connect), but it was removed anyway and *there’s no way to talk to Google*.

Google only provides one-way forms to contact them. I’ve filled the forms regarding this policy change (including one they sent to existing apps before the policy was effective) but never got an explanation to why KDE Connect doesn’t qualify as a companion app.

Google is the best living personification of the faceless corporation that we know of.

Albert stripped the SMS integration out of KDE Connect to get it back on Google Play. After an outcry from free software enthusiasts, Google quietly reversed course and allowed KDE Connect back on Google Play, replete with SMS integration.

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