10 Mobile Apps That Have Been Banned From App Stores

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The line between censorship and freedom of choice in the app market can be a murky area, and with more apps being developed than ever, some apps have been the subject of fierce controversy that ultimately led to their banishment from the Google Play and Apple App Store marketplaces. .


While some clear offenders may have earned it, others, such as Metadata+, seem stranger and may have uncovered bigger conspiracies. While some apps may have remained active for a while before being removed, others were removed within hours or days.

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10/10 Grooveshark: Banned from Google Play

When your app is published and pulled multiple times from the Google Play Store, it is a sign that it has caught the attention of users and lawyers. Grooveshark was an alternative to Pandora for those who didn’t live in the United States.

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Although the app was hugely popular among users, Google finally took notice when the Recording Industry Association of America filed a lawsuit. Grooveshark was relatively young among tech standards, so ensuing legal battles ultimately resulted in the app being shut down.

9/10 Rush Poker: Banned from Google Play

Any gaming-related application will always be subject to additional moderation and scrutiny, and while everyone wants to be better at time management, Rush Poker hasn’t helped that at all. While apps like FanDuel, Draftkings and several others are now commonplace, before them there were gaming apps like Rush Poker.

Rush Poker was an addictive online poker application that had everything to be awesome. However, the application was unregulated. Real money was used to gamble (which was a hot topic as it is right now), and to make matters worse underage users could frequent the app as there was no verification of age.

Smartphones, at one time, were used to take a break from the real world. So when a programmer and digital artist named Josh Begley released Metadata+, drone strike notifications shattered that philosophy of “relaxation” that Apple was after.

The app sent push notifications whenever drone strikes were launched in Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen. Apple shut it down for “gross and objectionable content”, and although it reappeared in 2017, the app didn’t even last a day the second time around.

7/10 F-Droid: banned from Google Play

Open source applications can be a lot of fun, useful new features are created with an endless amount of functions they can offer users. However, with open-sourcing comes unregulated territories, which Google does not allow.

F-Droid was a collection of apps that couldn’t be found on the Google Play Store, and coincidentally, they only featured open-source apps. For this reason alone, Google Play Store found it necessary to ban F-Droid altogether. If its sole purpose was to promote open source applications, which was not allowed, why present them in the first place?

6/10 Tawkon radiation detector: banned from the Apple Store

What looks like a serious device could very well have been. There are rumors that ambient radio waves emit certain levels of radiation. So when Israeli company Tawkon developed the app, which promised to estimate how much radiation you’re subjecting your body to, it sparked controversy.

The app claims to have used network band, phone antenna and other factors which created this reading for the users. When Apple took down the app in 2011, CEO Gil Friedlander contacted Steve Jobs directly only to be promptly fired with a “dull” comment and gave no further details (according to the Los Angeles Times).

5/10 Driving license: banned from the Apple Store

In what anyone could have seen coming, Driver’s License was an app that caused a lot of trouble. The app allowed users to use their photo and insert it into a template featuring one of the US states. Although not an actual card, it has led to several fraud attempts.

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Senator Bob Casey was alerted to the app in 2011, which had been available for two years, and messaged Tim Cook, who quickly had the app shut down (according to Bob Casey’s official website). Few apps have the ability to implicate the United States government, and the driver’s license was able to do that. Phone companies that use their devices for real crimes will never do well in court.

4/10 Send Me to Heaven: Banned from the Apple Store

The app developer has explicitly stated that its goal is to destroy as many iPhones as possible (per Wired). Petr Svarovsky is a Norwegian artist who develops “transgressive applications”. His biggest hit, Send Me To Heaven, has a simple concept. Users throw their devices as high as possible, the phone records its maximum height and displays it on a global leaderboard.

Apple wasn’t amused to see their $1000+ tech tossed through the air for fun, so the app was kicked out to protect its users. In a way, Apple saved people money because they would have bought another iPhone after destroying the first one. Yet the debate between Apple and Android users continues to rage because, ironically enough, Google Play still owns the app.

3/10 Trapster: Banned from the Apple Store

Trapster was a troublesome app that allowed tipsters to mark drink-driving checkpoints and where the police usually lurked looking for DUIs. Unsurprisingly, the app, meant to help potentially fatal drivers, didn’t stay on the App Store.

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While the idea of ​​geotagging live checkpoints eventually caught on with apps like Waze, the specific angle behind Trapster contributed to its demise. If Trapster were to follow Waze’s route and be considered a live checkpoint GPS system, it would still be around today.

2/10 Girls Around Me: Banned from the Apple Store

The name speaks for itself. Girls Around Me uses Foursquare records to identify nearby women. While app developer Vlad Vishnyakov says the app is misinterpreted, his “I bet you’d rather a place full of nice (pretty) people” statement, doesn’t help his case (per Business Insider ). There are many free and effective writing apps on the market to help you with dating, don’t hunt her down.

The app was extremely tone deaf; however, its user base may not have cared. Although many women may have posted their whereabouts on their News Feed, they were unaware that this information was being used to give their whereabouts to those looking for “nice people.” The App Store rightfully deleted Girls Around Me, and luckily neither it nor similar apps reappeared.

1/10 I am rich: banned from the Apple Store

While most would consider it ridiculous to spend $1,000 on an app, I Am Rich was all about flaunting wealth. The app was simple: it did nothing but show the owner’s disposable income. Upon purchasing the $1,000 app, a user might display a red diamond on their screen.

After the monumental reveal, a slogan reading “I’m rich, I deserve it. I’m rich, healthy and successful” would appear, with misspellings and all. While the app isn’t inherently bad, it didn’t help and was branded a scam. To date, eight people have purchased the I Am Rich app.

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