Aug 19 AT 3:16 PM Clark Wimberly 17 Comments

Market Gripe #461 – Removed Apps Still Hanging Around

Lately the iPhone App Store has been all over the blogosphere for the removal or rejection of various apps. Another thing I noticed was Android users teasing the fanboys because Android doesn’t have to deal with problems like this. Or does it? While it may be easier to get into the Android Market, getting removed still seems to be a huge headache.

Cubik still listed

Cubik still listed

When a program is removed, remnants are left behind for any user who had previously downloaded or purchased the app. For example, months back, I purchased Cubik, a pretty rad Tetris clone. Since then, Cubik was removed from the Market (I assume due to copyright infringement but I can’t say for sure). To this day, when I load the market and click My Downloads, I still find Cubik listed, teasing me with its Tetrisy awesomeness.

It gets weirder, though. You can still click on the app, see the description, the ratings, even an Install button. There is no warning or message that the app has been removed or is no longer included in the Market. When you click Install, the confirmation page displays, and the download tries to start.



After a few seconds, you get a notification saying the download has been declined. Clicking the alert gives the extra info The download of “Cubik – Tetris® Clone” was declined because it was removed from the Android Market. When an app or game is removed from the Market, why isn’t it actually removed? Seems like a logical question…

I know its a pretty minor annoyance to have some unavailable apps in My Downloads list, but its just another example of the poor housekeeping going on in the market. At the very least these ghost entries should have a warning displayed that what you are viewing is not available in the Market. Last week, Jean-Baptiste Queru tweeted “Wanna work on #android market and make it great? We’re hiring!” With any luck they’ll find some skilled devs who can beat this unruly market into submission.

Download Declined

Download Declined

Removed from Market

Removed from Market

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • nEx.Software

    “Tetrisy awesomeness”

    Hehe, classic…

  • Ryan

    Does clearing the cache for the Market application remove Cubik?

    • Clark Wimberly

      Nope, these screens are from my freshly rooted and flashed Magic. In fact, I’ve never even run Cubik on this device. I bought Cubik back when I was still on the G1. The app data seems to be tied to your Google Account.

  • Lemon

    Market code must force apps you’ve paid for into your “my downloads” regardless.

  • organizedfellow

    re: clark The app data seems to be tied to your Google Account

    so a user could hypothetically install all the same paid apps if they own more than one Android device?
    Neato! :)

  • Tommy

    This is so stupid, google and apple need to lighten up.. WE PAID FOR THE PHONE! Its ours now.. why can they still control what we can and cannot do?? Lame if u ask me…

    • Morten

      Tommy: This is about an app that has been removed from the market. You can still install the game if you have the apk. They aren’t doing anything to restrict your phone.

      Apple on the other hand…

      • Richy

        At least the app store is available in Ireland.

        I’ve been mulling over getting the samsung galaxy. But until Google get the finger out and release android market properly so paid apps are available outside current regions, I just dont think i can take the jump.

    • Herman

      It’s logical to remove apps if they violate any laws.

      A direct clone of an existing game would be something they should remove. Or apps that don’t behave properly, like stealing personal information.

      As a customer I’m happy this crap is removed from the store.

  • Keith

    For those still wanting to install Droidify. Check out the following download for it over at

    Zip file with .apk

  • friedgold

    Though I know the amounts involved are not really worth worrying about, several apps that I paid for including Cubik have since been removed, what has happened to my money, I paid for something that I no longer have access to.

    As I said the reality is I am not really bothered as we are talking a couple of quid total, but what is the process for this, say I had paid for a more expensive app that was removed.

  • Tookule4skool

    The market place has to be one of the most unorganized and sloppily maintained pieces of software on this phone, it needs some real work and who ever is in charge of it needs to get replaced by some one competent enough to take care of the job…

  • Kelson

    I wonder if this is related to the fact that when I get app update notifications, it always tells me there are more updates available than there actually are. I kind of suspect that it’s notifying me about updates to uninstalled apps, but I’ve never gotten around to tracking it.

  • Raleigh Urbain

    Kelson, I have this same problem regarding update notifications. As an OCD type, it is driving me nuts.

    The uninstalled app in question is Barcode Scanner.

  • http://Website sean

    Same happened to me… did u get a refund if it gets removed