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FairEmail Developer Calls It Quits After Google Falsely Flags App As Spyware

Friday May 20, 2022. 01:20 AM , from Slashdot
'The developer of the open source email client FairEmail pulled all of his applications from Google Play and announced that he would stop development,' reports gHacks. The announcement comes shortly after the developer received an email from Google stating that they believed the app was spyware. From the report: FairEmail was a popular email client for Google's Android operating system that was free to use. It was privacy-friendly, had no limitations in regards to email accounts that users could set up in the app, supported unified inbox, conversation threading, two-way synchronizing, support for OpenPGP, and a lot more. Marcel Bokhorst, the developer of the application, announced major changes to the project yesterday on XDA Developers.

Earlier that week, Bokhorst received a policy violation email from Google stating that Google believed that the FairEmail application was spyware. The full statement has not been published, but Bokhorst believes that Google might have misinterpreted the use of favicons in the app. He resubmitted a new version of the application that had the use of favicons removed. The appeal he received as a response 'resulted in a standard answer'. While the content of the answer is unclear, it appears to have been a generic answer that Google Play Store developers have been frustrated with for a long time. Bokhorst decided to pull the application and all of his other applications from the Google Play Store. The apps won't be maintained and supported anymore according to the info.

Other factors played a role in Bokhorst's decision, including the discrepancy between answering thousands of support questions per month and the application's revenue, and the inability to do something against unfair reviews in the Google Play Store. He considered keeping the applications on GitHub, but this would result in an 98% loss of audience. Google also recently forced Total Commander's developer to remove the ability to install APKs from the File Manager.

If you're looking for an alternative email client, gHacks recommends the open-source app K-9 Mail.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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