Rootless Pixel Launcher, the popular home screen replacement application, has been pulled down from the Google Play Store. The app, which was until recently available to download only from the project’s GitHub repository, made its way to the Play Store last week. Now, Google has pulled the app citing violation of guidelines.
Like many other custom launchers on the Play Store, the Rootless Launcher also requires installation of a companion app for the Google Feed integration. In case, you do not have this companion app (also referred to as bridge) installed, then the launcher will download the app for you. Google is pulling the app citing this practice as violation of its policy.
On his Telegram channel, Amir Zaidi, the developer of Rootless Launcher, said that Google removed the application because it “cause[d] users to download or install applications from unknown sources.”
“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,” he added in his channel.
“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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Zaidi went on to add that he had filed an appeal with Google and if it gets approved, an update will be pushed out that removed the download message. If the appeal is denied, he further plans to create a new app listing which would force users to lose their existing settings.