PhoneFusion’s popular Visual Voicemail app, gone from the Android Market for about two weeks, is back and available for users to download once again. But it’s still not totally clear why it was pulled, and the saga is likely not over.
As you may recall, Google pulled the app from the Market about two weeks ago for terms-of-service violations. We speculated that Google feels that PhoneFusion is getting around offering a paid version in the Market by selling a key to remove ads via their web site. The new version that appeared in the Market earlier this week seems to confirm this may have been the issue, as it is exactly the same as the previous version, except that it does not include ads.
So did Google work with PhoneFusion to let them know what needed to be changed? Unfortunately, no. PhoneFusion’s Jonathan Hollander let us know that despite reaching out to Google nearly daily since the app was removed, they’ve received no further responses. They went ahead and re-published it to the Market because “we have received thousands of emails asking where the app is. We had to do something for our customers.”
So it’s entirely possible that, even with ads removed in the free app, whatever Google objected to has not been addressed, and so the app could be pulled again. And even as it stands now, PhoneFusion has lost the download numbers, star ratings and reviews, accrued over two years, that many users look at when deciding what apps to install.
Keep an eye on AndroidGuys for more on this saga; we have a feeling the story might not be over just yet.