Since an android app has to demand all possible permissions pre-installation (feel free to correct me here if I'm mistaken), then how else can one provide versions of said app that don't ask for the permissions that make some uncomfortable?
That's just repeating the speculation in the article. We have no idea if the multiple app versions are the source of the warning. We haven't seen the letter, nor even read selective quotes from it. That's what drives me nuts about this: this is pure sensationalism. There's no journalism here at all, and almost no real facts. Yet all the "con-Google" crowd jump in with the tired old customer support meme anyway.
Stop it, people. Find some real evidence and indict them with that.
How is it not journalism? The story is admittedly one-sided but only because Google won't communicate with anyone. The author and the article's subject both reached out to Google and got no reply at all.
That is the story. Google is threatening to remove non-shady apps for reasons that are entirely mysterious.
Where are the quotes from the notifications from Google? Where is the independent verification? Where is the attempt by the author to "reach out to Google" (I just re-read the article -- they didn't do what you assume they did)? Literally all this is is an author using a few quotes from one source to rehash a meme and get clicks. And everyone here has jumped on it and pushes it to the top of YC. And I'm sick of this kind of discourse.
By asking Google. By looking for criticism of the apps elsewhere. By downloading and running them to validate there is no spam. By asking for a copy of the communication from Google. Are you serious about this, or did you just not think of that stuff?
Oh fer cryin' out loud. I downloaded and played this game (or an earlier version of it) over a year ago. It's not anything special, but it sure isn't spam, and the developers clearly have an engaged and enthusiastic audience...
If google is going to use an automated tool to detect violations of their rules that generates false positives, then if they have any clue whatsoever they need to put a human in between it and the developers to prune those out. Otherwise, it's like going to see your doctor and only getting a web browser set to WebMD instead.