Google removed the quirky puzzle game Threes from the Play store on Tuesday. Its removal was unceremonious and sudden, but that's not exactly why Threes creator Asher Vollmer found the situation frustrating. That came down to two reasons:
- A robot informed Vollmer that his game was removed from Google Play in a cold, automated message.
- Threes was removed from Google Play because it used "2048" as a keyword -- and 2048 is a blatant, known clone of Threes.
Google -- probably a human there, not a robot -- reinstated Threes after just a few hours offline and following a stream of articles and Twitter activity around its removal. Of course, 2048 remained live on Google Play the entire time, alongside a bunch of other Threes clones. This string of events highlights one of the biggest differences between Google and Apple, and how they approach their app stores. "Apple's policies are preventative and Google's policies are retroactive," Vollmer says. "You can probably figure out which one I prefer."