Android L keyboard pops up on Google Play, then swiftly disappears

Android L keyboard pops up on Google Play, then swiftly disappears

Summary: Google has pulled the hit Android L keyboard app from the Google Play store, but it's still available elsewhere.

Android L preview keyboard. Image: Google Play

After a brief appearance on Google Play, a popular Android L keyboard derived from Google's preview firmware has been removed from the Google app store.

How long does it take for Google to remove an app from its store when it's rather similar to its own unfinished OS? Apparently 10 days — in which time nearly one million fans hungry for anything Android L installed the keyboard app from Google Play.

The Android L keyboard's appearance on the app store in late June was thanks to the preview edition of the new OS that Google released the day prior, allowing developers to begin testing some of its new features and to build apps that meet its 'material design' overhaul.

While developers have broken out many apps from the Android L preview, the keyboard was one of the few that worked and carried the look of the 'material design' scheme.

XDA TV producer Shen Ye, the developer behind the free L keyboard that appeared on Google Play, promised it would run as a standalone app on any Android device above 4.0 without requiring users to root their devices.

According to a post from Ye, Google yanked the app for being in violation of Google's Developer Distribution Agreement.

And the developer had a message for anyone who's criticised him for using the keyboard from the L preview.

"To those being pedantic and saying "it's not your keyboard, you took it off the L preview", I reply that this is my (and chrisch's) modification of the keyboard, which contains bug fixes, standalone ability (so no root), and modified so Material is default on versions below l-preview. Also, most people would rather trust an apk I publish than one off a random xda page."

According to Ye, the app was downloaded 800,000 times before "my keyboard got Scroogled".

But for Android devices Google Play isn't the only store users can install apps from and if users still want it they can find it on other sites. Of course, this means adjusting security settings so that the device can install apps from other sources.

Read more on Android L

Topics: Mobility, Android, Smartphones

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Details on what funcional differences the new keyboard ...

    provided (was it just the look or does it have useful enhancements ) ?
  • Do they not copy anything

    That's basically a windows 8 on screen keyboard!