The story of my app getting blocked by google play protect

After 3 months of hard work , I completed my FIRST android app then decided to publish it.

because I am in Iran and my app’s language is farsi , I wanted to publish it to Cafe Bazaar the biggest android app store in Iran with about 37 Million users . so I made a developer account and uploaded the release build of my app and hit the publish button.

In Cafe Bazaar their is an app verification process and my app didn’t get approved for publishing the first time because it was getting blocked on their testing devices by google play protect.

I removed google analytics and all unnecessary dependencies and uploaded a new package again and it got blocked as well.

I ended up uploading about 10 more times until one got approved and wasn’t blocked by play protect.

after that I got a few suggestions and decided to push an update but it got blocked once again.

I started searching about the cause of the blocking and some people said it could be from the keystore so I changed the keystore (hint : it wasn’t the keystore).

10 Days of Headache

I did some more research and found that you can submit a play protect appeal because they use “Machine Learning” to decide if your app is a virus.

at this point in time even I couldn’t install my own app on my own phone.

after I found out about the appeal page I happily went to the form and filled the first three fields and then I got to the “ URL to download your APK file” field.

URL to download your APK file

Apparently you need to put a direct link AND NOT UPLOAD APK.

in the next few days I tried about a dozen links which with all of them I received an email instantly that reads as such:

Hi
You recently submitted an appeal for an app with Google Play Protect.
We were unable to download the APK file from the link you provided. Please submit a new appeal and make sure that the link is publicly browsable.
Thank You,
Google Play Protect Team

The Solution to the link problem

finally, a link I tried worked and here is how to make it for FREE.

  1. Make a DropBox Account
  2. upload the apk to your DropBox Account
  3. get the share link
  4. Edit the link from “https://www.dropbox.com/s/example/app.apk?dl=0” to “https://www.dropbox.com/s/example/app.apk?dl=1” by changing the 0 at the end to 1
  5. drop the edited link in bit.ly to shorten it to like “http://bit.ly/example”
  6. you have successfully created an acceptable link.

After that I finally submitted my app for review and I got the following email :

Hi
You recently submitted an appeal for an app with Google Play Protect.
We noticed that an appeal for this app is already pending review. Our team will review the app and remove the warning if an error was made. There is no need to resubmit the app for review.
Thank You,
Google Play Protect Team

Conclusion

turns out that when you make a new app its blocked until its proven its not a malicious app.

10 days after the first release build , I can install my app again.

if your app is blocked , I recommend waiting for about 10–30 days before submitting an appeal because it may already be in the unblocking queue.