10-28-2015 12:09 PM
Google has suspended WemoManager with the reason: "Impersonation or Deceptive Behaviour". The suspension was imposed a few hours after I sent an email to the Belkin Wemo SDK team. I can only assume that Belkin submitted a complaint (google does not police apps independently).
I was offering to help by building a free app to for customers with wemos in multiple locations to connect them to their wifi. You may know this is not currently possible with the belkin app. The wifi password is encrypted - setup can't be done without library support. It was meant to be win/win - Wemo enables more customer scenarios, I get a place to advertise WemoManager. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.
Despite the promise of a response on that developers site I have received none other than this suspension.
I have appealed to Google but without Belkin retracting the complaint I expect the appeal to be denied.
Of course I do not in any way infringe on belkin intellectual property - the wemo SDK was not suited to the needs of WemoManager hence I abandoned it after only a few minutes of examination. WemoManager is built on the self describing UPNP standards based API provided by the wemos.
MPP and the WemoManager app are clearly identified as NOT affiliated with Belkin. No one has ever contacted me thinking I was part of belkin. If that were ever to happen I would give them an immediate refund.
I can only hope this was an oversight on Belkins part. I certainly hope it's not a reflection of Belkins views on an open Internet Of Things nor on how to support independent developers.
Belkin, if you have particular issue with WemoManager I am quite willing to change - you need only let me know. Certainly you see the value of WemoManager - it enables scenarios not supported by your product and so enables more sales (and from what I've seen, fewer returns).
Solved! Go to Solution.
10-28-2015 12:20 PM
I was hoping to get my wemo's to actually be functional this week, and the day I purchased hardware for this app, was the same day it was pulled from the app store.
This is really frustrating.
Wemo's are basically garbage with the OEM implimentation and how I can't hit my wemo and have it turn on the lights in the other half my room.
Wemo, please work with Mike, to get real functionality out of your products,
10-28-2015 12:30 PM
10-28-2015 04:50 PM
Hey, Mike. This wasn't us (Belkin/WeMo).
Despite a few jabs you've made here and there about our platform's limitations, I think we've enjoyed a pretty good relationship with you and WeMo Manager. If we had real issues with what you were doing, we would have taken action much sooner. And we would have been more direct about it, too.
We're just as baffled as you are as to why Google suspended your app. I'm doing a bit of additional checking internally to ensure there was no action from us that I'm unaware of, but to my knowledge, we've filed no complaint regarding MPP or WeMo Manager.
The timing of the suspension the same day of your Developer SDK inquiry is truly a bizarre coincidence. Very few people see those inquiries as they come in (which is why responses are sometimes slow). But no one but me knew of your request yesterday until I brought it up with some engineers here this morning.
I was going to respond to you directly about your inquiry today, but since you've mentioned here what you were hoping to accomplish, I'll note that: a) multi-location support is something we've been hoping to deliver for quite some time, but the app-to-cloud-to-network-to-device associations and the access controls inherent in those relationships are rather hairy and challenging to unravel, so the feature's taken much longer to deliver than we'd planned; and b) we have no qualms with a third party app affording this facility, so long as it can be done without access to our cloud (as we don't have a robust and secure external API for such as yet). We're considering your request and discussing whether there's a means of letting external parties propagate encrypted network credentials. The prevailing thought is that we're not comfortable with this, but I'm digging further into exactly why and what possible paths forward there might be.
With regards to the immediate problem at hand, though, I'll reach out to you directly to see what Belkin can do to get your app back in Google's good graces.
10-28-2015 05:30 PM
10-29-2015 07:02 AM
Thank you Tom - this is a big relief - I'd always felt at least tolerated if not a partner (which of course would be my preference). To be actively targeted would have really stung after I've put so much work into this platform - more so because I believe in it.
I'll keep working with Google to see if I can convince them they've made a mistake... worst case I'll have to republish as a new product - even that is tricky as they won't even tell me the reason for their decision other than saying I've tried to impersonate the Belkin Wemo app.
I do understand about the wifi password encryption - security has to be the primary consideration.
10-29-2015 08:43 PM
I can once again "Wemo That!" thanks to Tom's intervention with folks at Google Play.
Turns out Google had picked that particular instant to decide I was attempting to impersonate the official Belkin Wemo app because of my use of "WeMo" in the WemoManager app name.
Tom was able to convince them this was not the case. Google changed my app from "suspended" (which means completely gone) to "removed" which gives me the chance to resolve the issue. Rather than argue further I've renamed my app to "Automation Manager" for now. It's been republished and I hope will be available again on Play shortly.
Thanks Tom! And thanks to Robert for helping me get in touch with Tom.
01-03-2016 09:08 AM
Wow.. I just saw these posts 3 months after the fact. Thats scary... Without WemoManager/Server/remote my devices are toast or worthless. I developed my own Smartthings/Wemo integration routine(s) that are totally depended on the WemoServer. Glad to hear that this issue has been resolved. Keep up the good work Mike