Google removed former president Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign app from Google’s Play Store earlier Wednesday. It wasn’t removed for any of the many other reasons that Trump has been removed from the world’s largest platforms, but rather because it just didn't work, Android Police reports.
Prior to its suspension, the app provided campaign news, an event schedule, and ways to donate to the campaign, but at some point, it stopped working, prompting Google to take it down. Android Police confirmed that the app was non-functional before Google removed it. When Android Police tested the app, it was “unable to load content, reporting a network error or simply spinning a loading ‘T’ circle endlessly.” The iOS version of the app is still on the Apple App Store and still working, however.
It might not be surprising, but apps do need to maintain “minimum functionality” as part of of the Play Store’s policies, which means they should both load and be responsive. Google provided a statement to Android Police about why it removed the app:
The Trump 2020 campaign app recently stopped working and we reached out to the developer multiple times in an attempt to get them to address the issue. People expect that apps downloaded from Google Play provide a minimum level of functionality and our policy is to remove non-working apps from the store if they are not fixed.”
While there could be a desire to connect the app’s removal to larger political motives like Trump’s second impeachment or even earlier instances of the former President getting removed from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, this is simple app store moderation at work: when an app doesn’t function and the developers don’t update, it gets removed until further notice. Since the 2020 campaign is over, don’t expect the app to get updated — at least until 2024.