Hello everyone! I’ve been using Thunkable for 3 years now, and one of the apps I’ve made with it has been quite successful and is published on the Play Store! However, it’s been removed from the Play Store due to some SDKs/permissions in the APK file that I’m confident my app shouldn’t need to use. Please note: I am extremely unexperienced with APKs, SDKs, or Android development in general, so I desperately need all the help I can get! Also, I’m using the unpaid Basic version of Thunkable, and published on the Play Store without using Thunkable’s publish feature, although I doubt this might’ve caused any issues I’ll be mentioning in this topic.
There are a couple of issues I’m facing simultaneously, but I thought I’d put them in one post since they’re all closely related.
Firstly, I just made a couple changes to my app on Thunkable so that my update on the Play Store would have some fresh features for my potential and current users. However, when I tried downloading the APK file, I got this email:
I’ll be contacting Thunkable support, but I thought I’d add it here as well as I’ve seen some posts mentioning similar issues.
Secondly, this is the biggest issue that I’m facing: Thunkable is adding unnecessary permissions to my app. This post, along with a few others (A very similar issue to mine), have already mentioned it. Digging deep, I found that the main solution that everyone is using (or trying) is editing the manifest.xml file in their app’s APK file.
I’ve tried this with Android Studio, but it doesn’t allow me to edit the file, and I literally cannot find any solution so it would be absolutely fantastic if someone knows why this is happening and how to solve it (the read only message popped up when I pressed backspace on my laptop):
I’ve ALSO tried this with Apktool, and it’s a step closer, but when I try to recompile the APK or test it with the new xml file, it won’t let me as somehow the keystore or certification has been removed, and I’m not able to solve this issue either.
So if the only way to get rid of extra permissions and SDKs is editing the manifest.xml file of my app’s APK, PLEASE HELP ME!!
And lastly, I’m attaching the message I’ve gotten from Google Play along with the instructions they’ve provided me to give some more context of my situation.
We’ve reviewed your appeal request and found that your app, cHHange - It’s Normal (com.gmail.aj154706smile.itsnormal, App Bundle Version: 2), still violates Google Play Policy. If you submitted an update to an existing app, the version published prior to the update is still available on Google Play. We’ve included details below about the specific issue with your app and what you can do to get your app back on Google Play.
Step 1: Fix the policy violations with your app
During review, we found that your app violates the Families Policy Requirements. We’ve identified that your app or an SDK in your app transmits identifier(s) that do not comply with our Families Policy. These identifiers may include, but are not limited to, Advertising ID.
For example, the destinations of Android Advertising ID transmission may include, but are not limited to, amplitude.com.
Apps that solely target children, must not transmit the following:
** Android Advertising ID (AAID)*
** SIM Serial*
** Build Serial*
** IMEI and/or IMSI*
Apps that target both children and older audiences must not transmit the listed identifiers from children or users of unknown age.
Before resubmitting your app for further review, please make sure to DEACTIVATE the non-compliant version ( App Bundle Version: 2 ) and increment the version number of APK.
Thank you so much to whoever will read this and help me out! And I hope that the solutions to these problems can be applied to other similar situations you and others may be facing