Recently, Bank of America and Chase announced that their official banking apps would be unpublished from the Windows Phone Store soon, much to the disappointment of Windows Phone users. Now, TeamViewer, Opera Mini- beta and VLC Remote have also been unpublished from the store, though not quite for the same reasons.
The real surprise here is the TeamViewer app which was faring quite well on the store with a respectable 4.5 star rating in the US region. It allowed users to remote control Windows, Mac, and Linux computers within seconds, thus being highly popular among relevant audiences. The app received a version 10 update a couple of months ago and was doing quite well until its recent removal.
However, the situation isn't entirely depressing. The support team has tweeted that the app will be back soon:
@MLpzS The TeamViewer app should be back soon in the store. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. Regards, Julia— TeamViewer Support (@TeamViewer_help) January 30, 2015
The more pressing case is regarding the Opera Mini app, which was released in beta state only a few months ago. The app itself was relatively unpopular, barely managing a 2.5 star rating in the US Store, but was being updated regularly. Indeed, less than seven days ago, the developer's Twitter account stated that the Windows Phone app would be 'improved'; instead it has been removed completely - for now.
@ItsMePsyDuck Hey. We are working on improving Opera Mini for Windows Phone. Stay tuned :) /Angela— Opera (@opera) January 26, 2015
Whether this is a publishing error or preparations for a full fledged release is still unclear; we're bending towards the latter, but considering the recent and purposeful removal of apps from the Windows Phone Store, the OS' users have good reason to be worried.
We have reached out to the Opera team for confirmation and will update if they respond.
Third in line is the VLC Remote app by Hobbyist Software, which was extremely successful and maintained a 5 star rating in the US Windows Phone Store. It was removed by Microsoft because:
...it does not accurately reflect the source, functionality, capabilities or features of the app.
The developer of the app voiced his distaste on his website, stating that he was signing off from Windows development after this treatment "with only a little regret." He also attempted to justify his anger by stating that the app had been on iOS since 2008 and Windows Phone since 2012 and considering that it had a 5 star rating, it did not deserve to be removed like the way it was.
Also, since the developer can't figure out the exact reason for his app's removal, he can't edit it and resubmit it - so he has decided to hold a competition to ridicule Microsoft. The competition rules state that whoever figures out the exact reason why VLC Remote was removed and what the developer needs to do to re-submit it will receive a "rubbish second hand Windows Phone."