The new rework of the close vote system has rolled out network-wide, which brings with it a handful of changes. One of these is that we can now define up to three sub-reasons and modify the default close reason to select from when choosing to close a question. We currently have the following choices:

Default Close Reason

This question does not appear to be about $Topic, within the scope defined in the [help].

Custom Close Reasons


Questions about software development are off-topic here, but can be asked on Stack Overflow.


Questions seeking application recommendations are off-topic as they become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve.



This leaves us with the ability to add one more and/or replace (or simply eliminate) the current two, also we can change the default close reason. So if you have suggestions, please post add them as answers here.

  • It would be helpful if someone went through the last bunch of closed questions and looked for patterns. I don't have time to do it right now, but if no one else gets to it I'll work on it (perhaps later today).
    – ale
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 12:49
  • @AlEverett: Right now the general trends I'm seeing are (in general order of quantity) - 1) Dev or publishing questions 2) App recs (+1 phone buying advice question) that are too broad 3) "Where can I find a website with X information about Android?" (or just "Where can I find stats/info about X?") and 4) Things with no evident/immediate connection to Android. Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 14:21
  • Right now if you flag a question, the OT reasons are (1) app recommendation; (2) should be on meta. There's no default as described above, no development reason, and you have to give one of those two reasons to flag as OT. Did someone press the wrong button?
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 12:23
  • @DanHulme: The system is still a little bit rough around the edges in some regards. The 3 custom reasons evidently cannot be edited, so if you want to change one you have to remove it and then add a new one. Adding the new one requires a mod to write it, then a second mod to approve it, so the dev/publishing/etc reason got held up waiting for approval from a second moderator. It should be live now; if you still can't see it, please ping one of us so we can take a look at it. Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 12:51
  • We still get the occasional device shopping question. Shouldn't we instead call out "application or device recommendations"?
    – ale
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 15:54
  • @AlEverett: Yeah, I agree. I was trying to roll that into this suggestion. What do you think of that wording? I can suggest an update to the current one but a second mod will need to approve it before it goes live. Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 16:09
  • I like that suggestion better.
    – ale
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 16:14

6 Answers 6


I think it might be beneficial to make the wording of the first one more broadly applicable than just "software development questions". Something like:

Questions about writing and publishing Android apps, writing custom ROMs, and other topics that are primarily of concern to developers are off-topic. Consider taking advantage of other resources that may be appropriate for your question.

The reason I'm inclined to link to Where can I ask questions that aren't Android Enthusiast questions? instead of SO directly is that there are things in that statement (publishing and such) that SO would likely close as well.

  • s/of a concern/of concern/
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 22:17
  • I agree. The format I chose for the pro-forma comment is "Questions about writing and publishing Android apps", which says much the same thing in fewer words. I might suggest making it "apps or ROMs" to include that kind of development question too.
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 22:18
  • @DanHulme: Tweaked a little. Writing custom ROMs does seem like a good thing to include since we've got the space. Additional thoughts? Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 23:49

Adding onto the second one to cover other recommendation type questions seems beneficial, in my opinion. I would suggest wording along the lines of:

Questions seeking app recommendations, device recommendations, or other purchasing advice are off-topic as they become obsolete quickly. Instead, describe your situation and the specific problem you're trying to solve.

  • I find "shopping advice" vague. This is referring to device and accessory recommendations, right? Could we do something like "Questions seeking application, device, or accessory advice"? (assuming we're an Oxford comma kind of place...)
    – Mr. Buster
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 0:37
  • @Mr.Buster Yeah, the intent was to try to capture both app recommendations and device/accessory/etc purchasing advice. The other category of questions that I was kind of aiming for are things that might have in the past been closed as "Too localized", since we lack that close reason now; mostly questions along the lines of "Where can I buy (some phone)?" I would consider that "shopping advice", but it is a little vague. I'm having trouble coming up with good phrasing. Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 0:55
  • I just had the thought that it may be a good idea to also add a pointer to our chat. Something like: "Our chat is the ideal place to talk with other Android Enthusiasts about device and app recommendations." What do you think?
    – Flow
    Commented Jul 14, 2013 at 18:15
  • @Flow: I wouldn't be opposed to that. Commented Jul 15, 2013 at 2:30

This question is about unauthorized copying of apps, or otherwise violating software copyright. For legal reasons, and to support the Android ecosystem, we don't accept questions that facilitate piracy.

We don't get that many piracy questions, but there are occasional ones, so we might as well be ready for them.


My suggestion

Questions on Android Enthusiasts should be asked from a end-user point of view and within the scope defined in the [help].

Not sure if my english is good enough to sound natural. @Native speakers: Feel free to edit and improve. @All: Your comments are welcome :)

  • "with relevance for end-users" sounds off to me, can't think of a better rewording. I get your meaning (our scope is for end-users/power users/super users), but I think it could be more concise.
    – Bryan Denny Mod
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 13:35
  • Maybe "This does not appear to be a question that would be relevant to using Android, and is therefore not within the scope defined in the help center" or something along those lines? Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 14:14
  • @BryanDenny eldarathis what do you native tongues think of this wording?
    – Flow
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 16:59
  • @FLow yeah that's better
    – Bryan Denny Mod
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 20:51

I don't think app recommendations should be a separate close reason. We turn away app recommendations for two reasons:

  1. They're usually opinion-based and subjective.
  2. There are usually many apps, any of which might be the best answer for the OP. We end up with one or two recommendations per answer, with no definitive answer.

If the question falls under 1, then we have the new "opinion-based" close reason to deal with it. If it falls under 2, then we have the new reason "too broad". If the question isn't opinion-based, and doesn't need a list, then why are we closing it?

IMO we already have a problem with people flagging or VTCing questions that describe the problem the questioner wants solved and then end with, "Is there an app that can do that?" Adding an "app recommendation" close reason will, I think, encourage the knee-jerk reaction. I'd rather see flaggers and VTCers (and commenters) think about what's actually wrong with a question before hitting the button.

  • This is true, we could probably just use the "primarily opinion based" close reason for app recommendations. That would potentially free up a spot for something like a "legal questions" close reason. Do you think there would be anything in particular that would be worth adding in place of the current app rec one? Commented Jun 25, 2013 at 23:47
  • 1
    While I agree with this, in my experience it's always cleaner and users respond better when you can just say "this is something we've decided is not part of our scope". Otherwise you will get people arguing that it's relevant despite its subjectivity, or that other subjective question X was allowed (so why not mine?). Unless there's something compelling that we can't fit in due to the inclusion of this reason, I would prefer to keep it. Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 0:43
  • I agree with Dan, but Matthew makes a good point.
    – ale
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 12:48
  • 1
    And, for what it's worth, Web Applications (the other site I'm active on) also has "app recommendation" as one of the off-topic reasons.
    – ale
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 13:20
  • Thanks @AlEverett, it's good to have another perspective. Do they also have questions that look like shopping questions but aren't really?
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 14:00
  • @Dan: Not as much as we do here. Usually the asker has a single web app in mind.
    – ale
    Commented Jun 26, 2013 at 14:02
  • 2
    @DanHulme: Good call on trying to minimize the "knee-jerk" VTCs. I prefer having the close reason be more specific, though, and think that having "app recommendations" as its own close reason is more valuable available than not.
    – Mr. Buster
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 0:45
  • 1
    I also think that we should have an explicit 'recommendations' close reason at first. If we ever need the slot we can remove it.
    – Flow
    Commented Jun 27, 2013 at 7:41
  • 1
    Plus another advantage of having an explicit close reason is that we can put links (like this one) into the reason. This is not possible with the "primarily opinion-based" one.
    – Flow
    Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 14:47

Since we still had one empty slot and given the fact that I encountered a few of such questions in the last week, I added the following off-topic reason;

Questions which are Android-independent, such as "Does Carrier X have prepaid plans?", are off-topic. Consider taking advantage of other resources that may be appropriate for your question.

It still needs approval by another mod and is up for discussion.

  • 1
    This seems like a pretty decent idea for the third slot for now. I think I like either this one or the no piracy one, but we probably get more of these questions than we do piracy ones. Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 14:04
  • I also have a feeling that we get more android-independ questions then questions about piracy. But of course we can always switch to the other one if this turns out wrong.
    – Flow
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 14:13
  • Should be approved now (I also bolded "Android-independent" in the text; how does that look to you?) Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 14:18
  • For some font related reason - I think it's because I have roboto installed - neither Chrome or Firefox render bold text any different then non-bold text.
    – Flow
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 14:21
  • Huh, weird. Well I guess it must look okay to you since it's just normal text, then! Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 14:22

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