06
Jul
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The H Open wrote an interesting article on a post from developer Jon Lech Johansen’s blog. Johansen, co-founder and CTO of doubleTwist, had some pretty legitimate complaints about and suggestions for the Android Market. For example:

  • The Android Market is available in 46 countries; developers can only offer paid apps in 13 of those
  • Prices for foreign apps are not displayed in a users local currency – they are displayed in the dev’s currency
  • Developers can’t customize their price by country – they set it in one currency, and it is automatically converted into others at the current exchange rate
  • Foreign apps can’t be paid for with American Express or billed to your phone plan
  • No support for in-app changelogs or payments
  • Google is too hands-off about the market - there are more than a few apps that are blatantly illegal

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All in all, they seem like very reasonable complaints to me, and most seem like they would be (comparatively) easy enough to fix.

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The article goes on to list some other issues dev’s have with the marketplace:

  • The web version of the Android Market shows a fraction of the apps that are available
  • The Android Market’s return policy is too generous
  • Spam comments need to be better controlled and more actively removed

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Again, pretty reasonable if you ask me. I’ve said before that the Marketplace is doing well as a whole, but I’ve also acknowledged that dev’s still prefer the Apple App Store.

[Source: H Open, Nanocr (John Lech Johansen’s Blog)]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • http://www.reddit.com friendly-mister-narwhal

    Nooooo. AP, you are BETTER than this. This article was a wreck when it was posted on HN a week or more ago. I attacked it there and I won't bother repeating it here.

    Not to mention you more or less copy pasted it and then referenced "the article..."

  • Andreas

    Yes legitimate comments, most of them... and rather minor issues.

    • Aaron Gingrich

      Yup, I agree that they're minor. That should also make them somewhat easy fixes ;)

  • http://janneinosaka.blogspot.com Janne

    Agree on some, disagree on others.

    "Developers can’t customize their price by country – they set it in one currency, and it is automatically converted into others at the current exchange rate"

    What's wrong with that? You set your price, and you get paid the same no matter who buys it. Hint: if you set a more expensive price for some markets you're giving the (completely fair) impression that you're price-gouging your customers. Not to say doing this may actually be illegal in some markets; Apple's Itune store has gotten in legal trouble ofver this already.

    "Foreign apps can’t be paid for with American Express or billed to your phone plan."

    That's almost certainly a problem with American Express. A hint for Americans: if you go abroad, take a different credit card with you. AmEx is the least useful of the large credit cards, as their onerous conditions mean many store refuse to take them at all. I'm not surprised they put stumbling blocks for using it online too.

    "Google is too hands-off about the market – there are more than a few apps that are blatantly illegal"

    Being hands-off is a precondition for counting as a common carrier. If you see an illegal app, report it and they'll remove it. It's the same as with YouTube: If they pre-screen everything they'll be legally responsible for anything that slips by. If they screen nothing it's the uploaders responsibility.

    "The Android Market’s return policy is too generous"

    How so?

    "Spam comments need to be better controlled and more actively removed"

    A comment like "I hate it. Uninstall" may not be very helpful but it's not spam. None of the comments in the screenshot is spm. The "Great app. Please add me XXXX" type stuff, on the other hand, is.

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