What's better than getting a bargain on cool Android games? Contributing to charity in the process, obviously. The Android Humble Bundle is currently in its fifth incarnation, and invites gamers to choose their own price to support developers and charities like Child's Play and the EFF. The current deal already includes six DRM-free titles, but the good folks behind the Humble Bundle have brought back three games from Humble Bundle 4 for a total of 9 games.
Piracy is a major issue for Android, and even more so for Android developers, which is why Jelly Bean introduced App Encryption. But this may be a case of the cure being worse than the disease: hundreds of developers of paid apps have chimed in on a Google Code thread, claiming that the encryption (or more accurately, the location of installed and encrypted apps from the Google Play Store) makes their apps entirely unusable, as account information and other stored data is removed after a device reboot.
That's right, Amazon's offering not one, but two free apps on the Amazon Appstore this morning! You can pick up the popular HeroCraft title Farm Frenzy along with the official Newsweek Mobile app from Amazon free of charge.
I don't know about you - but I can't tell which is which.
Newsweek Mobile offers Amazon's "Test Drive" in-browser emulation, so you can try it from your browser before making the 15 second commitment to put it on your phone.
In a recent interview with Reuters, Gameloft stated that they will be focusing their attention on the Amazon App Store to distribute their games on the Android platform. The company's games are already insanely popular on Android (and iOS, for that matter), despite being actively opposed to Google's Android Market. Their Android offerings have thus far only been available on their website, so their move to a Market isn't so surprising.
An interesting little tidbit came across to us in an otherwise ordinary posting on Amazon's app developers' blog. While developers will have the option to use DRM or not in their apps, those that do use the digital licensing service may present problems for those users who are temporarily without an internet connection.
Comparing it to the way Amazon currently handles the storing of Kindle books, the curious part of the post reads:
Apparently, future Qualcomm CPUs will include additional DRM libraries that no current smartphone processor has, making the decision slightly more understandable (though still extremely disappointing). There's still no word on exactly what processors will support Netflix, but we do know that the LG Revolution will be compatible with it - meaning that the app works with single-core chips.
Today I awoke to see a response from Tim Bray on the Android Developer's Blog regarding my previous article on circumventing the Android License Verification Library, and I almost completely agree with him. The License Verification Library is a very good start - above and beyond what, if anything, Google owes developers. Copy protection is and should be the responsibility of the developer. Google has given us a great tool, provided thorough documentation, and even open sourced the project.
Have you ever seen one of those annoying comments on the Android Market promising the riches and all the Android apps in the world for a low-low monthly price of $10? Sites like that pirate paid games and apps off the Market and then distribute them illegally, pocketing all the revenue. That's modern day warez at its finest.
Whether it was because of Android's openness or Google's notoriously poor focus on the Market, no DRM or licensing protection was available in the SDK for developers to utilize; so unless you rolled your own licensing scheme from within the app (which had a side effect of circumventing Google's payment system and therefore netted developers a whole lot more than 70% rev share), your app was easily "piratable".