App Developer: Android OS Built For Piracy And Consumer Choice Sucks

from the and-several-other-wrong-statements,-too dept

The iOS versus Android debate is an ongoing saga that occurs at many levels, from Apple and Google duking it out to discussions amongst users over which operating system is superior. And if you follow it closely, the recent scuttlebutt amongst some application developers is that it's much easier to make money in the Apple App Store than through Google Play. That may or may not be true in the long term, but regardless, one app developer is giving Android an unduly hard time.

Matt Gemmell is an accomplished developer. His "About Me" page on his site says he's "an iOS (iPad, iPhone and iPod touch) and Mac OS X (Cocoa) developer and user experience/interface designer, based in Edinburgh, Scotland." And, holy balls, does he hate the Android OS. After beginning a blog post entitled "Closed For Business" with an anecdote about some unnamed friend of his, the chief argument he makes is that the Android OS was designed specifically for piracy. He begins by comparing exactly the wrong things for the conclusion he wants to reach:
"Buying an app on the Android Market is substantially similar to how you buys [sic] apps on iOS: you search, find the app, click Buy, confirm, and it downloads. It’s not an unduly onerous process, and certainly not a barrier to the business model. This isn’t piracy due to frustration."
See, he's comparing the process for getting the app through the Android marketplace to getting it through the iOS marketplace and then concluding that frustration isn't the reason for piracy. To do this, you have to ignore that "piracy" may be more convenient than either app store and that Android users and iOS users may not be equal—and also pretend that the only way to make money from an app is via direct charge for the download, and that all of these things mean that the platform is to blame because Android is "open". Whatever, let's move on to where he states that developers selling their apps for 99 cents are trivializing the marketplace.
"Shame on you for pricing at $0.99 to chase the kind of customers who, well, think a dollar is anything but a trivial, throwaway amount of money that won’t even remotely get you a reasonable cup of coffee. Get some self-respect. Quit encouraging bad behaviour, and ruining the party for everyone else."
If I'm reading that right, and I can't see how else to read it, now Gemmell is saying that not only is piracy bad, but buying 99-cent apps is bad too! As a consumer, I'm confused as to what good behavior might be at this point, other than resolutely smashing my smartphone to bits and getting one of those big rotary style deals installed on my kitchen wall.

So, just to keep score, the argument here so far is that the reason for endemic piracy on Android phones is not frustration due to inconvenience of the marketplace and price. Then he says this:
"Instead, this was the endemic casual piracy of convenience."
Which is where normally my head would explode like that dude from Scanners, except I've been doing neck exercises just to prepare for this inevitable moment. Apparently convenience plays no part in piracy except when it does. Awesome. We then get the first iteration of the hard line approach to Google's OS:
"The system is designed for piracy from the ground up. The existence of piracy isn’t a surprise, but rather an inevitability."
Yes, you read that correctly. Unbeknownst to us, Google designed their mobile operating system—from the ground up, mind you—specifically for piracy. That's the kind of sentence that you shouldn't think about for more than five seconds or blood will shoot out your nose and you'll wake up in an emergency room being prepped for "get the stupid out of your head" surgery.

Gemmell then goes on to explain that the reason piracy is easy is due to a "broken business model." This may make you think that this story is going to have a good ending. But he's not talking about the developers' business models, rather that of the Android OS, which is apparently so broken that it's the best-selling mobile OS on the market:
"You can say what you like about handset share, or first-party/carrier development: that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Another piece is community contributions to the OS codebase. On the first point, iOS devices are doing just fine. On the second, a closed OS has only strengthened the brand, cohesion of direction, integration, usability and design standard of the product. The third factor is the software ecosystem...To have apps, you need developers. To have developers, you need enthusiasm and an investment of time and talent. Enthusiasm and effort can be driven by many motivations, but the most reliable and consistent of those is money. Yes, there it is: the m-word. It’s not a dirty word. You wouldn’t have your shiny handset without it, not because you wouldn’t have been able to afford it, but because it wouldn’t exist."
This is nothing but a strawman. iOS is in second place in adoption, which may be "doing just fine," but isn't an argument against Android. And while some folks like the cohesion of Apple's closed system, arguing for Apple in terms of community contributions to the OS codebase is an odd stance against an open OS like Android. Finally, who is suggesting that "money" is a dirty word, or that developers shouldn't like bills and coins? If you answered "nobody," pat yourself on the back, because that's correct.

Then, after Gammell informs us that viewing advertisements is a form of "paying" for apps (because apparently that was a well-kept secret) he touts the benefits of having a "freedom from choice," which can alternatively be stated as a "freedom from freedom," which can then be stated as "bad Inception logic that makes no sense."
"No-one stops to consider that “choice” is maybe a bad word. Consider that for a moment. What would you like Windows to do with this USB key? Just show me the damned files. Do you want to be warned when you view a web page with mixed secure and insecure content? No, go away. Do you want to pick the font for this text-editing field? No, just use a sensible default. Do you want a lot of after-market crap popping up on the desktop of your new PC? No, I want an experience I’m familiar with."
Um, so just to run through his examples: 1. When my OS recognizes my USB stick, it asks me how I want to view those files (a window, a slideshow, media player, etc.) and apparently that choice is bad for me; 2. Hell yes I want to know if there's content on a web page that's unsecure, but apparently letting me choose to proceed or not is akin to puppy-murder; 3. Sure my word processor has a default font, but I also can choose to change that font at any time, which apparently sucks; and 4. I always have the choice of uninstalling the after-market stuff on my new PC and that's somehow a bad thing. Honestly...I just don't get his point.

We then get to his solution, which is to lock up the Android OS -- which Google built specifically to promote both piracy and quite possibly National Socialism -- just like iOS because the app business is hard and stuff.
"You can’t reliably have that revenue stream if the platform itself and the damaged philosophy behind it actively sabotages commerce. If you want a platform to be commercially viable for third-party software developers, you have to lock it down."
Except that Android isn't actively seeking to sabotage commerce. The very notion is absurd. There are plenty of ways Android app developers can and do make money. If Android was everything Gammell says it is, there wouldn't be more apps in its marketplace than there is for iOS. And the idea that Google has to lock their OS down so that app developers don't have to think is...you know what? I can't come up with a phrase or analogy to properly convey how mind-bendingly screwed up such thinking is.

Never do the other ways to make money as a developer (connect with your fans so they'll want to buy from you, offer in-app purchases, advertising models that work, etc.) seem to enter the equation. No, we're just told that Android is built for piracy, that only iOS can offer you a comparatively sound way to make money via app development (despite at least some anecdotal evidence to the contrary), and none of this has to do with developers recognizing the difference between the two platforms, their users, and how their business models should differ between platforms. And apparently Google should do this to Android despite it being the leading mobile OS on the market.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    izzitme101, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    So where does that leave windows again? I always thought that was the piracy platform of sheep!

     

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    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    What's interesting is he also has an article entitled "The Piracy Threshold". Found here:

    http://mattgemmell.com/2012/02/17/the-piracy-threshold/

    When it comes to movies and music, here is what he has to say to the studios and labels about piracy:

    "Piracy is a readily-fixable customer experience problem.

    Piracy happens because you’re fucking people (notably, via pricing).

    Piracy is your fault."

    It's interesting then how when it comes to apps he has a completely different point of view. Read the article though. It's rather interesting his completely 180 point of view change.

    Also, I saw this talked about a lot after the Dead Trigger comments by the app developers (who basically said the game is now free because there's soooo much piracy, yet they never gave any exact figures when directly asked for some). As others did when they read Matt's piece and the work I linked to above, they went a hunting and discovered that while he may be an "app developer", he only has one actual app to his name on iOS and that it's not even remotely a well done one at that.

    He also went on Twitter to talk about it. Several Android websites basically said, "iOS Developer goes on rant about Android and piracy, we're not going to acknowledge/dignify it with a response. If you want to check it out for yourself here's the source link." He spun that into "Fuck you Apple fanboy!" This is something that can be verified, for those of you who are curious.

    Suffice it to say, Android piracy is nowhere near as bad as it's made out to be. And more often than not, when the numbers are presented and evidence is shown, the numbers show one interesting fact. That most of the piracy numbers come from places where the Play Store (formerly the "Android Market") is not accessible to users/where they cannot legitimately/legal pay for any apps. With China being the largest user base for said piracy (around 80% in general). Which basically falls back to, the product is not legally available for purchase, so it's not like there's anything that can be done about it besides opening up the market.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    You would think an app developer would bloody well know better. Jesus wept.

     

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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    God damn it! My brain exploded again from trying to process too much stupid. Earlier on, it was bob and how there are people "serving life sentences on 3 strikes laws" and now this idiot.
    Someone got any non explosive gray matter I can borrow and never give back?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re:

    Thought I'd save people the trouble. Here is one article on what he wrote and his Tweet/interpretation about/of said article.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/ios-developer-says-android-designed-piracy

    Matt Gemmell ‏@mattgemmell
    Seems my ‘Closed for Business’ piece just hit Android Central. “Go fuck yourself, iOS fanboy!”, and other stunning ripostes.

     

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re:

    "Piracy is a readily-fixable customer experience problem.

    Piracy happens because you’re fucking people (notably, via pricing).

    Piracy is your fault."

    How certain are we that this was not in a Christmas card to Google?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    "Android is built for piracy"

    So basically, he's pissed off because android users are in control of their own property and he wants users to only have locked down phones that force you only to use apps preapproved by apple.

    Fuck you asshole.

     

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    Kyle Reynolds Conway (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:50pm

    So...

    1) Piracy is Google's intended business model for Android.
    2) Piracy is the antithesis of a successful business.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Lol. Well, I linked to the piece where I quoted that from, there's way more there but that specific piece seems to be directly written to the movie studios and music labels. As it starts with, "Music and movie industries, you’re well-known for being incredibly short-sighted, greedy and stupid. I’m not going to argue with that, because you really are."

    It's interesting to note that that piece appears to be written around the time that SOPA and ACTA were being put to vote, as well as around the time the former was shot down in flames.

     

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    Freedom from choice

    ***SPLAT***

    Well that's just fucking great. There go the last brain cells the gin didn't kill.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    I tell you whats a pain in the ass, downloading a payed app that extends beyond the 15 minute refund time, then finding out the bloody thing doesn't work.

    Not knocking android, but that aspect is annoying. I think android needs more work on compatibility

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

    Go to the Play store on your computer and any app will tell you before you install it whether it is compatible with your device.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:04pm

    Sounds like Matt had to use a PC at one point and hated the bundleware. Who doesn't?
    Personally, I format the HDD of any PC I buy. Clears out the cruft, plus I get to pick the version of Windows I want to use. (No getting stuck with Vista/8/etc.)

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    I do the same except I go with choosing what Linux distro I want :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    Re:

    Maybe this article will help you out. Basically talks about how to get a refund past the 15 minute refund window. Hope it helps.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/how-get-refund-app-google-play-beyond-15-minute-time-window

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    You write similar to a Cracked.com writer. Not an entirely bad thing, mind you..

     

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    This is a new kind of stupid.

     

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    pixelpusher220 (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    Re:

    Hey now, someone was on his lawn when he wrote that...it's not his fault ;-)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re:

    Doesnt work, as far as i know, any app in your app store is already given the go ahead in compatibility for your specific device, otherwise they wont show up on your playstore, for example the new dark knight game for asus prime says compatible, but for some its not so compatible......so now your wondering, is it your device or is it poor developer coding.....

     

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  20.  
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    Ben S (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re:

    You buy PC's already put together by the manufacturer? Shame on you! :P

    I custom build my computers for the most part. Only prebuilts I get are Laptops, and that's mainly because you can't really just go out and buy laptop parts to put one together. And just in case some one plans to bring up Tablets and Smart Phones, I have neither. I'm mostly a PC guy, using the laptop only when I'm forced to leave my home for longer than a day.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re:

    Nice one unique guy, mucho appreciated

     

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  22.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm lazy as hell most of the time. I have built PCs in the past and it's a lot of work.

     

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    Atkray (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    It looks like after fighting the good fight against the IAA's Matt has suffered either a physical or mental trauma that has caused him to adopt the philosophies he previously rejected. He now sees himself as an app developer (artist) and therefore must be paid.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Similar situation here, but then I'll rip out the default window manager and install openbox, tint2 and a whole load of crap in some weird combination that probably nobody else uses, because that's what works for me. The main thing that pisses me off in windows is the lack of configurability of the window manager without getting into installing random shit off dodgy websites or editing registry keys. Android seems to have decent enough defaults for it to work out of the box for me, but I could in theory change absolutely anything if I wanted to. That's what I look for when I buy/acquire software, especially if they actually want cash for it.

     

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    hegemon13, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    The 15-minute window is a common misconception, but you actually have 48 hours. The 15-minute window is the timeframe for which the Play store server software will automatically process your refund without any human intervention. However, Google has a 48-hour return window, and it's in their developer agreement. You just have to make more of an effort to get it, and it has to be approved. See: http://alvinemman.weebly.com/1/post/2012/06/googles-play-store-offers-48-hours-refund-period-on-andr oid-apps.html

     

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    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    As far as I know, it seems to be both. Sometimes devices that ARE compatible for some reason show up as not, and sometimes developers do a bad job of coding and what should work ends up not working.

    Depending on what device you have, check out "Chainfire 3D" in the play store. It can help with some of the compatibility issues. (Note that you do have to be rooted to install said App. If you aren't but would like to be and aren't sure how, just name your device, be specific, and I'll point you in the right directiion.)

    Also, it is possible to edit build props to "change" your device to another, but eh. I'd be careful doing something like that. Honestly, I find it requires more effort than rooting but to each their own.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    Why I went Android

    Matt Gemmell clearly has problems with his anger overruling his reason, so there's no point in responding to him. But this part of the OP makes an interesting and often-overlooked point:

    To do this, you have to ignore that "piracy" may be more convenient than either app store and that Android users and iOS users may not be equal


    Android & iOS users are often very different. In the end, the primary reason that I purchased an Android phone over an iPhone was the marketplace.

    Android lets me easily (as in, without jailbreaking) install apps from any source I want. The iPhone only lets me have access to their walled garden. I did not want to be in a position where someone was telling me what I could or could not do with my computer.

    That's it. I know several people for whom this isn't an issue at all and, although most of them use Android, a couple use iPhones and are happy with them. And more power to them, behold the wonders of competition!

    If Android phones were to become locked down like the iPhone is, I would no longer be a customer of them. It's a deal-breaker issue for me.

    I also hatehatehate in-app advertising, so the apps I use are either genuinely free or, more usually, ones that I've paid real money for. Most of those apps cost me closer to $5 than $1 as well.

    Matt's suggestion would mean that the pool of paying customers that app developers are selling to would shrink by at least one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Re:

    So does this mean google is a retroactive failure?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Why I went Android

    Yeah if android went IOS style walled garden like this douchebag wants I'd just wait for a more open platform forked off the open parts of android. :)

     

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  30.  
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    Ben S (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Lazy

    I hear you there. It is a lot of work, but it gives me a bit more freedom in making sure my computer is what I intend it to be. I'm lazy in a lot of ways, but my minimum requirements for my home computer are far too important to me to rely on a prebuilt machine. It is a gaming computer I use there.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 1:49pm

    he touts the benefits of having a "freedom from choice,


    Yes, but I'm sure most iOS developers have already moved past this denial phase and have long accepted the reality of their platform.

    Get with the times, Mr App Dev.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    Re:

    i have to plug this, i got a cyberpower recently... its nice and all but the one thing i think they did really really right, no bloatware, just vanilla OS straight from the box, and my motherboard was ready to tweak :)

     

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  33.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    Some Technical Questions

    I don't know very much about Android, and I would like to ask some dumb questions, which don't seem to be addressed by the Wikipedia page.

    1. As Android is distributed on a particular machine, a particular smartphone, does the user get the root password?

    2. If the answer to #1 is no, are paid applications, content, etc., downloaded through the Playstore, stored somewhere outside of the user's Linux \home\user directory?

    3. Unless the answer to #1 is no and the answer to #2 is yes, is there some other mechanism for securing paid content, eg. encryption.

    4. Summing up, does it require some form of "jail-breaking" to extract a purchased app in a form which can be passed around and used on any device, just as if it had not been sold on the Playstore in the first place?

    5. Matt Gemmell's stated grievance seems to be that one can download content from anywhere, and use it, the same as on an ordinary personal computer. Is he complaining as well that it is unusually easy to jailbreak content out of the Playstore system?

     

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    DinDaddy (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Others have noticed his mutually contradictory stances as well:

    http://curiousrat.com/home/2012/7/24/double-standards.html

     

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    drew (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re:

    To be fair Rikuo, i think you may be mis-understanding which 3-strikes law Bob was talking about. There's the internet 3-strikes law and then there's the 3-felonies-and-it's-life 3-strikes law. I think it's the latter that Bob was on about but I can't be arsed to find which article it was on.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Some Technical Questions

    1. As Android is distributed on a particular machine, a particular smartphone, does the user get the root password?


    It depends on the exact phone you're talking about. Android is the base operating system, and the phone manufacturers can (and do) configure it according to their desires. Some phones (Googlephones, for instance) have easy root access out of the box, others have to be rooted through an external process much like you have to do with an iPhone.

    All Android phones (that I know of) let you use third-party app stores and sideload apps, though.

    2. If the answer to #1 is no, are paid applications, content, etc., downloaded through the Playstore, stored somewhere outside of the user's Linux \home\user directory?


    Again, this can theoretically depend on which phone, but in practice all apps (paid or not) are stored in one of two or three different locations, none of which are a user home directory.

    3. Unless the answer to #1 is no and the answer to #2 is yes, is there some other mechanism for securing paid content, eg. encryption.


    Not unless the app in question implements such a thing. Many do.

    4. Summing up, does it require some form of "jail-breaking" to extract a purchased app in a form which can be passed around and used on any device, just as if it had not been sold on the Playstore in the first place?


    You must have root access to do this, but if you do, then yes, you can (unless the app itself implements a mechanism to prevent it). Rooting a phone can be a trivial-to-slightly inconvenient operation, depending on the phone in question.

    Matt Gemmell's stated grievance seems to be that one can download content from anywhere, and use it, the same as on an ordinary personal computer. Is he complaining as well that it is unusually easy to jailbreak content out of the Playstore system?


    I don't think so. I think he's complaining that you don't have to use the Play Store to install apps. You don't need root access to do this.

     

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    Wally (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Why I went Android

    I think that the so called "walled garden" applies to both in certain ways. To me, Apple's iOS is like the experienced crew with its grand old ways of doing things from experience; only keeping up to technololgy when things break. Google's android is like the rogue pirate space cowboy, or for those who watched Star Trek TNG, Pakleds. Android is highly intelligent but has poor communication skills. Android is like a Pakled. It relies on input and help from multiple users to develop code for multiple platforms of hardware choices. So really choice is irrelivent as a developer is concerned, it's what one prefers to do. Either has strong or week points, but I find a lot of that is just an easier way for each deveoper to compliment each others' (and our) needs.

    My experiences tell me that both are very strong communities, both have good developer communities and their only end goal is to satisfy their customers in any way they see fit.

    Matt Gemmell is an idiot for not realizing this.

     

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    Wally (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Some Technical Questions

    Correct me if I am wrong (no long explanations, please use logic in your response not a rant) but I think I've seen versions of BitTorrent that allow you to upload apps to your iDevice without Jailbreaking your device. I could be wrong though, only a thought ^_^

     

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    Wally (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    "It looks like after fighting the good fight against the IAA's Matt has suffered either a physical or mental trauma that has caused him to adopt the philosophies he previously rejected."

    It's mental trauma. Even by fanboy standards he certified nuts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Why people pay attention to crazy people?

     

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    Ed (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Summary...

    His long-winded diatribe can be summarized succinctly: "I'm a shit developer who is too lazy and incompetent to make a decent Android app that anyone would want to buy."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    AdamBv1 (profile), Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re:

    Android Police also has an excellent writeup on exactly how much China and the inability of anyone there to legally buy things in the Play Store contribute to piracy statistics on Android.

    Basically China accounts for 1/3 of all Android users and they cannot even buy apps OR use in app payment systems.

    Oh, also there is more info in here from other developers who find that piracy rates are higher on iOS. Oops.

    http://www.androidpolice.com/2012/07/31/editorial-just-how-bad-is-app-piracy-on-android-any ways-hint-were-asking-the-wrong-question/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Summary...

    So much this.


    Every time I hear of sales that are "killed by piracy" it turns out that either the product is shitty or does not have mass appeal, even to the point being a niche in a niche.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why I went Android

    The runtime and kernal for android is open source and you can sideload apps, how is it a walled garden?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 7:51pm

    Re:

    As long as he doesn't sound like the racist Asian bitch with an entitlement complex, or the guy who constantly moans about growing up poor, it's pretty good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 7:56pm

    Madfinger & Dead Trigger

    This comes just after the case where Madfinger Games released its “Dead Trigger” for free on Android, claiming basically “piracy made me do it”. Then about a week later, it dropped the price to zero on IOS as well. Only this time there was no petulant moaning about “piracy”, quite the opposite, it was portrayed as “great news”.

    I think it’s clear to everyone now: IOS developers hate Android. They hate the fact it’s a bigger—and faster growing—market than IOS, so they can’t just ignore it. They hate the fact it is not as tightly controlled as IOS, that the users actually have a choice of devices, and a choice of how they use them.

    It’s like, if they could just sit in a corner and write software, and not have to worry about actual users using it, they would be the happiest wank^H^H^H^Hdevelopers in the world.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Sheo, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 11:19pm

    So, he is angry because he can't overprice apps in the Adroid market, so he claims that's piracy. Nifty logic.

    I guess he wants overpriced apps to match an overpriced phone.

    But then again, he is an Apple fanboy, so any opinion about Android that he might have is pretty irrelevant, specially seeing how flawed his arguments are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Seegras (profile), Aug 4th, 2012 @ 1:58am

    Like a PC

    If you want a platform to be commercially viable for third-party software developers, you have to lock it down.

    Yes, that's why the PC was such an commercial flop. No third-party software developer wanted to program for it. Contrast this with the Nintendo NES, for which you only needed to shell out some thousands of dollars for the development-environment and for which thus 785 games are available for the PAL region alone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 4th, 2012 @ 2:28am

    Re: Re:

    No, apprently it's proactive in its failure. Its multibillion-dollar failure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Lennart Regebro, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 4:07am

    Oh. A random developer said something stupid. Let's wrote a blog post!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 4:54am

    Nice reference...

    "Yes, you read that correctly. Unbeknownst to us, Google designed their mobile operating system—from the ground up, mind you—specifically for piracy. That's the kind of sentence that you shouldn't think about for more than five seconds or blood will shoot out your nose and you'll wake up in an emergency room being prepped for "get the stupid out of your head" surgery."

    Channelling Lewis Black today, are we Tim?

    Very nice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 5:15am

    Re: Nice reference...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    Dionaea (profile), Aug 4th, 2012 @ 5:32am

    Some developers are just morons, if I have to pay to get an app installed, I just don't get it. I don't know what I'll be missing anyway. The ones I spend money on are the ones of which you can install a (functional!) part for free and then you have to buy the rest or those with in app purchases for extensions/items. I don't spend money on bagged cats, no thank you, especially when there are plenty of free cats around :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Big content exec, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So, people pirate things that's impossible to get legally.

    HOW DARE THOSE DIRTY PIRATES COPY WITHOUT PAYINNG FOR SOMETHING THEY COULDN'T GIVE US MONEY FOR ANYWAY!

    Damn those rotten thieves who don't harm our sales in anyway!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    rallen, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 10:00am

    Re: Android (Linux) is built for piracy?

    This idiot has no credibility. He doesn't know his enemy. He thinks that Google designed the entirety of Android, not realizing that it's an interface for Linux.

    He's just a shill for the iOS system. An UNPAID shill, probably. That makes him a stupid shill.

    Why are still talking about this idiot? I'm going to watch some YouTube instead...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile), Aug 4th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Matt vs Matt

    I think there's only one person who really has the unique knowledge, understanding, experience, and character to really call out Matt Gemmell on his rant, and that is Matt Gemmell...

    "If you’re not in the mobile apps business to make money, then great - congratulations. This is your bus stop. Off you go. Have a nice life. I, however, am in business to make money." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "You may want to have a look at my software applications Favorites for iPhone (speed-dial, messaging and email with style - $1.99), and Shady for Mac (dim your Mac’s screen more than Mac OS X allows, to soothe tired eyes - free and open source)."
    - Matt Gemmell - About Matt


    "Shame on you for pricing at $0.99 to chase the kind of customers who, well, think a dollar is anything but a trivial, throwaway amount of money that won’t even remotely get you a reasonable cup of coffee. Get some self-respect. Quit encouraging bad behaviour, and ruining the party for everyone else." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "The vast majority of people are happy to buy your stuff, but only if you’re reasonable about it... We’re not asking to get things for free, but we’re not willing to be fucked.
    - Matt Gemmell - About Matt


    "It wasn’t piracy due to a high price. Instead, this was the endemic casual piracy of convenience." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "We’ll buy stuff if it’s convenient to do so, and if the price is reasonable. Any sensible business would thus have as its goal 'make our stuff convenient to buy, and price it reasonably.'"
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    "The system is designed for piracy from the ground up. The existence of piracy isn’t a surprise, but rather an inevitability." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "Piracy can never be completely eradicated, because there are always going to be criminals, and there are always going to be brain-addled, hormone crazed teenagers on the internet."
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    "Piracy isn’t some unknowable thing that you can blame on teenagers in China and Russia. Those kids are practitioners of it, sure, but piracy is just a by-product of a broken model." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "There’s always going to be a teenager who places zero value on their own time, and will gladly spend days just to know that, in the end, they fucked you back just a little bit."
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    "The only relevant problem to fix is the root cause, and (conveniently) that’s the only one you can fix.
    People pirate Android apps because it’s easy.
    It’s easy because the platform was built with an open mentality."
    - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "Pretty much everyone I know has purchased some of your DRM-encrusted media, then stripped the DRM so they can consume their media in the way they want to. Pretty much everyone. They don’t see that as a criminal act, and they never will."
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    "Another piece is community contributions to the OS codebase. On the first point, iOS devices are doing just fine. On the second, a closed OS has only strengthened the brand, cohesion of direction, integration, usability and design standard of the product" - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "I’ve released many pieces of Cocoa and Cocoa Touch source code over the past few years, which have been used in literally hundreds of apps; feel free to have a browse through it."
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    "If you want a platform to be commercially viable for third-party software developers, you have to lock it down. Just like in real life, closing the door and locking it helps make sure that your money remains yours." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "Well, fuck you. There’s always going to be some kid who can find a way around your next big DRM scheme."
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    "I’m guessing it’s largely related to the service-oriented consumer culture that we inhabit, with the overarching obsequious and counterproductive “the customer is always right” principle embedded in its side like a festering splinter." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "First you fuck us with exorbitant pricing. Then you fuck us with inconvenience by not making your content universally available when we want it. Then you fuck us by treating every paying customer like a criminal."
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    "Existence of some viable open source models doesn’t change the reality for the vast majority of developers. We don’t have a rich daddy like Mozilla. We don’t have an operating system for which we can use a paid-support model. We just want to make apps, then sell enough copies of them so that we can make some more." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "...You’re ... being incredibly short-sighted, greedy and stupid. I’m not going to argue with that, because you really are."
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    "Lock it down... Open is an ideal, like true democracy, that’s warm and comforting but also impossible in a practical sense. It’s self-limiting. You’re spending today to pay for tomorrow, and we all know how that usually turns out... Capitalism wins, and it’ll drown you in the process if you stand in the way." - Matt Gemmell 23/07/2012

    "Give us convenient content at a reasonable price, and we’ll buy it. Sell the stuff without DRM, for a few dollars. Make it available to everyone, worldwide, at the same time. Then take the massive, unending pile of money, forever."
    - Matt Gemmell 17/02/2012


    Let me make this perfectly clear: piracy is your own fault. - Matt Gemmell, Feb 17th 2012

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 11:09am

    Re: Matt vs Matt

    Multple personally disorder. That's the only explaination.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 4th, 2012 @ 9:18pm

    This guys prefers to remain in his jail cell because it's familiar. Apple makes a good living selling to people like him. You could even say their OS is designed for imprisoning from the ground up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2012 @ 6:50am

    Re: Some Technical Questions

    On Android systems there is a free su binary and accompanying management app that can be installed that allows other apps to su to root when performing functions that require root level permissions. Many devices come locked such that binaries like the su binary cannot be side loaded until the the recovery mode is either unlocked or replaced with a custom 3rd party one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style, Aug 5th, 2012 @ 8:28am

    Re: Some Technical Questions

    I'm going to try and answer your questions to the best of my knowledge, but I'm slightly still recovering from last night... so yeah...

    1. No, there is no "root password". Basically if you want root, you have to root your phone. Lol. Or better said, you have to install a Custom Recovery, then install a Superuser zip file. At which point you will have root access on your phone. That's the easiest method.

    2. Yes. All applications (including most system apps) are stored elsewhere and can be manually pulled from a given Android phone using ADB.

    To get them from the phone you would enter the following:
    adb pull /data/app ./

    To get them from the sdcard (for those that are able to be installed there/moved there) you would enter the following:
    adb pull /system/sd/app ./

    And of course, there are other ways of getting the apps off. If you have root access, a preferred application to install/use is Titanium Backup. Which allows you to backup, restore, freeze, delete, etc. any and all apps.

    3. There is encryption to a degree on most apps. For those that are paid but which a person did not pay for, they are stuck with the app as is. Meaning if there is an update for said app, which will show up as a notification on the user's phone, when they attempt to update it the Play Store will say this app does not appear to be on the user's purchased apps list. Nothing will happen however at that point. It won't be deleted or anything.

    I know that on Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), they have added more encryption, specifically tying apps to a particular device/user account. I personally am running Jelly Bean (4.1.1) on my Nexus S 4G but haven't seen anything like this. Although I should add, I don't use many apps and the majority I use are free. In fact, the only app I did pay for was Titanium Backup. And before someone reads into that, the majority of apps have free AND paid versions. The free meet my needs. I don't pirate apps.

    4. To sum up, no it DOES NOT require any form of rooting (which is what "jailbreaking" is on Android) to extract apps in a usable form for other users. Once extracted, you will have an .apk file that is easily able to be shared with other users. However, the majority of people, in my experience, do not know how to use (much less install) ADB on their computers, and the same goes for rooting their phones. As easy (for me at least it seems to be so) as it is to root most Android phones, the majority of users do not do it. Thus, despite being easy to do, the majority of users are not out there extracting and sharing apps, nor are they actively searching for pirated apps.

    5. From the article, I believe Matt Gemmell is NOT complaining that it is unusually easy to jailbreak content out of the Play Store. He's just saying Android, the operating system, itself is built for piracy. Namely in the form of the fact that apps can be extracted and that there is a method to install any application at the tap of a button, just check off "Unknown Sources" (Allow installation of apps from unknown sources) in Security.

    Honestly, in my opinion, it seems Matt Gemmell knows very little about Android or it's users. And seems to believe that being allowed to own and do what you want with a given device is wrong and too much for people to handle, and instead seems to feel that the only way to effectively beat piracy is to have someone control what a user can or can't do with their device, as Apple essentially does. (Which is complete bullshit, as any person whose ever jailbroken their iOS device will tell you. Install Cydia. Add a repository or two and voila. You can now get ANY app available in the iTunes store for free, including paid ones. And you don't even need to use a computer to do so, much less install from.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Madfinger & Dead Trigger

    So much this. You hit the nail squarely on the head imo. The mobile OS platforms are the new version of the console wars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 5th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Madfinger & Dead Trigger

    So much this. You hit the nail squarely on the head imo. The mobile OS platforms are the new version of the console wars.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    bratwurzt (profile), Aug 6th, 2012 @ 4:36am

    Re: Re: Lazy

    Me - I make my own components in China by hand, put it together and while testing hardware configuration I am programming OS from scratch in assembler. By hand. With one hand. That has 3 fingers.
    /sarc

    I wouldn't call Matt a developer if he's got one sucky app. :>

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    icon
    bratwurzt (profile), Aug 6th, 2012 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Why I went Android

    Hm...

    First of all - with apple smartphone you (as a developer) are programming in object c (or some variant of it) for specific hardware. You are not sure people will ever see your app since you could be rejected at the pearly gates of iStore. And you are forced to pay 100$ per year just to develop.

    So your application
    - is fast,
    - works almost without glitches
    - it has a good chance it will never see the light of iStore.

    Android smartphones support a wide range of different hardware platforms and underlying linux kernel is the MOST used OS (kernel) in the world (i.e. it supports most hardware), so it's probably pretty good/stable. Programming for android is really simple (since it's java) and starting developement process is even easier (you can actually debug your application over wifi) - downside is, well, java and lesser control of application review.

    So your application
    - can be fast on your hardware but could suck on a lot of other phones/tablets
    - , if you're not careful with the main UI thread, can be hardcore glitchy and there's always time for some garbage collecting
    - debugs easy and deploys easy
    - will be available in Play Store almost certainly

     

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  65.  
    icon
    Doug B (profile), Aug 6th, 2012 @ 6:38am

    Re: Matt vs Matt

    I found it particularly interesting that he rails against choice and yet produced an application that adds choices (Shady for Mac OS X). I guess apple isn't the be all end all?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 6th, 2012 @ 9:13am

    And that's a prime example of 'creator' that will be out of business in the future.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 6th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Why I went Android

    downside is, well, java and lesser control of application review.


    Well, if you don't care about getting in the Play Store (which isn't necessary to distribute or sell your apps), then you can write your Android apps in most any compiled language, and you don't have to have any review whatsoever.

    One of the strengths of Android is, in my opinion, that you can have a walled garden if that's what you wish, but aren't forced into it if it's not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Aug 6th, 2012 @ 9:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Some Technical Questions

    I'm not aware of this one way or the other. However, apps that let you sideload other apps are not permitted in the Apple Store, so if the BT client permits this, you would have to jailbreak your iPhone to get it installed there in the first place.

    Maybe someone with more knowledge can correct me if I'm wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Aug 31st, 2012 @ 10:47pm

    Android OS Built For Piracy

    Really? Because I thought that: "Android phone is for porn. Android phone is for porn. Y U lookin' so forlorn? Porn, porn, porn!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Abdulbuchanan, Sep 17th, 2012 @ 3:50am

    Android

    Ohhhh..
    So Much This..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Clark dennis, Sep 18th, 2012 @ 10:51pm

    I'm not aware of this one way or the other. However, programs that let you sideload other programs are prohibited in the The the apple organization company Store, so if the BT client allows this, you would have to jailbreak your iPhone to get it set up there in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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