Developers criticise Google’s Android Market

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“Google does far too little curation of the Android Market, and it shows.” Among other things, Johansen, the co-founder and CTO at doubleTwist, is well known for his involvement in reverse engineering the content-scrambling system used for DVD licensing enforcement and for doubleTwist, an iTunes-like application for managing and synchronising content on various devices including Android mobile phones, BlackBerry devices and Palm smartphones.

The Norwegian programmer criticises the fact that, while the Android Market is available in 46 countries, developers can currently only offer paid applications in 13 countries – noting that Canada, for example, has only had access to paid apps since March of this year. Additionally, prices for foreign apps are not displayed in a user’s local currency and developers have no control for customising their price by country. Johansen goes on to point out that user’s can’t even pay for foreign applications using their Amex cards or carrier billing, adding that no support has been added for in-app payments. A number of developers have called for change log support so that users can see what has changed since the application’s last release.

Developers are also expressing similar complaints in Google’s support forums. They criticise the fact that the web version of the Android Market only shows a small selection of the available apps and that Google’s Market return policy is “very generous”. Other forum posts complain about the number of spam comments in the Market that have yet to be removed.


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