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Android's "Flea Market" Needs Urgent Attention 226

Posted by kdawson
from the step-down-from-a-bazaar dept.
andylim writes "According to Barry O'Neil, ex-President of Namco Bandai Network Europe, Google needs to understand that a constantly evolving 'beta' product doesn't cut it. It has to learn from the mistakes of the Java business in order to save Android. 'If Google is to present a threat to the Apple App Store ecosystem, it needs to address discovery and purchasing as a matter of urgency, or abandon control and hand over the entire management of the Android Market to carriers, OEMs and trusted publishers.'"
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Android's "Flea Market" Needs Urgent Attention

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  • What (Score:4, Informative)

    by blhack (921171) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:42PM (#31707514)

    I'm sorry, but does android really need saving? I see more and more and more android based phones every day.

    • It does, according to the ex-President of a company of which I've never heard!
      • Re:What (Score:5, Funny)

        by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@@@gmail...com> on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:58PM (#31707690) Homepage
        It does, according to the ex-President of a company of which I've never heard!

        I know, I mean who's heard of Namco? What the hell have they made? Something called "Pac-Man"? What the hell is a Pac-Man? It sounds like a type of food.
        • Re:What (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Aladrin (926209) on Friday April 02, 2010 @01:08PM (#31707804)

          You joke, but how successful have they been lately? I couldn't name any recent games, so I went to check their site. Almost every title listed in their 'new games' section is junk. The ones that aren't junk are just sequels to things that weren't junk... And there's not many of them. (And for some of them, I don't think they held the rights to the originals.)

          So he's going to tell a massively successful company like Google how to run their software business? Seriously?

        • by bugi (8479)

          Their games are also the most expensive on the android market. Dude, just because it's named "Pac-Man" or "Frogger" and so presumably not some knock-off does not justify a higher price than all other games.

    • Re:What (Score:4, Insightful)

      by catxk (1086945) on Friday April 02, 2010 @01:01PM (#31707722)
      If you look at it from an Apple perspective, I guess you would think that the key to mobile OS success is a well-functioning software market. Android, apparently, does not have one. The fact that more and more phones run Android is no more a sign of success than the fact that the Ipad is sold out. Initial high sales indicates little more than successful marketing, but to ensure long-lasting success, the users also have to be satisfied after the purchase. Then again, this is from an Apple perspective. In my opinion (and I use an S60 device), the Android OS seems solid enough with or without an official marketplace.
      • the Android OS seems solid enough with or without an official marketplace.

        There's no absolute need for a centralized marketplace for what amount to pocket-sized personal computers any more than there is for a laptop or a regular PC. I give Apple points for applying the idea to a cell phone, but it's hardly a requirement. It's just a convenience, nothing more, and if Apple or Google didn't provide this service, believe me, someone else would have very quickly.

      • by schon (31600)

        Umm... WHAT!?!?!

        The fact that more and more phones run Android is no more a sign of success than the fact that the Ipad is sold out. Initial high sales indicates little more than successful marketing

        Sorry, but contradicting yourself in the middle of a paragraph is generally an indication that you don't know what you're talking about.

        To wit: if more an more phones run Android, then this is not (by definition) "initial high sales", this is "some sales, followed by even more and more sales." Which is (again, by definition) "success."

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      As a phone platform, the Android OS beats the hell out of the iPhone OS. However, the Android Market is sorely lacking compared to the App Store, I can never seem to find what I am looking for in AM, and have to wade thru several sketchy/unstable apps to find anything.

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      And more and more "apps" you cant use on older phones because most carriers tweak andriod and never update it.

      I should be able to upgrade a G1 to the latest andriod easily, you cant. so a bunch of apps wont run on it. Yet short of the special case 3Gs extra hardware specific apps. a 1st gen iphone can run the same apps the 4th gen iphone can.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      I don't remember it ever needing saving. I mean look at MS products, or apple products. They're not labeled beta, they're labeled complete or release candidate and there are still plenty of problems or incomplete features, etc.

      The same can be applied to just about every software company in existence.

    • by uberjack (1311219) *
      Companies like Namco need to realize that they need more than just Pacman rehashes and the occasional Katamari port to make money, especially on a market as open as Android's, where you can easily peddle a free (or even commercial) clone of a popular game, with little fear of retribution from original companies (Beje.. *ahem* Jewellust , anyone?). This is probably what's bugging companies like Namco more than anything - the lack of the draconian regime that makes saber-rattling on the iPhone so effective.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Zorkon (121860)

      Yes, it does need saving. The reason you see more and more Android-based phones is twofold:

      1. Manufacturers have hopped on the Android bandwagon, ramped up production and are pushing the things.

      and

      2. iPhones are so popular that people are beginning to look for alternatives that set them apart from the iPhone-toting crowd. Android is the obvious choice.

      I decided that I would switch from my iPhone to a Google Nexus One last month. After using the Nexus One as my primary phone for the past 3 weeks, I'm switchi

  • I don't get it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ckaminski (82854) <[ckaminski] [at] [pobox.com]> on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:42PM (#31707518) Homepage
    I use the Android app market, and I find what I need. I think the Apple App Store is more plagued with marketers vying for positioning in the vaunted "Top 75" than in any other fashion. How about letting me sort by "5 stars"? Anybody?

    I'm not sure I want anyone except the community "in charge" of what gets bubbled up in each category.
    • Re:I don't get it? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:44PM (#31707538) Homepage Journal

      http://www.android.com/market/ [android.com]

      You can't search for apps. You can on the phone, but consumers need better integration and ways to access information.

      Lets say you were interested in an Android device, how do you find out what apps are in the market?

      • Re:I don't get it? (Score:5, Informative)

        by RootWind (993172) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:48PM (#31707572)
        http://www.cyrket.com/ [cyrket.com] http://www.androlib.com/ [androlib.com] http://www.appbrain.com/ [appbrain.com] http://www.androidzoom.com/ [androidzoom.com] Just to name a few... Sure, one by Google might be nice.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by thepike (1781582)
        I agree that it would be great to search the market online (I tried before I got my Eris and was pretty mad when I couldn't) but at the same time it's not a deal breaker. I've never had any issues getting apps that I want (assuming they're available) now that I have the phone. I'm also not sure the point that fewer people are paying for apps on android than iphones, did they look at the number of free vs paid apps (I didn't). Most of the apps I want are free, so why would I pay for one?
      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        But you use the marketplace on the phone.... And I have no problems using it from the phone.
        It would be nice if you could search the marketplace on line from your PC but that is really not a big deal.
        That I think is a clear case of making a mountain out of a mole hill.

        • Re:I don't get it? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by karnal (22275) on Friday April 02, 2010 @01:25PM (#31707980)

          Picture this:

          I have a phone now. I'm looking at the nice and shiny android phones. But I am not quite convinced that the apps are what I might need.

          How do I find out from a PC that there's something that would push me over the edge?

          That's the mole hill that you tripped over.

          • by GIL_Dude (850471)
            Well, for an extremely techie user they could install the Android SDK and build environment on their computer and search the Android Market in the emulator. I know that is a lame suggestion for a normal consumer, but most of the folks who post here on /. are more than capable of doing it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Nemyst (1383049)
        How ironic that the market of a search engine developer does not have a search function. It's not like they don't have the tech to do it!
        • It doesn't have a search function? That's news to anyone who has used it -- it's the magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
          • by Nemyst (1383049)
            Have you clicked on the link above? I see no magnifying glass there. If apps are that important to customers, you'd most likely want to have a look around what's available before you purchase the phone (so you know, through a web browser).
      • I just built a site to handle the integration.
        You can now at least post a link on your site that will link to the market if clicked from an android device, and do something useful (send a link by email) if clicked on the desktop

        http://and-download.hobbyistsoftware.com/ [hobbyistsoftware.com]

    • Re:I don't get it? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday April 02, 2010 @01:08PM (#31707818)

      I think the problem with the Android app market is that you have no idea what you're missing in your searches. There are categories, sure. But do I really want to browse 5000 apps in entertainment to make sure that that's not where the video players are hiding? Or when I search for a battery management app, do I search for battery management? Battery? Battery saver? And if I scroll down more, what do I get? Do I get results that are less relevant? Less used? Older? Combination thereof?

      In short, I have no idea how the Android app market works, and the search results are haphazard enough that I don't trust it. And as you pointed out, I can't even organize the search results. No sorting by downloads, by popularity, by ratings, or by developer.

      The Android App store is right now my biggest gripe of the entire Android ecosystem. Google and others have produced some outstanding apps, but I have no idea if they're there, or what it is that I should search for.

      Here are a couple of suggestions that would drastically improve the user experience:
      - have a web interface available. Seriously, that's a no-brainer.
      - let me order the results by ratings, downloads, date, publisher and name. Another complete no-brainer.
      - Allow me to recommend apps to friends and contacts. Or allow me to set my download privacy so that friends and contacts can see what I installed.
      - Provide a staff pick

      3 out of 4 of those are brain dead to implement, and don't even require much computational complexity. Considering that the app store is part of what makes the iPhone the iPhone, I don't understand what's keeping Google from actually offering a usable experience.

      • In short, I have no idea how the Android app market works, and the search results are haphazard enough that I don't trust it. And as you pointed out, I can't even organize the search results. No sorting by downloads, by popularity, by ratings, or by developer.

        Look, it was 200 years ago that Adam Smith worked out that not everybody's good at everything. Clearly they need to outsource the search to someone who's good at it. Like, I dunno, Google?

  • YES! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportlandNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:42PM (#31707522) Homepage Journal

    I ahve sent several emails, and posted on the form.

    There online market SUCKS.

    I have a G1. it's running Google android OS. It is fully integrated with Google.

    Why can't I go to android.com and do a search for apps?
    Yes, a Google site and you can't search for market apps.

    http://www.android.com/market/ [android.com]

    Not searchable. I'm sorry, what is Google's core business?

    • ...Because it is really that hard to simply get it on the phone? While I do think it could use improving, I'm not seeing the real issue. On both my iPod and Android phone I get all of my apps through the device itself. The fact you have to sync music/videos for my iPod is one of my biggest pet peeves. If a device has Wi-Fi or even better cell service, wouldn't it make more sense to get all the applications through that? Its a bit like downloading a .exe on one machine and transferring it over USB to your la
    • Re:YES! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:51PM (#31707606)
      Agreed. I keep thinking I'm doing something fundamentally wrong... I can search for apps on my Droid but I can't find a website that lets me search through the apps or browse the app categories. Apparently there are roughly 30,000 Android apps, but if you click around the marketplace [android.com], you'll get a sense that there's maybe 50 or 80 apps out there. This is both a problem for Android users (who can't find what they want... doing it on the phone is okay but not as efficient) and for uptake (it makes the platform look amateurish).

      On the flip side, though, I can't imagine a worse move than "hand over the entire management of the Android Market to carriers, OEMs and trusted publishers." The carriers would turn it into a painful nickel-and-dime opportunity (forget free apps!), and letting OEMs and publishers do whatever they want would make the Android platform even more fragmented. Google is (in theory) the right entity to mange the Android Market: they have a good reputation, they are really good at sorting and search, they know how to make a good web UI, etc. In fact, it's fundamentally surprising that they didn't put together a slick interface for the Android Market...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by exley (221867)

      I'm sorry, what is Google's core business?

      Advertising.

      (And no, I'm not referring to that Super Bowl ad!)

    • Re:YES! (Score:4, Informative)

      by ionix5891 (1228718) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:59PM (#31707700)

      click the market app on your G1 and search

    • A highlighted set of apps and games available in Android Market.

  • You mean like... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:45PM (#31707552)

    Google needs to understand that a constantly evolving 'beta' product doesn't cut it

    You mean like Gmail, Chrome, and a ton of other products that people use while in beta? Android's main strength is that it is open, cutting edge and changeable. A crappy interface or design on Windows Mobile is going to be slow to change, a crappy interface or design in Android is going to be quick to change.

    Don't want something -slightly- unstable? Get a BlackBerry and its outdated architecture. Want something that is going to be nearly the same from beginning to end? Get an iPhone, but don't expect stability.

    I had a Windows Mobile phone for a bit, it crashed so often I went back to my "dumb" phone before getting an Android handset that rarely crashes.

    Android is doing the most things right at the moment. Windows Mobile is screwing customers by not offering software upgrades, Apple is screwing customers by not allowing them to use their apps, BlackBerry simply is a crappy environment to code for, and despite how much Palm wants WebOS to gain marketshare, it simply isn't happening.

    Oh and never, ever allow OEMs, carriers or "trusted publishers" to take over app markets, otherwise you screw your customers even more. I don't want my carrier telling me what I can and can't have on my phone, same with OEMs and I don't want a "trusted publisher" removing all competition to their product.

    • Indeed, Mr. ex-President of Namco Bandai Network Europe, is pissing and moaning that his team of MBA's can't setup some sort of rent-seeking control on Android's market and leverage synergies over 9000! So please keep the carriers away from the app store to avoid the Verizon crippled java scenario.
    • Re:You mean like... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Friday April 02, 2010 @01:00PM (#31707712) Homepage Journal
      Also, whoever said that Google does want to be a threat to Apple? Granted, Google is a corporation and corporations like to make money, but that doesn't mean they have to present a direct threat to any other company. It always seemed to me like Google just did what Google did because:

      A) It would be good for Google.
      B) They thought it would be really helpful and/or cool.

      I mean, sure, Google made a competitive product with the iPhone in releasing the Android architecture. They also made a competitive product with Mozilla in releasing Chrome. They also made a competitive product to Hotmail, Yahoo mail, Lycos mail, etc. by releasing G-mail. Hell, now they are even getting into a market where they seem to want to compete with companies they've never even had contact with. Look into the types of business decisions they are making with regards to alternative energy technology and power management technology. Then of course there are their products that weren't really designed to compete with anything, but were meant to bring an entirely new product to the market. That is, they developed Google, their search engine, and Google maps/Earth to bring about products that really were so polished and impressive that they completely revolutionized the way we work.

      So, yeah, Google has some products on the market that compete with Apple. That doesn't mean they want to threaten Apple. Hell, I'd wager that doesn't even mean they want Apple to fail So far as I have seen, Google seems to foster the notion of fair competition through product development, rather than other, shadier, business practices like embrace, extend, extinguish. That is, Google may not want to the threaten Apple or anything else. It seems to me that they just want to innovate and be creative. That's why I've always respected them. They don't intend to shutdown competitors. They just intend to be on par and/or better then them. So why make assertions that Google needs to threaten Apple? It doesn't need to do that at all. So far as I can tell, Google just needs to keep on doing what they are doing and people will continue to use their products if they find them to be superior. It's that simple.

      Moral of the story? It seems this guy's discussion is founded on the baseless assumption that all corporations/businesses prefer a monopoly/severe-market-dominance over a healthy competing economy. I don't see where that assumption is ever verified or validated in any way. That makes the whole damn thing dribble in my opinion.
      • Exactly. While Google wants to make money, a lot of their actions show that they want to simply make the web better, money or no money.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by crashumbc (1221174)

          Exactly. While Google wants to make money, a lot of their actions show that they want to simply make the web better, money or no money.

          to be more accurate imo, they want to make the web better, because they believe growing the entire market will by extension grow their piece of the pie.(hence making them more money)

          • Mod parent up. Insightful as hell.

            GP could also have included as non-threatening products Google supported / bought:
            • SketchUp
            • Google Voice

            Seth

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      You mean like Gmail, Chrome, and a ton of other products that people use while in beta? Android's main strength is that it is open, cutting edge and changeable.

      And with no charge to purchase or monthly service charges. People will put up with a lot more shit for free than when they pay. The for pay version of gmail is not bleeding edge constantly changing.

      Don't want something -slightly- unstable? Get a BlackBerry and its outdated architecture. Want something that is going to be nearly the same from begin

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ircmaxell (1117387)

        I've had an iPhone since a month after the initial release. I've not had a crash, a lockup or any other sort of issue

        That's odd, because EVERY SINGLE person I know with an iPhone has had an issue at one point or another. Sometimes it took a restart to fix, sometimes it took a reset, and a few times it took a device swap, but it happened to every one. Now, I'm not saying that the iPhone is unstable (as the GP is), but I am saying that it's not a model of stability. Neither is any MS product. Neither is A

    • by fermion (181285)
      On hand mail, search, chrome are free to the user products. Like broadcast TV or radio, if half the stuff is crap the one user is not going to complain all that much. For free we will use the half that we like, and generally ignore the fact that it is majority crap. The only issue is when someone comes up with a free product that has a slightly smaller percentage crap, or a product in which we pay a bit to get much less percentage crap.

      OTOH, phones are not something we get for free. Even if we do not

    • Google needs to understand that a constantly evolving 'beta' product doesn't cut it

      You mean like Gmail, Chrome, and a ton of other products that people use while in beta?

      There is big difference between these end user apps and an OS. Nobody cares if the code base for an end user app changes drastically from release to release, as long as the user interface evolves more gradually. In an OS, however, you heavily rely on apps from third party developers. That means your APIs should better be reasonably stable, because a lot of these developers will not be able or willing to support 10 different versions fo their software for 10 different OS versions.

  • Carriers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by silas_moeckel (234313) <silas@nOspAM.dsminc-corp.com> on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:47PM (#31707564) Homepage

    Lets think about this, carriers love to nickle and dime you to death, hate anything that gets in the way of this, and only wish to allow enough function to sell stuff. The LAST thing the droid needs is the carriers getting involved. All I want from my carrier is fast reliable service. Some of my least technical friends have droids and after a few days of hating them they come to love them.

    • Re:Carriers (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Darkness404 (1287218) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:53PM (#31707630)
      Exactly. How hard is it to provide decent data, voice and text communications? Stop trying to get phones and integrations and let customers buy their phones at other places and use their service. You know, for all the money Verizon and AT&T have spent in their dueling ad campaign I think they could buy and deploy several towers to actually give their customers decent service.
      • How hard is it to provide decent data, voice and text communications?

        Set up your own wireless network and get back to us on how easy it is.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Some of my least technical friends have droids and after a few days of hating them they come to love them.

      Citation needed.

      My experience has been the exact opposite. They love them right up till the 'new' wears off.

    • Developers receive 70% of the money from purchases in the app store and in the market. The other 30% of revenues in the app store goes to Apple. The other 30% of revenues in the market does not go to Google - it goes to the carriers.
      I don't know why. I can't imagine steam paying a percentage to ISPs for games bought through their system -- or google paying ISPs a cut of the revenues of their various products delivered via ISPs. Perhaps it is an incentive to carriers to sell android phones by catering to
  • But some companies pretend they are not.

    But maybe the author is right, and evolving betas do fail. Like GMail, Firefox, Chrome, GNU/Linux, they were all public evolving betas, and they all failed. Ah, wait, they didn't They are very successful, and keep gaining market-share every day.

    Off course, other software that wasn't ever in public beta state, like Windows, Oracle, Photoshop, was successful. Ah, wait, they were Public betas too, just the companies behind them pretended they weren't. And they failed and succeeded at the same rate as the other more honest approaches.

    All software evolves, and all software goes through a very long Beta period. Changing the label doesn't really change anything.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      GMail and Firefox are successful. Chrome is only doing well because you get nagged on the google search page if you aren't using it. Linux is only successful in the server market, and its fighting tooth and nail for that.

      Linux is too fragmented to take over and actually set the standard rather than chasing it. Chrome will disappear into obscurity the instant Googles attention turns elsewhere.

      You and I have different definitions of 'beta', but to me it seems that beta has no meaning to you ... as you foll

  • Community. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ZenDragon (1205104) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:51PM (#31707614)
    Allow sorting and filtering by rating. Problem solved. Let the community filter out the crap.
  • by anonsdo (1779824) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:53PM (#31707634)

    You *can* search the Android Market from your PC, without having an Android phone.
    1. download the Android SDK
    2. start an Android Emulator, this gets you a virtual phone that uses your PC's internet connection
    3. load the Android Market application on to the Emulator
    4. Open the Android Market application
    5. Search the Android Market

    This is not an easy process. But, I have done it, and it works.

  • by DarkXale (1771414)
    I think the biggest problem with the Android market at the moment is its somewhat limited availability. You can't purchase apps in Sweden for example, and there are quite a good number of Android users here. Naturally, thats also going to skew the numbers that the article is using. You can't expect Android phones to have the same number of apps-purchased-per-phone, when a large amount of phones don't actually have that access to begin with. I think thats the point that the article is trying to make, altho
  • by r_jensen11 (598210) on Friday April 02, 2010 @12:56PM (#31707656)

    ... and hand over the entire management of the Android Market to carriers, OEMs and trusted publishers.

    Wait, is this guy implying that carriers are to be trusted publisher? They have tighter sphinxes than Apple does - how would this help consumers reach applications when phones purchased via said carriers disable functions on the phones they resell, just to charge extra money to re-enable them? (e.g. charging extra monthly fees so that their consumers can use GPS on their phones- which does not require any interaction with the cell towers, let alone the phone company!)

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      I think he's really just trying to say that anarchy isn't going to work and just about anything would be better than anarchy as far as the general public is concerned. Even at the cost of being ripped off more often than we already are.

  • I'm considering buying a Nexus One right now and I really appreciate that Google has given us this other choice to the overly-controlled Disneyesque land of phones.

    If this article's advice were followed, what exactly would distinguish Android from the other smartphone OSes? What would we need more "me too" phones for?

    I do think the Android Marketplace could be better organized, but the answer isn't to copycat Apple's iTunes app store. For me, I'm tired of swimming in the sea of shovelware apps as Apple pres

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Copying the AppStore in what respect? I do think its safer for the general public to have an Apple like model than anarchy.

      But other than that specific point, the AppStore is kind of shitty. I never find apps I'm interested in on the AppStore, browsing it is just crappy and finding new apps that may be interesting to me is practically impossible without a third party.

      The Apple AppStore is rather shitty from the usability perspective at this point imo, but its REALLY REALLY hard to argue with the numbers.

  • 'If Google is to present a threat to the Apple App Store ecosystem, it needs to address discovery and purchasing as a matter of urgency, or abandon control and hand over the entire management of the Android Market to carriers, OEMs and trusted publishers.'

    So, Google need to step up and do something right or do something a thousand times worse?
    Just my opinion but that seems like a pretty extreme pair of options!

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Welp, when you take a look at the rest of the world ... what you're saying is 'a thousand times worse' seems to be doing about a million times better than the current implementation that Google has.

      So yes, they really do need to either do it right or take the other route. Their current route doesn't have a pretty path in front of it unless frustration is something you find 'pretty'

  • I've been an Android user for over a year now. I kind of agree. Most of this isn't gaming specific though. Here's the problems as I see it.

    The search functionality in the android market stinks. This is Google "king of search", but if you don't have the exact app name, good luck finding anything.

    There's only 1 level deep categorization. Big hierarchies are a pain to manage, and some apps fit multiple categories. And it's hard to display a tree on a small screen. But only having 1 level deep makes it ver

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      There's what, 3 or 4 iphone versions to deal with?

      It should also be noted that if you're running an older iPhone with a current OS, the app will never know the difference unless it makes an effort to check. This is good and bad. Its good because the app will run and appear to work. Its bad in that if you don't have a GPS you may not ever realize how shitty the location is, and you might not realize that the compass returns north all the time ... so you'll get unexpected behavior and probably not what you

  • Google is doing just fine on there own. They are bucking norms and the consumers are rewarding them for it.

    That being said, having the android market searchable online with a lot more filters would be nice; turning over control not so much. I really don't want to be tethered to Verizon's or T-mobiles wishes. I prefer the openness of the android platform. If I didn't want the openness I'd have bought and iPhone.
  • And I was hoping Google was getting into the market for android fleas. It's a highly untapped segment.
  • I conclude therefore that a large proportion of Android users simply cannot purchase and download paid for apps to their phone

    Not all countries have access to paid apps right now. Google has to speed up on making paid apps available to these countries, otherwise the ratio of apps purchased may just stay that way.

  • There's an even bigger problem w/the Android Marketplace when accessed from your phone. It's possible for developers to write applications that wont work on your particular phone model. With only a few Android models now that's not that big of an issue, but what happens when that Skyrockets to 50 devices in another year or so?

    I have a Nexus One and while I love it I routinely download applications that don't work on my phone. They'll either frequently crash, or wont fully startup, or just hang when run.

    • by revlayle (964221)
      I think maybe a compatibility section for each app in the market would be a start, even if user reported
  • by papasui (567265) on Friday April 02, 2010 @01:22PM (#31707960) Homepage
    You can't buy 100% of the applications on any android phone. For example on my wife's Motorola Backflip she can't get Google Goggles. Sit right next to her on the same network using a different Android phone we can download it. Other applications such as Facebook and Pandora are resolution limited and won't work on certain phones. Now you can argue that its up to the developers to make applications that work across the board but perhaps it should be a requirement for getting listed on the Android store. Either way, I currently have 2 Android phones in my house and an iPhone3GS. The iPhone is the one that I use the most.
  • I would guess that Google shrugs off "Just 21% of Android users purchase one or more paid apps per month, compared with 50% of iPhone users". A lot of the free apps are ad-supported. Google bought AdMob which seems to be the dominant way to deliver ads to Android phone apps. From Google's point of view, having lots of free ad-supported apps is just fine. I agree with O'Neil that the incentives for investing in development for Android are bad now, but that must be more a function of the smaller number of

  • by Trolan (42526) on Friday April 02, 2010 @02:05PM (#31708434) Homepage

    Apple wins this one. I'm sorry, but the AppStore is far more polished and suitable for business use.

    iPhone/AppStore:
    - Daily reports, with regional totals for downloads and updates.
    - Five screenshots for your apps
    - Keyword search
    - Large app descriptions
    - Descriptions for app updates
    - Semi-opaque approval process, but it's getting better and tools are moving many of the code-level stoppers to dev visible before submission.
    - iTunes. For as many things that have been bolted onto it, it's better than nothing, and gets the job done.
    - Up to date SDK with current examples on all major code paths, and iTunesU access to the Stanford iPhone Dev course.

    Android:
    - No reporting aside from a total download and currently installed count. (Yes, your android device phones home and lets Market know that app hasn't been deleted)
    - Two screenshot max (Pet peeve: zero or two screens... one isn't permitted.)
    - No keyword search
    - 325 character app description
    - No update descriptions, you get to fit them in the above.
    - No approval, aside from the $25 to register on Market.
    - No access to your app reviews, unless you're on the handset.
    - SDK docs are up to date, but can be annoyingly sparse or wrong in spots. What examples there are often down-rev, hiding on the net and using deprecated APIs. Alas, it's a common fault in OSS: the code is the fun bit, the docs and examples aren't so much fun. They're often quickly written, are terse or flat out wrong.

    The biggest problems I have, aside from the search problem, are the seemingly arbitrary limits on things, and the last of any meaningful web side to Market. It really feels like Market is someone's 20% project.

  • This isn't about Java apps - TFA is about Java GAMES.

    Another poster, above, points out that maybe iPhone and Android are for different markets - one wanting frilly add-ons, one wanting open source.

    I think they're for the same market - we all want a phone platform that just works and comes from a big, trusted name for doing that - Apple and Google certainly qualify. Maybe this market does actually subdivide into those wanting a fully-integrated vs. a more open experience. I don't know - I can't extrapolate

    • by Anomalyst (742352)

      I don't buy groceries where I buy hardware

      I haven't noticed a substantive difference in the quality or price of soda and cheetos at the checkout end-caps of either specialty. The hot dog concession at Home Depot is particularly convenient when you on that third trip (Murphy's law for home repair requires three trips to the store) and still haven't had lunch.

  • The author and many users make it sound like they're acquiring new apps for their phone every few days. I barely acquire apps. In 15 months with my G1 I got a GPS app for when I'm golfing, and two free games for when I'm on an airplane, and that's it.

    I mainly use it for phone calls, email, and limited web surfing. I thought most people did.

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