Google Shortchanges Android Developers - InformationWeek

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Commentary
2/26/2009
04:25 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
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Google Shortchanges Android Developers

Developers who paid $400 for the fully unlocked Android Dev 1 are being prevented from buying and downloading premium applications from the Android Market.

Developers who paid $400 for the fully unlocked Android Dev 1 are being prevented from buying and downloading premium applications from the Android Market.I can understand Google's point of view on the matter. The Android Dev 1 -- as it's called in Android circles -- is fully unlocked in the sense that its users can access the root file structure of everything on the device. This means any software and any application on the phone is totally exposed and vulnerable to being stolen.

By blocking the unlocked Android Dev 1 phones from accessing the premium applications, Google is protecting those companies that are offering products for sale from possible theft.

It should also be easy to understand the developers' point a view. Here they are, the premium users of the Android platform, and they are blocked from some of the best applications available to the device. Android Authority's Michael Oryl writes, "If I had gone out and paid $400 for this unlocked device, I know that I'd be pissed off about this limitation." No kidding.

I have to wonder if Google attempted to find a happy medium before instituting this policy. Surely there could be a way to get the developers access to these applications with some sort of guarantee for the publishers of those apps that they won't be ripped off.

Until a compromise of some sort is worked out, Android Dev 1 owners will get the short end of the stick.

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