Kevin Baker, a UK-based developer who is responsible for the Android game Sinister Planet, has stuck the knife into the Android Market, claiming its open policy is a big problem.
“Google’s ‘open’ policy is a joke as far as I’m concerned,” the disgruntled developer told The Guardian.
“There are currently apps called ‘Throw S*** at Stuff’, other apps to download illegal files, Google obviously value these apps much higher than mine, despite the fact that it had an average rating of >4.5 and was in the top 5% of Arcade games.
“Now I’ve had to start over again, despite putting maybe 500 hours of work into it over the past year,” he added.
Since the Android Market launched, users and developers have said for a while it’s pretty flawed. It’s all too easy for games to get buried under the slew of rubbish apps, even if they have a good rating and numerous downloads.
“The main problem is that Android Market discoverablity is very poor, and Google themselves don’t help the situation by only featuring apps their are either (1) created by Google, or (2) iPhone ports. Independent developers like myself hardly ever get a look in,” Baker said.
Piracy and malware has also been a major thorn in the side of Android. Apps and games can be easily pirated and re-released as a ‘new game’ without any fear of Google enforcing a ban, or if it does, it’s too slow on the up-take.
“One of my customers emailed me three weeks ago, and informed me that another company was selling a version of my app – pirated and uploaded as their own… It took Google two days to take the app down.”
Google has always been attractive for developers as it is much more flexible, especially when compared with Apple’s App Store process, which means gamers can enjoy the likes of emulators – an area of gaming that is rather ‘dodgy’ shall we say, bordering on illegal.
And the downside of having a great deal of support is the sheer volume of questions and issues Google must be sent every day. After all, it’s been claimed the Android Market will overtake the App Store in the near future.
But this same freedom allows developers, who work hard and play the game fairly, to be plagiarised and consumers are inundated with malware applications that can potentially steal data. It’s issues like this that pushes current and potential developers away at a time when Windows Phone 7 is on the rise and IOS still dominates.
“I’ve got my app already approved for the Amazon Market, hopefully they can do a better job than Google,” Baked concludes.
As things stand, and from what we’ve seen, we don’t doubt it.