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June 29, 2010
Who Owns Your Android Apps?
A while back I noted Apple's poor treatment of developers and paternalistic gated community approach to apps in its store
as reasons I went for an Android phone. A legitimate question then arises: how does Android behave when it finds an app it doesn't like?
A post last week on the Android developers blog from Rich Cannings (Android Security Lead) gives a clue how they plan to operate: with more caution, in cooperation with developers, but still clearly in control. Like it or not, the Android is not a wide-open free-for-all space.
You can read the post yourself for details, but the gist is that they found two useless apps that were masquerading as something else. The developers then agreed to remove the apps from the Marketplace and Android exercised what it called a "remote application removal feature" to de-install any remaining copies of the apps from users' phones.
In this case the applications were free, so the people who had them removed were not out any money. I assume that Android would refund money spent for a pay app it removed in this way; regardless, though, the message is still clear: Android owns this environment.
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