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Disgruntled Android developer sounds battle cry, rallies troops, demands Market tweaks from Google (updated)

Chris Ziegler

A dude making a living writing Android apps -- who, by all appearances, is an upstanding guy with actual quality software in the Android Market -- is taking Google to task this week for what he calls "unacceptable" treatment. His beef seems to originate from the unexplained pulling of one of his titles -- Rapid Download -- a fact that he discovered not through any sort of communication from Google, it seems, but by the fact that he noticed was no longer making any coin from it. He goes on to say that he was unable to get anyone in Mountain View to explain the situation until his third attempt, at which point he received some unhelpful "generic information" plus a threat tacked on that if he violated the rules again, he'd have all of his titles pulled. For someone whose Market apps are breadwinners, we can imagine that would be a little scary.

Long story short, this particular developer decided he wasn't going to take it -- not after paying "over $14,000 in 'service fees'" -- and started a site to get his story public and enlist fellow devs unhappy with the way Google's been treating them. Now, we can't vouch for the accuracy of the guy's story, but if this movement and ones like it gather enough steam, it puts Google in a precarious position; the Market, after all, is the crown jewel in the company's strategy of allowing only approved devices to be the most relevant to consumers. Take away the absolute importance of the Market -- like, say, Amazon is trying to do -- and the power structure starts to shift.

Update: If you look at the legacy Market posting for Rapid Download on AndroLib, we can immediately spot at least one thing that's wrong here -- the guy is encouraging users to infringe copyrights right in the product description. Whoops! Sure, Google should be more proactive in letting developers know where they went wrong... but if you don't see the problem in this, you probably have no business being a professional developer -- at least, not one that's claiming ethics on their side. Thanks, everyone!

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