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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Google blocking paid apps for Developer Phones

Apparently, if you paid the $425 to purchase an Android Developer Phone (ADP1), you are now a second class citizen. Google decided that you can't have paid applications.

Article here.

It's pretty surprising that they'd do this, since we're basically talking about alienating the most hardcore fans and the developers that make your platform worthwhile. There were a lot of areas where Google either just didn't think things through or rushed to market before things were ready (the Email app!).

Here is the rub, as far as I'm concerned:

Google depends on file permissions to control applications.
The developer phone has the ability to copy paid applications.
*All* rooted phones have the ability to copy paid applications (since using file permissions isn't very secure).

So, Google has decided to punish all users that have the ADP1 version of the operating system (all phones can currently be switched between all the different versions of the OS: US/UK/Europe/ADP). Note that this isn't the same set of users that have the ADP1 hardware; at least one person I know has an ADP1, but has a rooted version of RC33 (the US version).

If you took the time to put a rooted version of one of the consumer versions, then you are unaffected by this. And, since clearly all the people who spent $425 on the ADP1 are merely agents of software piracy, they will all be doing this so they can pirate all the paid applications in the Android Market.

Pirates! Arr.

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