iOS and OS X developer Matt Gemmell used his personal blog to call out Google for Android’s open ecosystem. The same platform that makes it easy for developers to submit apps to the Google Play Store, also makes it easy for dishonest customers to steal software. Once an Android phone is rooted, it’s not hard to remove the application files (.apk) and install them on another handset via a process called side-loading.
When writing about this open system, Gemmell says it “is designed for piracy from the ground up” and adds that in such a system “the existence of piracy isn’t a surprise, but rather an inevitability.” As an example of how badly Android is broken, he points to Madfinger Games, which recently dropped the price of its showcase Android app, Dead Trigger, from an already low 99-cents to free because of rampant piracy.
Gemmell argues that developers need to get paid for their apps, because money is part of what drives them to write those outstanding apps that help define the platform. He argues that locking Android down is the only way to curtail piracy and make sure developers get paid. “If you want a platform to be commercially viable for third-party software developers, you have to lock it down,” Gemmell writes. He ends his piece by advising Google to control this part of the platform because being “closed is better for business.”
You can read the entire argument on his blog. When you are done, come back and let us know what you think. Is Android too open for its own good?
[Via Matt Gemmell and BGR]