iOS developer slams Google for an ‘open’ Android that encourages piracy

Plush Android Robot

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]

  • GFerguson

    I have an ipad and a few android devices. After jail braking my ipad, i realize that there is a dedicated app for downloading paid content for free. A close system aint going to change anything as people would still crack it. Apple’s bickering is such a pain to end users that it resembles politics. Hypocrites!

    • Maxima2k53

      I agree.

  • Ecotox

    Like i have said before, piracy WILL happen, some people will always not want to pay for things and will find ways not to.luckily those people are the minority and most people gladly pay for quality software. Piracy is not exclusive to any single platform, be it android, Windows,iOS, etc. It also can’t be in just the OS developers hands to combat it, if you don’t want your software pirated then you need to make it harder to do so.

  • Anonymous

    It only takes one click to jailbreak iOS and then be able pirate apps. This dude is delusional.

  • Thomas’

    Also, where is the difference between OS X (not iOS!) and Android in terms of installing applications? In both you only have to accept “installing from unsecure sources”, afterwards you can install all kind of packages.

    He didn’t mention that this was also encourages piracy on OS X.

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