|Closed for business|
|By special contributor henderson101 on 2012-07-24 23:42:53|
|"I read earlier this week about a developer who made their Android version free after the $1 game was extensively pirated. Stories like this come as no surprise, but the industry press rarely deals with the core problem - and nor does Google. [...] Whilst the aforementioned story about the Android game didn't surprise me, it did horrify me. Android is designed to be difficult to make money from, and the core issue is that it's open - with the corrosive mentality that surrounds such openness."|
|By Athlander on 2012-07-25 04:27:10|
Still, if IOS is so great then wy is Matt Gemmel complaining? He already operates in what he thinks is the perfect environment, why does he feel the need to attack Android/openess, it shouldn't affect him one little bit?
I think I know what his problem is with "open" - he was a naïve advocate of open source who has turned against it for some reason, probably a result of a traumatic incident. In his near-hysterical diatribe against anything "open" he comes across like one of those men who hate and despise women because a girlfriend cheated on him and broke his heart. So he seizes upon any negative news story to say "I told you so!" and reaffirm his hatred.
If Apple pulls one of his apps from the App Store, thereby being bad for his business, the poor guy will probably kill himself.
Edited 2012-07-25 04:29 UTC
|- Score: 5|
|RE: Openness and Piracy, I don't see where the match up.|
|By sergio on 2012-07-25 04:45:34|
> I think sub-par app quality (at least when compared to corresponding iOS versions) are the reason Android developers aren't making money. |
I think It's just the opposite. There's no high quality apps because developers can't monetize them easily on Android.
I mean, Android is less profitable than iOS, so developers have fewer incentives to do great apps.
|- Score: 6|
|RE: Openness and Piracy, I don't see where the match up.|
|By grahamtriggs on 2012-07-25 04:50:13|
Fragmentation is a big issue. You are always left wondering with Android apps - will it run on my hardware? Will it run on my version of Android? |
You do get the odd iOS incompatibility with Apple, but generally, it's much simpler - a small number of hardware configurations, and the apps can state which ones they work on.
I'm not advocating entirely losing the fragmentation - when it comes to buying the handset, having multiple manufacturers, each doing slightly different things (larger batteries, larger screens, smaller handsets, etc.) is a real strength in being able to buy a phone that suits you.
But there needs to be some broader "profiles" defined that handsets can be classified into, so that we can easily see what should work.
And it probably should be the norm that every app has a 'demo' install, where you can see it before you buy. I know that many have free and paid versions - but these are separate entries in the store, which make it harder to navigate, and don't lead you to purchase them. Get rid of that and unify 'demo' and 'buy' under a single entry, and make it easy to convert a demo into a purchase.
|- Score: 4|
|By Valhalla on 2012-07-25 04:54:12|
I think I know what his problem is with "open" - he was a naïve advocate of open source who has turned against it for some reason, probably a result of a traumatic incident.
I don't know, looking at his website to see what he's doing he is actually selling development services for IOS and OSX, so obviously any developer turning to Android is a potential lost sale for him.
As such his whole diatribe against Android's openess seems to be nothing but an attempt to persuade developers to remain on Apple platforms where he can sell them useability, interaction and accessability development reviews as per his website.
|- Score: 4|
|By galvanash on 2012-07-25 05:03:04|
The core issue is not that Android is open, its that Android users (many at least) bought their device because it is open - its simply a different user demographic with different expectations. |
Android "nerds" know that, if push comes to shove, they can happily ignore the existence of anything resembling an "App Store". They know they can root their device and do whatever they want to with it. They know they can, if they want to, write a little app and load it up without paying Google $99 a year. They buy Androids because they don't feel like paying $200 for a device that is, in essence, a glorified vending machine, i.e. "Please deposit 99 cents to play another stupid game you will spend 5 minutes on and never look at again".
I'm not saying there is anything at all wrong with preferring the Apple walled-garden approach - many people do. Really, there are tangible advantages to it - Im not trying to write a hit piece on Apple. But it isn't everyones cup of tea.
Sure, if you are out to make easy money selling mobile software apps Apple is your ticket. But attempting to repeat the same feat on Android, and then blaming your lack of success on it being open is just missing the forest through the trees. Apple isn't better for you because it's a closed/curated platform, it's better for you because it attracts a demographic that wants a closed/curated platform (and are willing to insert quarters on a regular basis to keep it that way). Android users are simply not into that.
My point is that if Android were a walled-garden it wouldn't be on as many devices and it wouldn't have such a huge userbase. And the only reason this guy wrote this piece is because of that huge userbase - if Android was'nt so popular he wouldn't give a damn. It reminds me of that scene in Avatar... He's sitting there thinking to himself "look at all that cheddar!" and he is frustrated because the natives don't want to deal with him... Poor guy, boo hoo :(
You can make money with Android apps, but its a lot tougher and it takes really good apps that users really want and need. The bar is simply a lot higher. We like it that way, thank you very much.
And one other thing... The whole premise that it is easier to pirate on Android is absolute bullsh*t. Sure, rooting and sideloading is not exactly rocket science, but it takes a small degree of knowledge and a bit of patience. On the other hand, a monkey could jailbreak an iphone and install crackoulus... And you get an online, searchable, constantly updated source of pirated apps that is arguably _easier_ to use than the real App store... If anything piracy on iOS is far simpler than Android. Did being a "closed system" help to stop that? Obviously not.
It's the userbase stupid.
Edited 2012-07-25 05:08 UTC
|- Score: 10|
|By pandronic on 2012-07-25 05:08:56|
To me, piracy was always about price. I never pay for music, because I think that it's unreasonable priced. I can't pay tens of thousands of dollars for my whole music collection. Also, I don't want to deal with DRM or dubious formats like Apple's AAC. So it's about price and convenience for me. |
But mobile applications are dirt cheap and really easy to get. This is really fucked up. What possible motivation could these people have?
|- Score: 2|
|By Gullible Jones on 2012-07-25 06:07:43|
So many things wrong with the article I don't know where to start. |
- I don't see him criticizing Microsoft for having an "open" model, but they definitely do by his definition. You could call Microsoft out for enabling piracy as much as you could call Google out, IMO (i.e. not at all, unless you're Matt Gemmell).
- His argument that openness is bad because it enables piracy is BS; it's like saying that the internet is bad because it enables black markets. Aside from throwing out the baby with the bathwater, it implies that the best way to prevent moral transgressions is to render people incapable of them. The potential here for reductio ad absurdem should be obvious.
- A minor point: he says "Closed is good for business." And we know that "good for business" == "good for the world," right? I'm sure millions of people in Congo could testify to that.
- "But freedom is bad, when you get too much of it." This statement gives me heartburn - because it's true, but Gemmell is abusing it horribly. IMO he is forgetting the operating principle of the statement, which is something like "Your freedom to swing your arm ends at my nose." If breaking people's noses becomes a problem, you don't put everyone in handcuffs so they can't swing their arms; you tell people that breaking noses is not tolerated, and enforce consequences for it.
Obviously part of the problem with piracy is a) consequences are hard to enforce and b) nobody seems capable of agreeing on what they should be. But turning the whole software world into a walled garden because idiots can't be bothered to pay one lousy dollar for a game... That is just stupid.
If I didn't know better, I'd say Gemmell was a troll. As it is, I find myself seriously wondering if he is a shill. And mind, I am not a FOSS fanboy - I do not use that word lightly.
|- Score: 15|
|Got it all wrong|
|By Soulbender on 2012-07-25 06:35:31|
> show me the money. |
Clearly this guy didn't understand the movie's message.
> If you want a platform to be commercially viable for third-party software developers, you have to lock it down.
Uh really? Then why are we always told about the big piracy problems on Windows and, to some extent, OSX?
How about game consoles? They're pretty locked down. Surely these closed and locked platforms could not possible have this problem? Yet they do.
The explanation for that is rather simple, really. The correlation between open and piracy does not exist. It's something certain people have created in their minds so they'll have an excuse when their products fail. Rationalization is a wonderful thing.
Piracy on Android might be a problem but if it is it's not because of Android being open. More likely it's because Google fscked up in some way or don't care.
Here's an idea, instead of whining about how your apps get pirated on Android and you don't make a profit do the fiscally sound thing and don't develop for that platform. You know, vote with your talent.
Maybe it's easier to rant on the interweb though; which, by the way, is based on openness. Obviously no-one has managed to monetize it....
> Life is serious
Maybe you should take it less seriously?
|- Score: 3|
|MS was built by piracy|
|By unclefester on 2012-07-25 06:42:36|
|MS was built by tolerating piracy. At one stage (early 90s) in Russia there were thousands of pirated copies of MS Word for every legal copy.|
|- Score: 3|
|Comment by Sodki|
|By Sodki on 2012-07-25 06:43:35|
|The discussion of this topic on Slashdot was pretty interesting. Basically the guy couldn't sell the app because is was crap and had some suspicious permission requirements.|
|- Score: 6|