Recently, I was given the (what I thought would be) amazing task of doing an Android adult app roundup. I prepared myself with a pre-paid debit card, a clear mind, a 12-pack of Milwaukee's finest and a dark room -- and went on a download spree. What was supposed to be informative and fun turned out to be a $10 pain in the ass and time spent on the phone with T-Mobile trying to get things undone.
Repeat: Steve Jobs might have joked (or maybe he was serious) that the Android Phone is for Porn, but as we found out, that doesn't mean it's good porn.
This one's about as NSFW as can be, so be warned before you click through.
The first thing I noticed is that you have two main categories of "adult" apps -- pictures of boobs, and weblinks to porn video sites. You will have a few real apps (mostly comprising strip poker or sliding puzzle games that use a picture we can't show here) scattered amongst them, but for the most part this isn't high-quality stuff. I'm sure there are some well-written apps with an adult theme, but I couldn't find them, and that could be a testament to either the vast number of crapplications or my lack of search-fu skill. Simply put -- there's nothing "adult" about most of these apps. They look to be designed to appeal to 12-year-old kids who just want to see boobs, va-jay-jays, or wieners.
Granted, there are some nice pictures of various bodies doing things that would make mom blush if she caught you looking at them, but the demographic who would search out this sort of content likely is too young to be looking at it in the first place.
But like the trooper that I am, I continued on through the sea of sin. Until I got "hacked."
I can't point the finger at any particular app, nor any particular app store, but one or more of these adult apps signed me up to "LoveTips4Life" -- a premium SMS messaging scam. I run Lookout on the device I use to test apps, and I know it works because it's caught apps trying to do evil once or twice. But it didn't catch this one. I spent a little while tearing apart .apk files trying to find it myself, but in the end I just gave up trying to find the exact culprit. It wasted too much time, and chances are most people either can't or won't be able to dis-assemble an Android app to look at the code anyway.
So I'm going to just say it thusly -- be careful downloading crappy porn apps on your phone or tablet.
It's no fun trying to explain to the nice lady on the phone from T-Mobile (insert your carrier here) that you don't really want to get premium SMS messages from some company and you stumbled across it on accident while testing Android apps. She's not going to believe you, and you'll be paying $10 for that first month any way you slice it. And chances are, the app will suck anyway.
Does this mean I think Steve was right when he said porn has no place on mobile devices? Hell, no. It's that attitude that keeps adult apps in the shadows and allows developers to get away with writing shitty apps and scamming people out of their money for premium text messages. I'm all for high quality applications of any theme -- adult orientated or otherwise. But I'll take a pass on apps that feature nothing but pictures of ex-girlfriends doing things that need mouthwash afterwards and may end up concealing some sort of malware, and I think you should, too.
And, besides. The Android browser works just fine.