Android Market

We see Google working hard to provide better support for Android developers, and that's a great thing.  We want developers for our platform of choice to be well taken care of so it's worth learning to code for Android and releasing great applications.  Google's not perfect in this regard, but they keep improving, and that's the only way to make it better.  But el Goog needs to start focusing a little more on user support.

Recently, I stumbled across an app in our forums that I wanted to try.  It's an Aquarium screen-saver type app for Google TV on my Logitech Revue.  I'm an Android nerd, and an aquarium nerd (we had jackets made), so I thought I would give it a try.  Just so happens that I ran into some Market issues, and was in some magical diabolical limbo where I had paid for the app, but couldn't download it or pay for it again.  It's not the first time we've heard about this happening -- the cofounder of doubleTwist just ran into it as well when trying to buy his own app -- and it's not even the first time we've seen it happen on the Revue.  There's a chance you've read about someone with similar issues on the Internet somewhere.  Unfortunately, it's a fairly common issue.  

So I did what any self-respecting Android user would do -- tried to hack it to make it work.  Wipe Market data, clear cache, even a reset of the device.  All with no luck.  I couldn't make the Market know I had paid so I could download, but it knew I had paid and wouldn't let me pay again.  All that was left to do was click the support link.  

Clicking the support link of course sends you to an online form to fill out.  Tell it some transaction details, describe the issue, and submit.  Then wait.  And wait.  And now it's been two weeks and still no response.  I get that they're busy, and that this is only a buck.  Not exactly high-priority stuff. But to leave a user hanging for two weeks waiting on any type of response is just poor customer service, plain and simple.  I'm fairly well versed in all things Android-ish, so I eventually contacted the developer with my transaction code.  But my mother isn't, and would have not known any way to resolve this little issue.  A little issue that leaves a big impression, and not a good one.  Google has shown that they want to take Android mainstream in a big way, and introduced a really user-friendly version with Ice Cream Sandwich.  Now it's time they focus more on the little stuff.

That Aquarium app?  I got a copy to sideload after talking with the developer, and it kicks ass.  We'll be reviewing it soon but If you are looking for a beautiful app made specifically for Google TV, grab it and check it out.