Android Market

We're sitting in on an Android Market press Q&A and just asked the question many of you have been pressing for us to ask for a while now -- is there any plan to revisit the 15-minute app uninstall refund window. And the answer to that is, no. No plans. Nada. But they did explain that the 15-minute ticker starts when the app finishes its download, so if you're getting one of the new maximum 4GB downloads, you won't get screwed.

There are 34 comments

BrandonEnr7 says:

Well at least that is a little more reasonable. Still don't think 15 minutes is enough because most apps still require you to do additional download (until they convert to new 4GB download limit).

Plus a some apps require you to configure and set them up. By the time that is done your 15 minutes may be up and you still technically haven't had a chance to try the app.

Jonneh says:

Yeah, particularly things like custom launchers. Those take hours to set up if you're playing with a new one you haven't played with before. Way longer than 15 mins to test THOSE out. Yikes :\

WarrenMSP says:

It's really impossible for me to evaluate an app in 15 minutes. And the kind you describe in particular. Regardless of any metrics they have, there's data based decisions and then there's "The right thing to do". 15 minute return window is not the right thing to do.

El Jefe says:

That's why I "test" my apps off of 4shared before I buy.

Perfect example: Widgetlocker was going to take me more than 15min to test out, so I downloaded the .apk from 4shared, gave it a spin for awhile, decided that I liked it, uninstalled the pirated version, & jumped over to the Market to purchase a legitimate copy.

I am against piracy so I am sure to uninstall any apps that I decide not to buy, but I do this because I feel that 15min simply isn't enough time.

SladeNoctis says:

The sad thing is that most people aren't like you, they don't care about the devs and plain pirate the games and never show any support for the people that put there time and effort into the app.

mitchellvii says:

If there were ever a policy by Google that screams, "We're Google so we do what we want and you'll take it and ask for more!", this is it. How does a consumer evaluate any app above the most basic after only 15 minutes of use? An hour would be far more appropriate.

This is almost as bad as Google refusing to put a sidebar on Chrome or allowing integration between Contacts and Calendar. I can never decide if it is incompetence or downright meanness.

mitchellvii says:


mitchellvii says:


bleedblue says:

The 15 minutes really is too short. I can understand 24 hours being too long, but why not an hour? At the most, an hour is a more than decent chance to give an app a once over. A twice over. A thrice over, even.

If someone is gonna rip the APK out, they're gonna do it regardless.

The 15 minutes really is incredibly weak.

icebike says:

Yup, you can't even test some apps in 15 minutes. Anything requiring coordination with another user (VOIP apps for example), or any video streaming. What if you download the MLB At Bat app when no games are on?

I wonder if normal State consumer protection laws apply?

ScottColbert says:

The Apple appstore has no refund policy so quit your whining.

kf6kmx says:

Yeah, and that's why my wife says she refuses to buy apps on there for her Ipad,... if they don't work like you are told they do you have no recourse...

BrianTufo says:

Exactly! I came from an iP4 so having even 15 minutes has been nice to have available.

bleedblue says:

Sure, but going from 24 hours to 15 minutes is a ridiculous drop in return time.

Granted, any window is nice, sure. But 15 minutes is weak. I guess you can also find some positive in there being a return window, but at 15 minutes you might as well just remove it all together.

BrandonEnr7 says:

Exactly, if someone wants to rip the APK I am sure they can transfer it to their PC in less than 15 minutes (if even 5 minutes). If that is what Google is worried about, what are they going to do next, drop it down to 5 minute return window?

kf6kmx says:

How is 24hrs too long?
If you are looking at something like an alarm or scheduler it can be nearly 24hrs before you CAN test it.
Since going to android from BB when the original droid came out I have bought MANY apps.. only refunded two that just either didn't work on my droid right or flat didn't do what advertised. But since they went to 15min I have bought NO apps that don't either have a free version first or I can see actually see run on another DX like mine. Its only hurting developers who don't want to have a free ad-supported version of their app to prove its worth/compatability...

DenverRalphy says:

To be honest... I can test any Alarm or Scheduler app in well under 15 minutes. But then I'm relatively confident that if I test it on an event 1 minute from now, that I'd get the same functionality 20 hours from now.

BlackHawkA4 says:

15 minutes is too short! An hour would be fair.

rahlquist says:

Ummm perhaps someone can send google to my blog post where I describe how to circumvent the 15 refund. its how I got ripped off.

icebike says:

Now however if your an app developer you can game the system.

svinyard says:

Go Cougs!!

n25philly says:

That's why I don't buy any apps unless I am 100% sure I want it before hand. 15 minutes is a joke.

likwidsoul says:

Really icebike you're being a troll stop it.

I can see the 24 hours being too generous, but seriously, I think 30 minutes would be a better realistic window for refunds.

ArrTooDeeToo says:

I don't see why they can't bump it up to at least 30 minutes.

Also, slightly off topic. I wish someone would have asked them if they plan on adding movie trailers of some sort (either on the movies part of the market, or elsewhere). We need a trailer service from Google to rival that of

uansari1 says:

There are people out there..not me of course, but others..that download and install the cracked apps first to evaluate them for a day or two. Is it "illegal"? Sure..but it's one way around the time limit, and I personally need a day or two to evaluate if an app really meets my needs. Just saying..

I do. And frankly I don't care. As long as Google pulls this crap I will continue to try out pirated apps first and then buy. I would just pirate them outright but that hurts software developers more then Google.

Dave4321 says:

What about apps that take 5 minutes to download and then you start them and you have to download 150mb of data? I am thinking of Gameloft games in particular

tom28 says:

How about letting the dev choosing the time. A dev making a game that takes 30 min to complete can choose a 15 min window and dev making a launcher can choose a 24 hour window. WIN-WIN

jungajuice says:

Apple gives you 0 minutes to get a refund, stop complaining

I don't care if Apple gives you -1 minutes. We aren't basing this on what Apple does. We are basing this on the previous 24 hours down to an insane 15 minutes. Its insane. There is ZERO reason to do this other then sales, less load on their servers, and frankly not giving a crap about what the end user wants. I just got fraked by a $10 purchase of an app that I can't use with Google voice, but I guess tough crap eh? There is no reason at all not to have at least a half an hour. NONE.

This is disappointing. Frankly, I don't see why 24 hours is bad.

envoy510 says:

To all the google supporters, the plain truth is that many people buy fewer apps now. I just bought my first app since the 15m return window went into effect. In the same period before that, I bought about 10 apps.

It's going to hurt developers. Period.

And, btw, I believe google did this because of games (people beat them in the return window and returned them). An idiot can think of a better solution: make the return window on games shorter, and leave it alone for the rest.

Naris says:

They should probably just extend it to an hour like someone up above suggested. Very few games can be beaten in an hour, and those that can probably aren't worth paying for anyways.