Madfinger Games has caused quite a stir in the Android community today, when they blamed "unbelievably high" piracy rates for changing the cost of Dead Trigger from $0.99 to free. They give no solid figures, other than "soooo giant" and many are questioning their reasoning. We're not going to discuss that here tonight, but Phil has a few thoughtful questions about the lack of numbers if you want to go down that rabbit hole and join the discussion. We want to talk about piracy and Android.

I've said before, a big part of the reason people steal apps is because they have no choice. When you see all the reviews about great apps on Android, and they aren't available in your country, you have no other option many times. Of course, some folks just steal apps because they don't want to pay for them. Piracy happens, it's just not a good thing for developers. 

So, here we are, 100-percent anonymous. Have you ever pirated an Android app? The poll's below -- you know what to do.


Reader comments

Late-night poll: Have you ever pirated an Android app?


I pirated Dead Space, but not so that I could enjoy the game. I wanted to know how the controls were on a touch screen, but didn't have the spare money to buy it yet. After I realized it ran well, I uninstalled it, deleted the APK, and plan on picking it up as soon as I have the Nexus 7 to play it on. That is the only time.

I'm sorry, I'm not gonna get mad at a guy for doing a "try before you buy" tactic. Particularly if he did in fact uninstall and buys.

soo because he want to play it on a nexus 7 because it out preforms his current android,you find that not a legit reason?

Sorry, the Nexus 7 is not compatible with Dead Space. It says "Your device is not supported." It really sucks because i was really looking forward to playing it on my tablet.

Install Astro File manager, go to backup, backup dead space on whatever device you can, then just transfer that apk? I did :).

Yes, but just to test out the app first. I usually buy everything I keep permanently.

Here's a question for you guys: Is it OK to pirate an app you have on another platform?

...nor would I ever.

Someone puts a price on their work, I'll make a judgement on whether the price is worth it.

If it is, I'll pay what is asked, if not I'll live without it.

Half the problem is in calling them pirates instead of parasites.

I've done it quite a few times. In every case it was because I had already purchased the app for one device but for whatever reason it wasn't officially compatible with one of my other devices. Sometimes I'm able to get the application working and other times not.

Had to pirate a free app.
Glu's Frontline Commando isn't compatible with the Sprint Evo 3D.

Go figure, I had to pirate something that was already free.

Once. Back when the HP Touchpad only had CM7/Gingerbread, I downloaded the Notion Ink Adam version of Quickoffice because at the time it was the only way to get a tablet optimized office suite on a non-HC/ICS device. I had a legit copy of the phone app at the time, and currently have the tablet app so I don't see it as a big deal.

Oh yeah, sometimes I pirate them to check if they actually don't work on my phone, and they end up working 99% of the time. Gameloft and EA are terrible with this.

Then you are an asshole. People work hard on these things. Why should they work for free for your benefit?

To all the developers out there.
Make your apps free and get paid from in-app-purchases.

Two reasons why I say this.
1. It solves the stealing problem.
2. Your app is now everywhere and you have a greater chance of people re-spending their hard earned money on your invisible data add-ons.

Oh please no. I'm already dead tired of all "free" games where the game is done in a way so you have to spend and spend and spend in IAP just to be able to progress in the game. It ruins the whole game-mechanics when the developer needs you to spend money.

completely disagree. I would rather pay 7 bucks once to get a game than to get it free and get bombarded with in app purchase requests that are not transferable. What happens when I install a new ROM that for some dumbazz reason, wipes my internal sd (rezound) where all my game stuff is stored? I would have to buy it all over again. Get a new device and you have to buy all the stuff again.

Main reason I try to buy everything I can on amazon, is that at one point it was much easier to maintain apps for multiple devices.

And yes, when I first came to android, I did pirate some apps to try them out, esp games. Those that I liked, I did purchase, those I didn't got deleted. These days, I just buy them when the sales run.

Yeah WTF is with some Rezound ROMS wiping the "internal SD card" and with no warning??? It's obviously not required as most ROMS don't do it. I lost a lot of personal files flashing an ICS ROM that did that. I always look at the update script now before I flash anything.

Oh holy crap someone has a good Idea !

All they need to do is like so many other apps do is either link to facebook to keep track of your in app purchases or have the option to create a login.... does you no good to save the apk to an app you have to login to ...

And now also if anyone has ever tried sending an apk from amazon app store mine was sending an App I paid for from my note to my acer tab amazon has found a way to block the install without their app store being present.. I am very sure they can build from that

I used to pirate a lot of software when I ran Windows. It's not that I was broke or evil, it's that I wanted to do something with my machine that a certain software allowed me to do, but I did not think that they deserved the $300-$500 price they were asking for my non-commercial limited use.

Piracy is the product of bad value. In the hay days of Napster, Turtles music was selling legal copies of CDs I wanted... for $18-25 dollars. I'd have gladly paid $10-13 for them, but they'd have laughed at my request. And now they are long out of business.

I did once try out WidgetLocker for Android by using a pirate uploaded apk. After having tried it, I would have purchased it for $1-2. However, they wanted well more than that and the "trial" started nagging me to by the license and force closing after 1 day. F those guys, CM and PowerAmp make better lockscreens anyway.

If you make quality software, you also make smarter models. PowerAmp had a trial for 30 days, then began the not working and nagging. Quality software with a sufficient trial option... I gladly paid $5 and would have paid $10 for their software.

Value. Offer it and make a fortune. Ignore it and perish (while we laugh at you).

I once wanted to test an app for a day to see how well it worked. 24hr return from the play store was no longer around. After my test trial, I purchased the app. The app was more than a couple of bucks...

Nope. Don't see why anyone would. So much is free or donate. If I like a donate app well enough to keep it I make the donation. Isn't that part of what makes open source work.

as many as the free and donate apps, there are many paid apps that are worthless and you wouldn't even want them if they were free. depending on the person, sometimes we're willing to pay more than we do and sometimes we feel ripped of. that's the way it is

anyone who pirates now deserves the virii they get. similar to PC apps all the spammer, credit card thieving, evil doers from eastern asia would love access to your phone via an app that has "full internet access" or one of those silent root apps that place the virus in the /sys folder so you can't get it even with a factory reset.

this is one of those times it pays to be honest.

1. Your link doesn't really work. Congratulations.
2. Upon digging around for the correct link, the article you were most likely trying to link to proves that both "virii" AND "viruses" are correct forms. So your link is ultimately moot.

This is pretty much my feeling on the subject, minus the pompous and (ironically) incorrect spelling of the word "viruses".

It was one thing when most software cost a minimum of $50 or so. But apps? C'mon. If you find yourself struggling to find $0.99 for an app, you probably shouldn't have bought a $300 phone with a $100 per month contract.

Is the very real malware risk worth the $0.99?

I know, the 15 minute return policy is a little draconian, but most devs will issue a refund if you had unexpected trouble with their app. Also, Google may waive the 15 minute rule on a case-by-case basis.

Ever since they added the 15 min return I've downloaded a few apps that I didn't own in order to give them a real go before I bought it. Like power saving apps, there are a ton out there and trying to decided which is best for me is not possible in 15 min. Esp. when they are all 4 1/2 stars.

I do not have access to a credit card and I cannot pay by debit card (tried and failed). I have contacted couple of developers directly to see if I can pay them by any other means but we couldn't come to a solution. Since I don't play much games I don't feel the need to pirate any apps. There are always alternate apps which serve the purpose anyways. I had pirated the overskreen browser but now I use the popup browser in its place.

What country are you in? I've been using a debit card in the market/play store for over two years, in the U.S. Do you perhaps mean an ATM card?

i don't have a credit card either, which is the only way to buy apps here in my country (Indonesia). I use my dad's credit card to buy apps but some countries don't even have access to paid apps in Google play.

My Eee Pad Transformer told me to write this.

Gameloft is the Apple of gaming apps. My tablet says even though you don't support it, it still runs your games just fine.

I seriously thought about it when TSF Shell came out and I saw the price tag but I ended up not buying or pirating it due to cost and effort. Still consider it every once in a while though...

Google needs to make app trials longer. 15 minutes is way too short to judge an app. Make a couple hours, a day optimally, and I guarantee people will pirate less.

How cheap ass can someone be to pirate a 99c game? Seriously. Android software is so cheap there is no reason not to pay a few coins for software that you find useful or entertaining.

Are all games $0.99? No. Are all apps $0.99? No. You call SPB Shell 3D ($14.95), TSF Shell ($16.80), or Final Fantasy III ($15.99) cheap?
Not to mention the fact that, as others have pointed out in the comments, some people still don't have access to paid apps on the Play Store. Some people don't have access to a credit/debit card. Some people want to try it out for more than the 15 minutes Google has for the "return window". I've never pirated an app, but I can certainly see why some people do it.

I only pirate apps if they don't deserve that price they put out there.

*cough* ex: SPB Launcher

Only apps i felt towards like that are apps that require root, such as Rom Manager, i just don't even need it any more as my One X doesn't have S-OFF so i do it on my PC as i need to flash boot.img each new rom, another root app is Titanium back up, would pay £1-£2.50 but anything beyond just isn't worth it.

Yeah I know. Devs don't understand that more money is made when they put a cheaper tag on.

Because so buyers become wary and say "is this really worth it?"

Says you. They probably price it there because of the work put into it, and they feel it's worth as much. Most people apparently also agree. If you don't think it's worth the price, DON'T BUY IT! It's not justification to rip it off.

What's Titanium cost these days? $7 or something? And what do you get for it?

1. Automatic installs of all of your apps+data after you flash a new ROM.
2. Automatic backups with automatic Dropbox syncing in case you lose your phone.
3. Ability to neuter bloatware apps.
4. Ability to "Oh, I'm not sure whether I like what I did here or not. Let me lock my backup from two days ago in case I want to go back to it sometime."

And that really isn't worth $7? If you lost your phone, what would you pay to get all your apps+data back? Probably more than $7, I bet.

If you install ROMs, you definitely know the value of being able to reinstall all of your apps with no manual intervention. That's worth $7, easy.

Cannot agree more with you. Titanium Backup is a beast and I can't imagine using an Android phone without it (actually my tablet is unrootable so it's kinda not true, but again, I don't tweak around much with the tablet either). I think the developer has put a lot of efforts and I can see each update getting better and better. So yes, I'm rarely buy apps more than 3$ but I'll be glad to pay even more for Titanium backup

I would loose the need to pirate an app if the refund window returned back to 24 hours or at least few hours, 15 minutes is just not enough, i feel rushed and i can't get a good feel of an app so i pirate instead to test it out, if i like it i buy it.

I have, but those I keep I pay for.

Apart from not wasting money it helps keep the Google/Play "My Apps" listings down to a manageable level, is there any good reason why it's impossible to remove uninstalled apps from Play?

Also, some apps are priced incredibly high in a country where perhaps £5 wouldn't be a lot but you go to a country that conversion rate is £5 = 26 PLN, for 26 PLN you can go to cinema in 3D and Digital 4k, get a meal at McDonalds or Burger king or KFC, and so on... so there's also that, how do i know this? was on Holiday in Poland, looked at the price of apps and it was just disgusting.

I think the country you've just mentioned already has a high living standard. But maybe Google Play could allow developers to adjust the price according to countries, enabling people from developing countries to pay more and pirate less (£5 is a lot in my home country, Vietnam, and I can spend it for several days of food).

I think pirating apps is like getting Amazons free app of the day except I get to pick which one.

some people don't seem to understand the difference between side loading an app they purchased before and pirating...

I have backed up and restored from Titanium Backup apps that I had bought. That might register as piracy for some. I have on a couple of occasions restored an app to a device a developer had artificially excluded from compatibility, having paid for it. They worked perfectly in each case and when the dev finally flipped the switch for the device, they were updated legitimately in the market.

I have never pirated an app on my android (or any other phone or tablet).

Sad part is I know more people who pirate software on their jailbroken iphone then people pirating on their android.

I have pirated one app in my time. I wanted to use Adobe Photoshop touch on my 7 inch tablet, but they said it wasn't compatible and wouldn't let me buy it. I found a pirated apk, installed it and it worked fine. I tried every way I could think of to pay them and they wouldn't let me, so I got it for free. If they ever decide to let me pay for it, I will.

Quite a few times, though that was before paid apps were available here. The one exception being GTA III, which I wanted to see if it worked on my HTC Desire I had at the time, it didn't so I uninstalled it and did not purchase it.

"try before buy", even if this are pirated copy from fileshares.
15 minutes to refund? Likely Google laughted on this for games with cache more than 100 mb, last gameloft game - Dark Knight Rises - have 1.7 GB cache!
And some things, there aren't in Google play, but Amazon appstore. Why I should to f ck my brains how to purchase game avoid strictly limitations, may be even very good game, like Highborn? There some reasons for apps and games, which not avaible in my country in Google Play.

Well if a developer decides to restrict access to his app, then f*k him. I feel no sympathy towards their apps being pirated LOL. Should make them learn a lesson

Did it, doing it right now, and will doing it in the future.

1. Credit card payment from where I am, can be very problematic.
2. Some apps/games are simply not available for purchase from my location. I'm willingly and happily paying for apps that allowed alternate payment method, like PayPal. But I also equally enjoy downloading pirated content, if the developer is too stuck up to accommodate willingly paying customer, and insist on methods not available to me. I go as far as offering TT transfers. If that's still not good enough, "FUCK YOU", I'm not the one losing anything and I get the game/app one way or another.

Yes I have, once, for Root explorer

I donated more than the selling price to the developer and pirated the app because I cannot buy the app because of the lack oa a credicard and no other payment option on google play -.- so no payed apps for me

Never pirated an app on android. Most of the apps I use on my phone are free. The only app I paid for was beautiful widgets on my nexus one.

Well it seems that some pirate to test apps out, a solution would be a 1-7 day trial to test out the app the decide to buy or not at the end of the trial period, like what they do with Windows Phone.

It would be great. For example, I would prefer model like VPlayer.
After install you get trial 5 day with premium abilities, after that you should to buy it or use it free with some limited options.

I owned a legit copy of Slingplayer on my Windows Mobile phone. Was very disappointed that my $30 license did not transfer to my Android phone. I found the apk and used the app less than 5 times and the quality was so piss poor I uninstalled and haven't thought about it since.

You're the worst kind of person. Next you'll whine about the number of quality apps and wonder why that is.

People need to get paid for their work. Don't be a dick.

Does it count that I had the Tricorder app on my old phone, but they pulled it off the market before I could get it on my new phone(CBS i heard), So I sideloaded it from my Droid X to my Razr.

I only did it once, because the app wasn't available in my country. And it was encouraged by the developer of the app who actually told me where I'd find a torrent copy of it :)

Its not a very good poll you really need to add in amounts to it like

0 to 10
10 to 50
50 to 100
100 to ~
not to mention "Yes but I bought it later"

because lots of people may pirate 1 or 2 apps but still buy close to 100 more

i paid for launcher pro a couple years ago and it stopped getting updated. ill just say thats the only app ive ever paid for.

Yes. There are so many keyboard apps available, I had no idea which one I would like the best. So for 6 months I switched between many. Eventaully I settled with SwiftKey and bought it after I was sure that I was satisfied. I realise that people like SwiftKey have Betas available, but not all keyboard people do.

I pirated the Disney World App (App Magic). It is only available on Verizon and I'm on Sprint, but living near Orlando I go there all the time. Even though it is Verizon only for download, it still updates as changes come out.

I know I'm going to get a lot of negative remarks from this, but I don't care.....I've NEVER bought an android app. I bought my first android over a year and half ago, I've never been without an app I've wanted/needed, and since the moment I got my first android I haven't paid one red cent for anything besides my monthly bill or maybe an accessory or two like a screen protector.

call me a pirate till you're blue in the face for all I care. I firmly believe that all software should be free, no matter what. There are more ways of making money than to charge face value for software.

You're not a pirate, you're an a-hole... Not every app can be monetized thru ads or other methods, but every dev does deserve compensation for their work. Do you work for free by chance? I'd love to know what you do for a living.

Are you so egocentric that your belief software should be free must override what the developers need to make a living?

By your logic, it should be completely legal to steal your car or your phone. Hey, I think those should be free, I'll just take them! If you want software to be free, encourage developers to change their business models -- don't steal from them and then lie about being on some noble crusade. You're not Robin Hood, you're just a cheapskate.

piracy is not like stealing a car. when I pirate an app, you still have your copy. when I steal your car you don't have it anymore.

I'm not really sure anyone can honestly claim my small amount of piracy has ever kept anyone from making a living lol

Hey, you a plumber? I have some work that needs to be done. For free.

Or an electrician, mechanic, etc? I want all your services for free.

$#!* off.

I pirate just to check in the app is really worth it ... root explorer is one of those apps that I'm never going to buy . I need it once in blue Moon because my free app explorer like solid won't do something (e.g properly copy a game save ...)
However every other single app that I've tried I buy ...
Yet I disagree with app that require you to pay for it and after that they have adds or more IAP . Dead trigger is the best example of this ... to get the best weapon like mini gun you had to buy gold ... this is unfair as its highly desirable item and should not be charged for ....

nope. never saw the need. I'm at a.point in my life where i can afford a dollar here or there even if it turns out to be a dud. my time is worth more to me buying a dud than finding a pirated version to sideload that is up to date and works properly.

Why give it a romantic name? Its stealing and no matter what the price there is always an excuse. Go into Walmart,take something and say Im taking this because Lady GAGA makes too much money or Im taking this dvd because I once bought the vhs copy and its my right to change format.Most wont do that because there is a good chance they will get caught but the net is safe.They think they are invisible. I dont need to steal dollar apps and I wouldnt because god only knows what nastiness can be attached to it. I buy most of my apps at the amazon store where I know they are safe.

Piracy is not the same as theft. If I steal your car, you lose a car. If I pirate your app, you still retain your copy. Some people pirate apps because they're not going to buy anyone, so technically you lose nothing. People who are willing to buy will buy them. The loss occur only when:
- You price your app too stupidly high so people'd rather to pirate than pay for the shit
- People cannot buy your apps due to some stupid restriction.

Either way, it's bad business model. Some people who pirate your app would be more than happy to pay if there's a CONVENIENT way to do so. But yeah, since you start to treat them like thieves, the loss is yours and yours alone

I really wanted to try Dead Space on android. So I downloaded the APK. Never could get it to work, though.
Now, when I had a jailbroken iPhone 4...that is another story. I pirated(God, I really hate that word, makes no sense)tons of apps. More than I ever dreamed of on Android. I think it is because they were so expensive & had no way of trying them out. Most were crap & I deleted them right away, but several were good, like 3G Unrestrictor

To all the android users please don't complain about 15min trial period .... apple doesn't have anything like that and somehow they do manage

Ok I just registered now so I can say this, all of you who judge and name call ALL people who pirate really should have some reality check.

Where I live the whole Google Play Store is blocked, no way even to access the Play Store and get just to get even the free apps. The only way to get the Play store to load is to take off my SIM card, use Wi-Fi with DroidVPN so I can change my IP and even then 70% pf the time it does not work and need to keep trying.

So, offer me a way to get the apps and then call me a thief if I pirated some, if not then STFU.

I would call you pirate. But I'm a pirate too. There's no way for me to watch Game of Thrones but The Pirate Bay. F*k HBO

I say yes because I'm currently living outside the United States even though I'm a U.S. citizen (Armed Forces Serving Overseas). Because of this sometimes even applications I've purchased before are unavailable for download and I'm left without a choice. Go figure. I would gladly buy (and I have) these applications but my current state wont allow me too. I don't believe I'm a Pirate for this and when I get back to the United States I'll gladly redownload/purchase these great apps.

I've pirated 1 maybe 2. The reason was it was released on the Amazon market but not the Play Store. It was when the Amazon market first came out and for whatever reason would cause my browser to FC so I removed it. I've easily spent over $200 on apps from the play store and donated more than that to rom developers and forums so if the apps I pirated weren't in Amazon I would have had no reason to pirate them.

I dont pay for apps. If its not free im not paying. If you had a lifetime license after purchasing an app and it was saved to your google account it would b different. Then if you brick change or reset your device you could always get the app back w/o paying again since its backed up to your account. Also as much as these phone cost 299 on vzw include a 50 or 100 google play store card that way everyone can be happy including devs. I spent 30$ in game for paradise island only to learn when my device bricked i couldnt restore my game or purchases since i wasnt rooted. Wont do that again so in that case the dev. Loses a customer anyway. The way paid apps are setup is kind of greedy especially with such a short return window. Wish android would really come up with something better that benefits us users and devs and not just the devs making "extra money" on the same person

The Google Play store remembers everything you've ever bought. You can even install them on multiple devices that you own.

The data associated with the app is another story. In which case you should KINDLY ask the developer to use the Google Backups API (yes! it exists!). Otherwise, free apps work exactly the same way, so none of this gives you a reason to pirate anyway.

I don't know if this counts but the closest I've come would be side loading free apps that were not compatible with my device (ex. Flipboard on my Thunderbolt before it was released in the Play Store).

I've done it, but only because somebody had posted a modified apk that worked on my device, I couldn't download it from Google play if I'd wanted to.

I've done it, but only because somebody had posted a modified apk that worked on my device, I couldn't download it from Google play if I'd wanted to.

A lot of people pirate because they have no choice, its a dumb excuse and a weak one but valid for many people because, either paying for apps is not available in their country or they can't add a credit card to their account or they get the this app is not available in your country (which I got with GTA3 which frustrated me but I didn't bother to get the game). I have had to sideload Blogger, a free app, as Google customer support wrote me when I asked them why I couldn't get it was because my country is "not currently targeted for availability for these apps", so weird policy or licencing is to blame.

I do believe that better quality apps will always rise to the top and people will pay for them. It amazes me for example that FF3 which cost over $15 on Google play has racked up over 50000 downloads in less than a month. What undid Dead Trigger and what upset me initially when I bought it for at the time I thought was a steal at 99cents was that in their description they did not clearly state that their were IAP.

I pirated around 2 apps, but then realized that if I can drop $200-$300 on a phone, and $250 on a Nook Color and never look at it again, I can spare $.99-$3 on an app. That was during my early days on Android (2009), and my app draw is now filled with legitimately purchased apps.

Well, I used to pirate. Not because I wanted to, but because it was the only way I could get games.

Most people out of the US don't like the idea of credit cards. I am from Malaysia. I only just turned 18, so anyway I wasn't eligible for one previously.

Why can't Google just have an alternative payment mode? I have reached out to a few devs whose games I pirated and told them if they had PayPal. Some didn't bother, which others replied they didn't. The one company that replied they had - Vector Unit. I immediately sent them $5 for Shine Runner and Riptide according to the Play Store price at that time.

In fact, the first games I 'legally' purchased were Anomaly, Osmos and others from HIB Android 1.

Am I really in the wrong? How do kids get to play games if they can't pay for it in any way? Parents certainly won't assign their card for their kids online transactions.

Also, now that I have a Visa Debit card, I buy games. Games like Shadowgun,Demolition Inc and others which I pirated previously have been bought from the Play Store.

But I am still a pirate for 2 stupid reasons: 1) Game not compatible with device (I have a friggin Tegra 3 tablet!) 2) Game cannot be installed in my country.

I would love to pay, but they just dont want the money so I cant do anything about it. Recent examples for No1 is NOVA 3 and No2 is Mass Effect.

I have to find alternate ways to download apps for my wife's Coby Kryos tablet just because so many apps show as unsupported for her device. If it's a pay app, I will purchase it for my GNex, but then move the apk over to her device (or download it).

Not sure if it counts as pirating, but I did download a version of Swype from xda at one point because the beta (which I got from Swype after enrolling) on my DROID was having throwing up licensing errors after an update. After a couple more updates from Swype were released and the issue fixed, I went back to their releases.

Have I pirated, yes
Have I pirated & kept it, no

I know it's not entirely the "right" thing to do, however, I strictly use a pirated App for those that have no free / trial version to see if I like it longer than the 15minute refund window.
- If I like it enough to keep it longer than an hour or so, I 100% of the time purchase it legit through the Google Play Store
- If I don't like it enough to keep it longer than that, I uninstall it

Honestly, I wouldn't even know HOW to pirate an app even if I wanted to. They make it so cheap to buy them and so easy to install, I don't even have a motivation to skirt whatever safeguards exist.

When I was in college and exceptionally poor (got my phone and plan paid for by parents) I pirated a few apps, all of which I've now paid for and still enjoy. Now, thanks to google's 15 minute return window, I've pirated maybe 5 apps this year as a way to actually test them. 3 of them I bought, the other two I deleted because I didn't like them and wanted the storage space back.

I've never pirated. I do think that what people are saying about value is right though. Not that it makes it right to steal, but that a way to curb this problem is by getting value right.

I'd like to know what apps out there do an excessively good job with the Freemium model. Triple Town comes to mind. You get almost the full game, very very playable, but it was so addicting that I gladly paid $4 for it to enhance game play. The difference with Triple Town is that I never NEEDED to pay $4. I could still be playing it for free and getting the same high scores as everyone else.

As a counter example, I'm also playing Deer Hunter Reloaded. I'm basically playing it to see how far I can go before I have to uninstall it because it'll be impossible to move on. Their in game currency is ridiculously expensive. Horrible model, and they won't make more than advertising pennies from me.

I have done a few but only to try them out and it was after they changed the return window to 15 mins. I bought a few different apps that didnt work right and couldn't return them because the 15 min window had past. They should at least give you an hour. If I liked the app I would buy it after testing it out, if I didnt I would just remove it from my phone/tablet and be done with it. photoshop touch was one, app worked fine but lack of saving photo in a high resolution was a kill for me. It made the app useless, if that gets fixed/changed I will buy it but as of now I am glad I saved the $10

I support developers, but because of the stupid 15 minute trial period, I "pirate".

1. Buy the app.
2. Run the app once to activate it.
3. Create a Titanium Backup of the app.
4. Request an app refund.
5. Restore the Titanium Backup of the app.
6. Try the app out.
7A. If I like it, I re-buy it.
7B. If I don't like it, I uninstall it and delete the backup.

haven't we been going through this on the windows/pc side for 20 years? not that anyone said it is, but this isn't particularly an android problem or a new problem.. just the old open platform license enforcement thing..
maybe google could or should do more given the 30% cut they take of sales.. but dead trigger is not required or entitled to use google distribution and license services (granted i can't think of many practical alternatives).. but if they wanted to the big game makers could make their own distribution/market hub with drm of their choosing.

edit: not a pirate here but one has to assume if it's easy to do someone's going to do it

I did once a while back, and it didn't work out very well at all. I think it was one of the Need For Speeds, and the graphics were jacked up. Deleted. Never really cared about it after that.

I've pirated apps but only to check that they work and that it's playable. It's still wrong but reviews only help you to a limited extent. I never had to do this with Windows Phone because the overwhelming majority of games and apps on WP7 have trial versions.

Obviously if there is a free version on Android, I will download it and then decide to make the purchase or discard it.. but certain games do not have these.

I had to pirate Mass Effect Infiltrator because it wasn't available for my Nexus 7 at the time. I had already paid for it before, it just wouldn't let me download it. As soon as it became available, I deleted it and installed the Play Store file. Now if only the the Dead Space game would become available.

I've never pirated an app since I got an android phone. Not sure if it is a big problem, but if someone were to infect an app before uploading for others I now have that on my phone, where a lot of information is. I don't exactly buy a bunch of apps but the ones I have spent money on are very nice in the free version, so buying the paid is an easy choice and usually worth it.

So far I've had an android phone for 2 years and an ipod touch for 2-3 years before it broke, and I never purchased an app from itunes. If I had a "paid" app on my ipod, it was pirated.

Any app I actually use? No. There have been a few times I "tried out" an app I suspected might suck but would take longer than 15 minutes to tell. Needless to say, they did suck and I uninstalled.

I can honestly say that the only time I downloaded a pirated application is to get a copy of a PAID application that I PAID FOR when I upgraded my phone. When I attempted to re-install it, I got the message saying that "This application is not supported on your device" although it ran fine.

The App : Beansoft LCD Density Changer

I guess that depends on what you mean by pirating. I've sideloaded apps that were not available for my device on the play store or amazon market, but they were free apps anyways. Does that count? I've also sideloaded a few pay apps to see if they were worth having. If they were, I paid for them, if not uninstalled.

Just like anything else outside of the software world, if I can't afford it or if it's not available, I don't need it.

I only ever pirated before because I didn't have the means (Credit Card) to pay for them. I heard the PayPal rumours and waited for that to happen because it was the only way I could pay online, but I think we know where that went.

I eventually decided to get a prepaid VISA (I'm just not a fan of buying on "credit") and haven't pirated since. As has been said many times before, people mostly pirate because they aren't able to buy the apps (eg: some countries still don't allow purchase of apps, and some people don't have a CC to pay with).

I support the devs and I don't mind shelling out 4 or 5 bucks for a good app that I can put to good use. But best of all, with all the Sales that happen now and again (particularly the one where google was selling select apps for 10c) make it pretty easy to get a good app for good money.

Had to resort to "Piracy" because a lot of free apps like Google Play Music aren't available in my country (Canada)!!

I pirated an emulator that had been removed from the Google Market (before it was Play store). It had been a paid app at the time, but was no longer available so, just like downloading a ROM is piracy, I pirated the emulator...
Though that is pushing the legal definition as the software is not available for purchase in any other way.

Then again, when I worked for AppleCare, just about every iPhone owner had Hackulous and Installous installed and pirated 100% of their apps. Those of us who used Android felt more of an obligation to help our ecosystem by remaining honest with our app purchases.

TabletTalk! 15 mins return policy scared me and I thought I'd have a little trouble setting it up with my tablet and phone, but it worked and I later bought it after a few hours.

I can honestly say that I have NEVER pirated, stole, copied etc. an application. I don't like the 15 minute review window -- I think it should be 1 hour.
All that aside, any way you can cut it, or make excuses for doing it or for whatever reason makes you feel good about yourself -- Pirating IS stealing, regardless of how you justify it. YOU are WRONG. I am not a developer for Android, but I have written hundreds of thousands of lines of code using Assembly, Java and C++. These android devs work their tails off, and they deserve to get paid for their code, just like it is a regular 8 hour a day job. Would you bust your ass for free?? No, I did't think so. Those of you who justify pirating for ANY reason are a lame excuse for a person ...Period.

Yes, I pirated the MLB AT Bat app last year to see what was in the $15 paid version that wasn't in the free version. I didn't think it was worth $15 so I removed it and put the free version back. And two weeks later they cut the price in half and I bought it. This year I'm sticking with the free version all year. If they'd make it 3 to 5 bucks at the beginning of the season I'd buy it every year.


I have dozens of apps, all of them either I paid for or are free anyway, but there are a few apps after all the run-around and crap service I kept getting I refuse to pay for anymore.

GameLoft's games.

Having an Evo 3D, gameloft apparently thinks I am not fit to be amongst other Android owners, and their games ware not avaliable on the Android marketplace for the longest time. Instead, I had to use their WAP (seriously.... WAP?) web portal to use their own store to purchase the 3D versions of their software. Said store only loads correctly if I am on 3G mode, 4G or WiFi causes issues and isn't linked to my google acocunt AFAIK so if I move to a new phone, I lose my purchases.

They apparnetly have forgotten this store exsists as it wasn't getting updated last I checked and it completely dosen't work with their own website. When there is a sale on their site, they give you a QR code or SMS link to scan to load the offer on your phone.... doing this on MY phone however either sends me into an eternal loop or just loads the full-priced versions of the games (and they aren't cheap).

I contacted them about this, its clear the staff didn't know what they were doing, or didn't care, nor did they even talk to different departments. After a bunch of back and fourth they told me they would give me two free games as a sorry, fair enough, more than fair.... but then they get back to me saying they actually cannot offer me any free games after all (keep in mind, I was more than willing to PAY for nearly every game they were selling at the sale price). Eventually they send me the apk to one random game, which I of course cannot update since its just an apk I would have to side-load.

So yeah, I refuse to buy any Gameloft games and pirated most of the 3D ones
(and only the 3D ones) after all that. I would be willing to buy them for real if the 3D versions were avaliable on the marketplace/playstore. I don't see why the 3D versions have to be seperate anyway instead of it being a feature you can turn on if your phone supports 3D, other apps do it. Just a way to screw Evo 3D owners over, as if Sprint isn't doing a good enough job of that already being the only carrier left on the planet that hasen't updated their Evo 3D to ICS yet.

sorry to tell but I have to admit I use 10+ cracked apps. The reason is 1usd - 2usd is not a big deal but having a VISA bank account is really a big deal in my country (VIETNAM). So how can I pay ? I cannot, and I want to use those apps. So ... :)

I never pirated a paid app but I do use hacking apps on games to get that obscenely priced IAP item. That gun in Gun Bros that cost like $150 real money or that $2 everytime you want to reset your stats in an rpg? Don't feel bad for getting that for free at all.

I have pirated TSF Shell because I can't rationalize spending $15 for a launcher I don't absolutely love. After using it and deciding I don't like it I uninstalled it. Also when I went to go buy MLB At Bat and found out it wasn't compatible with my GNex so I downloaded that one too.

I had "pirated" just free apps that for some pesky developer limitation I could not install directly via Play Store. Things like UNO Free (that was limited for US/Europe), Indycar Mobile (Verizon-only), etc... Never pirated paid apps. I bought a chinese tablet, thought, that included on system Quickoffice Pro. I didn't used it: as far as I could, I rooted the tablet and removed it with Titanium Backup Pro (bought when I had a International Credit Card). I used Root Browser Pro, but using a workaround published by the developer himself on XDA. This app is top of list to buy as soon Google enable carrier billing for Play Store apps on Brazil.

there really needs to be a "yes but only to try-before-you-buy, or because my device was technically incompatible" option.

you're getting a lot more Yes-es than you should be. i voted yes because i have been in both of the situations i listed above. but i paid outright or got rid of the app permanently every time.

I voted no, but, that is actually not totally true. I have side loaded APK' s for apps that weren't compatible with my devices, at least according to the Google Play Store. But these were always free apps. Never have I done this for a paid app. Honestly, I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but if this is considered pirating, I will not be doing this anymore. I cannot knowingly contribute to the misconception that all Android users are cheap, software thieves who don't like paying for stuff.

An Android app? No. I have "pirated" some apps for the WebOS side of my Touchpad, but only because I had already purchased them for my Pre, and the App Catalog said they weren't compatible/available on the Touchpad, even though they run fine.

Pirating mobile games is a silly waste of time. Sideloading is inconvenient, updates are a pain, and the developers deserve something for their efforts. I used to pirate PC games all the times, often for one-night, LAN-party use because I flat-out couldn't afford $30-50 for a game. Mobile games are extremely low-priced and often worth more than they cost. A good product at a fair price, I will happily pay for. Similarly, sales on Steam and OnLive cover all my gaming needs, and I no longer have a need for PC piracy, either.

I pirated once, but it was a $16 game. If it have cost $5 or even $10, I would consider buying it, but not for $16...

I'll download the app for free (OMG pirate!) and see if it is worth my money. If not then I don't buy it. If yes, then i do. Easy.

And yes whah whah ONE dollar, blah blah. Not ever app is one dollar, and it's not like i will only purchase one single app my entire life. Dollars add up!

Maybe the poll should include: Pirated only because app was not available in my region. P.S. I have never pirated an android app for any reason.

I installed GrooVe IP for free because I didn't really need it but wanted to have it in case of an emergency (if I needed to make a call but was out of minutes or had Wi-Fi but no service). I deleted it when I found Talkatone.

I said yes, but this is my "piracy"

backed up my legally purchased apps, copied some of them to my other devices that are 'not supported' even though they work fine

also got a nice ICS themed Swype from someone online, but technically I am a part of the beta

I frequently pirate apps to see if I like them or to make sure they are appropriate for my young children. If I like them, I delete the APK and purchase the program. If I don't like the program, I still delete it. I've heard there's a work around for the 15 minute rebate on the Play store, but I've not tried it. My buddy needed an audio mixing app for a graduation party and purchased one to try on the Play store. By the time he realized the program couldn't do what he wanted it to do, it was 30 minutes later and he was stuck with the program and less money in his bank account.

I, for one, will continue to try before I buy, but I will also support the developer of a program I like, as should we all.

that's what I do. I have 500+ dollars in paid apps. Good thing I don't have an Iphone.. Holy Jesus. My neice gave me hers and wanted me to show her to download apps. First of all, youo need a valid credit card just to download any apps...even free ones. you must be registered with a valid CC. The Android play store does no such thing. The iphone app market has MOSTLY paid apps. No a whole lotta variety when it comes to the free apps. on Android there are just tons upon tons of free apps to choose from. very very good ones too. Some are the same exact apps that Iphone charges a buck for. a buck don't sound like alot but downloading apps.. those bucks add up,, real fast. Yea but you should get like an hour to get your app refunded if it doesn't do what you need it to do.

Regardless of the EXCUSE, you are still pirating the app which equals STEALING. Regardless of how you justify it, at the moment the piracy takes place, you are performing an illegal act lawfully equatable to theft. Color it however you want it. I haven't done it and I won't do it in the future.

honestly im surprised by this poll. Developers as we all know are generally pretty broke anyways, this isnt hollywood we're stealing from, its individuals who do hard work for what they write. Especially considering this forum I would have predicted the opposite poll result. Just show's how shitty people are I guess. And don't defend your I want to try it bs, u have 15 mins to return an app for full refund, if you were really just testing it you would utilize that window, I guarentee most people who claim that still are ripping off our developers. What a shame.....

If I just don't have the cash at the time and I just wanna check it out real fast I'll go to 4share and grab it. But I'm in the poor bracket, so when there's a costly app that I want, that 10 or 15 minutes they give you to try it and return just isn't enough so I'll grab it on 4square and use it a couple days. Make sure I'll get my moneys worth and most times go ahead and buy it. I have Pages upon pages of apps I've boughten since the day the G1 came out. a lot of them aren't even there anymore or don't work. but I do my best to pay for my apps, I just like sufficient time to try them before I buy them. I simply don't have the money to waste on apps that I'll never use. BTW I only do that when they don't have a lite version or trial version available. and If I don't buy it I don't keep it, I delete it. But If I like it and plan on keeping it, I do buy it.

I pirated Titanium Backup Pro because i was unsure on if i should spend $7 on an app like that. A few weeks later, after using it to restore some of my backed up apps after switching from Stock Rooted (Samsung) to CM7, i bought it. It was worth every cent and more in the time i've owned it, an din fact, it's only gotten better. I doubt i would have bought it if i hadn't pirated it first and saw the pro features were worth it for myself.

I have pirated a few application for android, but before you start yelling at me. i used the application for 1 - 4 weeks as a test and then purchased it. Currently, I have 0 pirated apps and continue to have that many. however if there is an app that i think i might need i wold be willing to try before buy, but i always buy them in the end.

I have over 200 paid apps in my play store account. and that number will grow as better and more apps are released

Im not sure its pirating per say... but I have a tablet with a custom flashed os. Well, because of it, a lot of programs I use like hulu netflix even facebook would not come up as availabe on fhe at play store. I knew the programs would work.. so I had to hunt down various .apks at alternative sites.

I have pirated but not because I was a cheapskate. Gameloft games appeared to work on my phone then when I installed my device all of a sudden wasn't supported?! The pirated version ran just fine. That's not exactly pirating but I did once download PlayerPro since my then rom couldn't properly run PowerAMP; wasn't worth it as PA is much better in my opinion so I just switched to a new rom and called it a day.

Is it piracy when you disable ads from an app that is supposedly free to the user but paid for by ads? Ironically I've paid for apps that disable ads from any app coz they're annoying.

The internet exists for Porn and Piracy, so why the judgement.

Kind of pointless at such a low price point - just buy it. I may pirate LogMeIn Ignition in the future, simply because I will rarely use it and it has a high price ($30). Unless they drop the price, or maybe make a super low priced single computer version or something for occasional home users. I would actually use LogMeIn more often if I had the app.

I wish I could donate to all apps I have, but I can't because I'm just a kid, I got no credit card.

The only piracied app I have is Tapatalk, which I can't live without.

I also have adBlocker but all dev's that put Ads in apps are idiots, they always put ads in the most annoying place, MX Player even show ads within the video, and wants 5$ to remove the ads.