Android Users Ban Apps from Android Market, Not Google

Apple has been catching a lot of flack for their draconian app approval process, and for the most part, it's a well-deserved takedown. On our grass is greener side, Google has been looking pretty nice throughout the whole he-said, she-said battle between the FCC, Google, Apple, and AT&T and it's looking even better now that details about how Google deals with Android apps in Android Market have been revealed.

To date, Android Market has only banned 1% of the applications from its virtual shelves and none of those banned applications have their blood on Google's hands. Namely, the banning process begins with users flagging specific applications and then Google investigating the applications--there is no pre-approval process for developers to jump through. We, the Android users, decide what gets cut. The most common reasons for removal are apps that contain adult content or violate copyright laws.

Though not having a pre-approval process can lead to a lot of shoddy and useless applications being passed through, we'd much rather have it the Android way than Apple's. Plus, Apple still has just as many fart apps as we do.

[via moconews]

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Casey Chan
  • Agree. However, my one issue with the way Google handles it is that apps with bugs can make it into the marketplace and downloaded before they are reported and banned. I have downloaded countless apps on my G1 that have run really slow, crashed, or in one case even crashed my whole phone. I'm guessing with Apple's extreme testing process this does not happen with iPhone apps. This method begs the question: Could a maliscious developer create a app that contains a virus? Could it run in the backgroud and send private info to a 3rd party? If Google doesn't test it, the answer is yes and most users probably would not know until it was too late. I wish Google took a middle ground approach: Test the apps to make sure they work before approving them, but do not ban any apps as long as they do not crash and do not contain any copyright or legal issues. Past that, the users can still flag them.
  • Apps in Android tell you what permissions they need to run before you install them. If that "fart app" you want to install has "Read Contact Data" and "Full Internet Access", that's a clue that you probably don't want to install it. There are a dozen other granular permissions that apps can request. For more robust apps that are expected to require those permissions, it's about trust. No one is truly ever safe. If you see a nice app you want, you can check out the developers web site, see if they have a reputation in programmer circles, and make your own decision.
  • Valid concerns. But the next time you install an app, notice that it tells you what things it will affect. If you are uncomfortable about those things, I suggest not installing it. I haven't used a WinMo phone, I refuse to use an iPhone but I did have a Nokia running Symbian. So I can compare the difference installing on Symbian vs Android. When those apps install, as long as they are properly signed, they'll install. If the developer chooses to tell you what his app will do before it does it, that's good but not a requirement. But it won't do like the Android market and tell you what services and functions it will affect prior to downloading.
  • I agree with SDeetz in that there are apps that I installed that gave me problems and it would be nice of the programs were tested out. But, I guess its good to read reviews and wait for others to dl the apps.
  • I will tell you this. I have had an iPhone and they can claim they tested the app but I have seen quite a few "Offical" iPhone apps that have crashed my phone. I get my Hero this week and I will be so happy to not be locked into what I don't want.