Greg's bite: piracy of Android apps verses iTunes
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: piracy of Android apps verses iTunes

By Greg Mills

Remember the early days of the Apple iTunes store? There were a few brave music companies who posted their music, since the industry was reeling from rampant piracy. It was a free for all with music being stolen left and right.  

Napster and other web sites facilitated the "trading" or downright stealing of copyrighted music. It was such a problem the industry was convinced the Internet was going to kill them off financially. The Internet created a mentality that everything online was free for the downloading.  Copyright laws are still violated, despite serious laws and penalties. Sometimes some a poor miserable pirate is hung high with fines of thousands of dollars per stolen song, but the truth is you are more likely to win the lottery than get caught stealing copyrighted material and being fined for it.

Apple saw that intellectual property rights, patents, copyrights and trademarks had to be respected for a viable on-line market to be created. We have seen DVDs ripped, posted online and distributed. Music can still be found with copy protection defeated. Apple made it easy to be legal and pay a small but significant amount to own the rights to use a song or read a book that is downloaded. The streamlined iTunes experience with "one click" purchases took off. The Apple "go to market" system has been copied by such famous names as Walmart, Sony, Microsoft and others with varying degrees of success. I see the downloading of movies, now in its infancy, following the same path.

When smart phone apps came along, the iTunes business model fit perfectly to allow buyers to find, download and pay for apps in an efficient way. You set up an iTunes account and at the end of a billing cycle, you notice small charges on you credit card bill. It is easy to use and secure.  In the background, the people who created the content get a nice cut of the income from Apple, who keeps the rest of the money to support the on-line store.  

The Android app store, while modeled after the successful Apple's iTunes store has serious intellectual property protection problems. Along with the open source software model comes a problem protecting content providers from piracy. Apple knows and the Android platform is learning, that without actual intellectual property protection, content providers, (the people who slave over computers all day to create the cool apps everyone likes) get ripped off.  

Content providers need to be paid for their work. If they get paid like a slot machine, as with Apple all is well. Since most of the Android apps in use are pirated, the content creators are asking, "why bother to create Android apps?" That idea is settling in and the numbers are not good.  

Junk apps which can be created using the soon to be released drag and drop Android app creator will proliferate, but the really cool professional apps may not come to the Android platform since content providers don't get paid most of the time. The Android platform is still growing, but I think unsustainably as paid content providers will abandon the platform due to the piracy problem, if Google doesn't fix it soon.  

According to a report at "Silicon Alley Insider," 97% of Android's top 10 apps are pirated in Asia, 70% in Europe and 43% in North America.  App creators are a group of people who demand to get paid for their work and the best apps are going to bypass the Android platform if this problem is not fixed.

Google plans to allow Android apps to "check in" regularly to confirm the app has been paid for or it will "disappear." This feature, that must be supported in the Android operating system, is likely to be hacked into not working. That is the problem with open source operating systems that Apple avoids having a closed system.  

While you can jail break your iPhone and iPad to do things Apple wants to discourage, that is not an easy or problem free way to go. Apple makes it easy to do the right thing and charges a fair price for being legal. To me, jail breaking your Apple hardware is like buying a nice new car and housing pigs in the back seat. Someone is sure to want to do it, but not me. I like the elegance of Apple hardware and software working as Apple designed it.

Apps in the Apple business system are reasonably, priced but app creators know they can sell a lot of apps and the money can be quite good. The Android store has run away best sellers in it, but if most of the users stole their copy, what is the use?  

Then comes the "me, too" kid, Steve Balmer, and Microsoft's vaporware known as Mobile Windows 7. It's touted to be the next big thing in the smart phone/slate computer market. Don't hold your breath or you'll die. The only bright spot in the development of Windows Mobile 7 is that the geniuses behind the Kin phone are now working hard on Windows Mobile 7. That must keep Steve Jobs awake at night worrying.  

A further problem is that Google has a system in place to sell legal apps in only 13 countries. The Apple iTunes store is working in 90 countries. There are Android phones everywhere, worldwide. Where are Android phone owners going to get apps when they don't live in one of the 13 countries where you can even buy Android apps and be legal? I will give you one guess.  You obtain a pirated copy of an app and you don't pay the people who created it. This inequity can't last forever. Apple is well aware of these issues and I think will stay well ahead of the pack. The hounds are closing in, but are still a good way back.

I expect Apple to launch a very Applish drag and drop App Creator program for OS X for "hobby app creation" and still support the professional App developer community, which is well protected behind the respect for intellectual property Apple has fostered. Google can solve the problems I have mentioned above, but there will always be the open source problem of not fully controlling the platform, which will forever leave a crack open for the DVD Jons of the world to hack into. There will always be the sort of person who won't pay for anything they can steal.

I think Steve Jobs can sleep just fine, I see Microsoft completely bowing out of the Mobile OS arena by this time next year. I expect the Android store to have as many apps as the iTunes store, but generate only a small fraction of the money Apple brings in. By and large, the average quality of Android apps will always be inferior to what the iTunes store can offer. The economic infrastructure Apple presents is a powerful incentive to it's developer community. Good night Steve....  

(Greg Mills is currently a Faux Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. He's working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Married, with one daughter still at home, Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's web sites at . He can be emailed at


Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Typinator 6.7 - Speedy and reliable text...
Typinator turbo-charges your typing productivity. Type a little. Typinator does the rest. We've all faced projects that require repetitive typing tasks. With Typinator, you can store commonly used... Read more
Adobe Lightroom 6.2 - Import, develop, a...
Adobe Lightroom is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/month bundled with Photoshop CC as part of the photography package. Lightroom 6 is also available for purchase as a... Read more
ForeverSave 2.1.4 - Universal auto-save...
ForeverSave auto-saves all documents you're working on while simultaneously doing backup versioning in the background. Lost data can be quickly restored at any time. Losing data, caused by... Read more
VueScan 9.5.27 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
AirPort Utility 6.3.6 - Set up and manag...
Note: Most recent release available only within OS X 10.11 El Capitan update. Use AirPort Utility to set up and manage your Wi-Fi network and AirPort base stations, including AirPort Express, AirPort... Read more
Quicksilver 1.3.1 - Application launcher...
Quicksilver is a light, fast and free Mac application that gives you the power to control your Mac with keystrokes alone. Quicksilver allows you to find what you need quickly and easily, then act... Read more
Tidy Up (Five Users) 4.1.5 - Find duplic...
Tidy Up is a complete duplicate finder and disk-tidiness utility. With Tidy Up you can search for duplicate files and packages by the owner application, content, type, creator, extension, time... Read more
Mellel 3.4.3 - The word processor of cho...
Mellel is the leading word processor for OS X and has been widely considered the industry standard since its inception. Mellel focuses on writers and scholars for technical writing and multilingual... Read more
Skype - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
Bookends 12.6.0 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more

Camel Up (Games)
Camel Up 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
The Martian: Bring Him Home (Games)
The Martian: Bring Him Home 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Based on the best selling novel and critically acclaimed film, THE MARTIAN tells the story of Astronaut Mark... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: September 21-30, 2...
Leap Into Fall With 148Apps How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above... | Read more »
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter (Social Networki...
Tweetbot 4 for Twitter 4.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Social Networking Price: $4.99, Version: 4.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off for a limited time. *** | Read more »
Mori (Games)
Mori 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Stop, rewind and unwind with Mori. Time is always running, take a moment to take control. Mori is an action puzzle game about infinitely... | Read more »
100 Years' War (Games)
100 Years' War 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Tower in the Sky (Games)
Tower in the Sky 0.0.60 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 0.0.60 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
hocus. (Games)
hocus. 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: New, polished, mind-bending, minimal puzzle game with dozens of levels and extra-ordinary design Features:- Beautifully crafted... | Read more »
Mos Speedrun 2 (Games)
Mos Speedrun 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mos is back, in her biggest and most exciting adventure ever! Wall-jump to victory through 30 mysterious, action packed levels... | Read more »
3D Touch could be a game-changer, but it...
Were you one of the lucky/financially secure enough ones to buy a new iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus over the weekend? Yup, me too (I’m not convinced I was either of those two things, but let’s go with lucky for now), so I thought I’d delve into just... | Read more »

Price Scanner via

Apple offering refurbished 2015 13-inch Retin...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 (15%) off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
Apple refurbished 2015 MacBook Airs available...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and... Read more
Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 Gets Haze Removal...
The latest iteration of Adobe’s powerful consumer image editing appliction Photoshop Elements 14 analyzes your photo and removes background haze, so your shot looks sharp all the way to the horizon... Read more
Apple refurbished 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2... Read more
21-inch iMacs on sale for up to $120 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ iMacs on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 21″ 1.4GHz iMac: $1029.99 $70 off - 21″ 2.7GHz iMac: $1229 $70 off - 21″ 2.9GHz iMac: $... Read more
Bare Bones Software Releases TextWrangler 5.0...
Bare Bones Software has announced the release and immediate availability of TextWrangler 5.0, a major upgrade to its free, high performance, general purpose text editor for Mac OS X. Built on a new,... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available for u...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2s available for up to $140 off the price of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2... Read more
Save up to $100 on Mac AppleCare Protection P...
Adorama has 3-Year AppleCare Warranties on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - Mac Laptops 15″ and Above: $249 $100 off MSRP - Mac Laptops 13″ and... Read more
Updated Mac Price Trackers
We’ve updated our Mac Price Trackers with the latest information on prices, bundles, and availability on systems from Apple’s authorized internet/catalog resellers: - 15″ MacBook Pros - 13″ MacBook... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $81 off MS...
Adorama has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2218.99, $81 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan, plus a free external DVD/CD drive, and a copy of Corel... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're Read more
Senior Payments Architect - *Apple* Pay - A...
**Job Summary** Apple , Inc. is looking for a highly motivated, innovative and hands-on senior payments architect to join the Apple Pay Engineering team. You will Read more
SW QA Engineer - *Apple* TV - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple TV team is looking for experienced Quality Assurance Engineers with a passion for delivering first in class home entertainment solutions. **Key Read more
Finance Manager, *Apple* Online Store - App...
…successful global retailer. Innovate and think creatively as a finance partner for the Apple Online Store team. Look ahead and anticipate the needs of your business. Read more
*Apple* Retail for Business Support Supervis...
…is looking for a motivated, outgoing, and creative individual who wants to offer Apple Business Customers an unparalleled customer experience. The Apple Retail for Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.