Greg's bite: Android app store hacked again
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: Android app store hacked again

By Greg Mills

As I mentioned in this column in the past, the biggest problem Android will face in its attempt to be the "iPhone killer" that actually cuts into Apple's pie is being open source. In the debate over closed vs open software platforms, the issue that comes to the top, in terms of business success, is security for developers.  

Android's app store is much smaller: 100,000 compared to Apple's 250,000 apps. What's more, while free apps in both stores are common, far and away the best paid apps are in the Apple App Store. There are a number of good reasons why this is -- and why it matters.

First of all, every app was written by someone called a developer. These people work hunched over a computer keyboard all day, consuming pizza and coffee in mass proportions. It is hard work, and there is a steep learning curve to writing apps that are professional in quality. These apps are more likely to be sold than given away.  

There are business models where the apps are free, but advertising is run on the app to support the developer financially. Other business models give the app away and then "sell up" to a paid version of the same app that has more levels and or greater quality. Some sell enhancements to use on the free app they give away.  

My daughter has approached me about buying "mojo" from the mojo store to fast track her kingdom's development on "We Rule." What that means is the developers of the free "We Rule" app are supported by selling something on line to enhance the game (We Rule is cool, I have a little kingdom myself).

These developers like to be paid for their hard work. Using a Biblical sort of teaching tool, consider the farmer who has two fields about the same size. One field is very fertile and well watered. The other field is dryer and the ground is hard and salty, and nothing grows there very well. The farmer works hard preparing the ground and plants expensive seed in both fields.  When it comes time to harvest the crop, the fertile field has a bumper crop, and the dry field's harvest is almost worthless. For a while, the farmer plants both fields, but in time it becomes apparent it is a waste of money to work the dry field, so he abandons it and it only grows weeds.  That is the Android store's problem in a nut shell.

The quality gap between the Android store and the Apple App store offerings will only increase as time and the coming "hobby app creator programs" are launched. Android (Google) has a beta drag and drop app creator program in the wings that is going to change everything from a standpoint of the number of apps available for their platform. What is going to intensify over time is the quality gap that is already there. Hobby apps are going to be posted on-line for Android that are simple and not too sophisticated at first. The quality will improve over time but hobby apps are not professional quality apps a developer would offer.

The fertile field in our story, the Apple App Store, pays out money like a slot machine compared to the Android store. The main reason is security for intellectual property that is built-in to Apple devices and the App Store. That element is lame in the Google "go to market" system. That is much harder to do for Google than for Apple due to the open platform they offer and the numerous companies that create their phones.  

With this problem firmly in mind, Google added a License Verification Library system to their OS that is intended to check to confirm apps that run on Android phones are actually valid. That new system to protect paid content was almost immediately hacked. Since it does not require root level access to the operating system, a script is sure to come out that will disable the security feature all together for the Android masses.

The percentage of pirated apps on the iPhone platform for un-jailbroken iPhones is almost nil.  The world wide percentage of stolen apps running on the Android phones is thought to be over 90%. If this problem is not fixed soon by Google, the developers will quit writing quality Android apps in protest. With the hobby app creator program from Google coming soon, the numbers of apps overall may sound good for Android, but the quality gap between iPhone and the Android stores will further increase. This will blunt the Android surge in popularity. Who cares how many hundred thousand apps are available on an Android, if most of the quality apps are only found on iPhone? This is already true to a great extent.

Another problem Google has is that paid apps can only be purchased in 13 of 46 countries where Android phones are sold. So where do Android owners get their apps in the 33 countries without a legal way to  buy apps? Piracy of course. Once a person is used to getting free downloads, retraining them to start buying apps is an uphill struggle. China is a huge market, and few pay for Android apps there.  

One element in the situation is that Google likes free apps that use advertising to create a cash flow because they are big guns in online advertising, and that is how they make a lot their money.  This makes it hard to make serious money by selling quality apps in that market. Apple is also getting into advertising so they can counter Google's moves on their own turf.  

Google is trying to work out a deal with PayPal to offer more payment options and perhaps figure out a way to make Android apps pay developers dependably. Meanwhile, Apple continues to pay developers big bucks for quality apps that are selling well on the iPhone platform.  

I am bullish on Apple and think the Android threat, coming up in the rear view mirror, is going to fall back soon due to quality of the apps they sell, not the shear numbers they boast of. I also will bet serious money an Apple Hobby App Creator with drag and drop programing for making simple iPhone apps will be announced very soon.

(Greg Mills, is 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, www.CottageIndustrySolar.com using a patent pending process of turning waste dual pane glass into thermal solar panels used to heat water. Greg writes for intellectual web sites and Mac related issues. See Greg's art web site at www.gregmills.info ; His email is gregmills@mac.com )

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Human Anatomy Atlas 2017 Edition - Compl...
Human Anatomy Atlas 2017 Edition - Complete 3D Human Body 1.0.24 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Medical Price: $24.99, Version: 1.0.24 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Heroes of Normandie (Games)
Heroes of Normandie 1.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $14.99, Version: 1.5 (iTunes) Description: The game does not support iPhone 4s and below | Read more »
Why you should never power up Pokemon in...
There's no question that candy is dandy in Pokemon GO. You need big quantities of it to evolve your Pokemon, and when combined with stardust, it can be used to power up your favorite pocket monsters as well, making them more formidable for the gym... | Read more »
Webzen launches 3D MMORPG MU Origin on i...
Mu Origin is featured time and time again at the very top of App Stores in China, and within the top five worldwide top-grossing charts on Google Play.Its popularity in Korea and China, featuring more than 120 registered players in China and 6... | Read more »
Severed (Games)
Severed 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $5.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LAUNCH DISCOUNT ON NOW!! ENDS AUGUST 4! ==== Take control of a one-armed warrior named Sasha, wielding a living sword on her journey... | Read more »
CSR Racing 2: How to master Live Races
Getting better at racing the AI in CSR Racing 2 is a pretty straightforward process. You run enough races with a particular car to get its shift timing down, continually improve it by buying upgrades whenever you can, and add any fusion parts you... | Read more »
VisualRuler - turns your iPhone into rul...
VisualRuler - turns your iPhone into ruler 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Utilities Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Need to measure the size of the object but do not have a ruler? VisualRuler calculates the size of... | Read more »
Blyss (Games)
Blyss 2.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 2.0 (iTunes) Description: Travel through Beautiful mountains, serene valleys and harsh deserts solving Blyss' unique and self-evolving puzzles. The endless... | Read more »
Road Not Taken (Games)
Road Not Taken 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: "It looks like a cute fairy tale, but this is a turn-based game that's thorny with challenge and packed with an incredible number... | Read more »
What is PokéVision -- and why doesn...
The biggest thing that Pokemon GO players want to know is where to find the Pokemon they don't already have. The crux of the game is catching 'em all, so tracking down elusive pocket monsters is generally task number one any time someone fires up... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Notebook Makers In No Rush To Adopt USB-C – R...
Digitimes’ Cage Chao and Joseph Tsai note that while the USB Type-C interface is enjoying growing popularity among smartphones and tablet makers, notebook and all-in-one (AIO) PC vendors (other than... Read more
iMacs on sale for up to $250 off MSRP
B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $250 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2049 $250 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up...
Amazon has 2016 12″ 1.1GHz/256GB Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $100 off MSRP including free shipping: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100 off MSRP - 12″ 1.1GHz Silver Retina... Read more
Bare Bones Software Releases Free TextWrangle...
Bare Bones Software has announced the release and immediate availability of TextWrangler 5.5, a significant update to its powerful, free, general purpose text editor for Mac OS X. TextWrangler is a... Read more
Apple’s 2016 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free, and... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 available starting at $339. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 128GB Wi-Fi iPad Air 2: $499 - 64GB Wi-Fi iPad... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $964...
Overstock has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $964.21 including free shipping. Their price is $135 off MSRP. Read more
External Keyboard Innovations For iPad Pro (1...
I’m an input device aficionado. With non-touchscreen computers, which includes all Macs, the keyboard and mouse or trackpad are the tactile points of interface between user and machine, and the... Read more
GSK Rheumatoid Arthritis Study Leverages iPho...
Global healthcare products company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) says that since 2014 they have begun transforming the way they conduct research, by leveraging state-of-the-art digital technologies — a... Read more
Clearance 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refu...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 12″ Retina MacBooks available starting at $929. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free. The following... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (...
Job Summary The Lead ASC is an Apple employee who serves as the Apple business manager and influencer across a number of Reseller locations. The Lead ASC's role Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Charles...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions, Willow...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Evangelist - JAMF Software (United S...
The Apple Evangelist is responsible for building and cultivating strategic relationships with Apple 's small and mid-market business development field teams. This Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.