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 http://www.gregmills.info . He can be emailed at gregmills@mac.com)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Skype 7.9.746 - Voice-over-internet phon...
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
Apple GarageBand 10.1 - Complete recordi...
The new GarageBand is a whole music creation studio right inside your Mac -- complete with keyboard, synths, orchestral and percussion instruments, presets for guitar and voice, an entirely... Read more
Duplicate Annihilator 5.7.7 - Find and d...
Duplicate Annihilator takes on the time-consuming task of comparing the images in your iPhoto library using effective algorithms to make sure that no duplicate escapes. Duplicate Annihilator... Read more
OS X Server 4.1.3 - For OS X 10.10 Yosem...
Designed for OS X and iOS devices, OS X Server makes it easy to share files, schedule meetings, synchronize contacts, develop software, host your own website, publish wikis, configure Mac, iPhone,... Read more
Firefox 39.0 - Fast, safe Web browser. (...
Firefox offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and casual... Read more
pwSafe 4.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
Kodi 15.0.rc1 - Powerful media center to...
Kodi (was XBMC) is an award-winning free and open-source (GPL) software media player and entertainment hub that can be installed on Linux, OS X, Windows, iOS, and Android, featuring a 10-foot user... Read more
Coda 2.5.11 - One-window Web development...
Coda is a powerful Web editor that puts everything in one place. An editor. Terminal. CSS. Files. With Coda 2, we went beyond expectations. With loads of new, much-requested features, a few surprises... Read more
Bookends 12.5.7 - 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
Maya 2016 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more

This Week at 148Apps: June 29-July 3, 20...
Into July 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 the... | Read more »
Sonic Runners Guide
Despite its flaws, Sonic Runners' platforming action is actually quite fun. Though it can be a little more complicated than old-school Sonic games. Here's how to make sure you're up to speed when jumping in. [Read more] | Read more »
Rage of Bahamut is Giving Almost All of...
The App Store isn't what it used to be back in 2012, so it's not unexpected to see some games changing their structures with the times. Now we can add Rage of Bahamut to that list with the recent announcement that the game is severely cutting back... | Read more »
Adventures of Pip (Games)
Adventures of Pip 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ** ONE WEEK ONLY — 66% OFF! *** “Adventures of Pip is a delightful little platformer full of charm, challenge and impeccable... | Read more »
Divide By Sheep - Tips, Tricks, and Stre...
Who would have thought splitting up sheep could be so involved? Anyone who’s played Divide by Sheep, that’s who! While we’re not about to give you complete solutions to everything (because that’s just cheating), we will happily give you some... | Read more »
NaturalMotion and Zynga Have Started Tea...
An official sequel to 2012's CSR Racing is officially on the way, with Zynga and NaturalMotion releasing a short teaser trailer to get everyone excited. Well, as excited as one can get from a trailer with no gameplay footage, anyway. [Read more] | Read more »
Grab a Friend and Pick up Overkill 3, Be...
Overkill 3 is a pretty enjoyable third-person shooter that was sort of begging for some online multiplayer. Fortunately the begging can stop, because its newest update has added an online co-op mode. [Read more] | Read more »
Scanner Pro's Newest Update Adds Au...
Scanner Pro is one of the most popular document scanning apps on iOS, thanks in no small part to its near-constant updates, I'm sure. Now we're up to update number six, and it adds some pretty handy new features. [Read more] | Read more »
Heroki (Games)
Heroki 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $7.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: CLEAR THE SKIES FOR A NEW HERO!The peaceful sky village of Levantia is in danger! The dastardly Dr. N. Forchin and his accomplice,... | Read more »
Wars of the Roses (Games)
Wars of the Roses 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 1.6GHz MacBook Air on sale for $849,...
Amazon has the 2015 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849.99 including free shipping. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Read more
RamDisk4Mac App Helps Run Your Mac Faster And...
Ever use a RAM disk? If you’ve come to the Mac in the OS X era, likely not. The Classic Mac OS had a RAM disk function built-in, but that was dropped in the conversion to OS X. What is a RAM disk?... Read more
13-inch 1.6GHz MacBook Air on sale for $849,...
Best Buy has the 2015 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849.99 on their online store this weekend. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders... Read more
Apple Refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac – $1949 $... Read more
Apple refurbished 2014 13-inch Retina MacBook...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off original MSRP, starting at $979. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Seagate Backup Plus Drives Feature 200GB of C...
Seagate Technology plc has announced that its Backup Plus family of external storage offerings will now include 200GB of OneDrive cloud storage, a major added value, and the addition of Lyve’s photo... Read more
Canon PIXMA MG3620 Wireless Inkjet All-in-One...
Canon U.S.A., Inc. has announced the PIXMA MG3620 Wireless (1) Inkjet All-in-One (AIO) printer for high-quality photo and document printing. Built with convenience in mind for the everyday home user... Read more
July 4th Holiday Weekend 13-inch MacBook Pro...
Save up to $150 on the purchase of a new 2015 13″ Retina MacBook Pro at the following resellers this weekend. Shipping is free with each model: 2.7GHz/128GB MSRP $1299 2.7GHz/... Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale for $2149.99. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for online orders only, in-store prices may vary. Their price is $... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 2015 11-inch...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2015 11″ MacBook Airs as well as 13″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $180 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
Senior Payments Security Manager - *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple , Inc. is looking for a highly motivated, innovative and hands-on senior payments security manager to join the Apple Pay security team. You will Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Sr. Payment Program Manager, *Apple* Pay -...
**Job Summary** Apple Pay is an exciting environment and a…devices in a simple, private and secure way. The Apple Pay Team is looking for an experienced Senior Read more
Project Manager - *Apple* Pay Security - Ap...
**Job Summary** The Apple Pay Security team is seeking a highly organized, results-driven Project Manager to drive the development of Apple Pay Security. If you are Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.