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Should Google remove the option to sideload Android apps?

0. phoneArena posted on 26 Jul 2012, 04:38

The problem with Android app piracy seems to be escalating lately, with more and more developers expressing their negative opinion towards the platform's little to no protection against it...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:03 1

63. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


posted on 26 Jul 2012, 05:53 4

30. McLaren (unregistered)

Joking right???
Google now has to add a problem for itself.
Apple: No patent to convert Android into a blocked source.
Deal ; Forced acquisition of Google search or face judge Jo.
@iphonearena,we free people chose Android because we don't like us being commanded by a fruit device(No offence).

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 05:55 2

33. Evil_SaNz (Posts: 259; Member since: 20 Oct 2011)

As I already said in an another topic, iOS jb is just matter of making some clicks while plugged on the pc - it's neither required to put the iphone in dfu. Done that, it's much easier to download apps from installous than searching for apks on google that are always placed in annoying sites with ads and waitings.

Those that know how to get free apks would have no difficulties to jb the iphone, but probably people with tech skills above average prefer anyway android.

A possible solution would be making sideloading possible only if the device is rooted, that is quite "harder to do" compared to jailbreak. This way developer would have the fake feeling of safety, like on iOS.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 06:18 4

37. wickets (Posts: 12; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)

What about those of us that like using Amazon app store? And why cant developers issue a key with their app....no key no app; And one other point; people that steal $5 apps are mental midgets

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 06:23 1

39. wickets (Posts: 12; Member since: 20 Jun 2012)

P.S. people that know of others using stolen apps should out them at some centalized site EG... douchebagstoleaonedollarapp.com LOL when you go for a job interview and they google your name imagine the horror haha

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 06:38 4

40. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)

It sounds like someone stole Ray.S cookie and he's mad.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 07:08 2

45. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

Lol jail breaking is not easy and non geeks dont do it... Seriously every single person I know who are not even close to being a geek are jail broken. Jailbreak is. Simple 1 click method that even non geeks can do it and have seen them for it... I think you tech people treat the average consumers as being stupid as if they can't following an instruction. Anyone that can read can root or jailbreak especially when it's as simple as 1 click which most hacks are today. Please don't treat the average consumers as dumb as if they need there hands held always saying things like the average consumers won't be able tell the difference between an iPad or a gtab or Android is too complicated for the average person or rooting and jailbreak is too hard for the average Joe.. I think it's time to stop treating us non geeks as stupid... I don't have no special knowledge or eduction in the tech field all I do is follow instructions. It's the same as following instructions to put together a wardrobe. As long u follow instructions then you should be fine. Also If the average Joe is really that dumb like the tech world thinks then they usually have e a friend who will do it for them. On mad finger they never actually stated numbers of piracy. Why not give us the numbers huh. In the play store the downloads were in the 100, 000 to 500,000 range before it was free and the game has not been out that long.. I would seriously like to know how many people actually pirated and in which countries because the reason many people pirate is because countries can't get paid apps so have to pirate.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:02 1

61. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Actually, the average user is ...welllll, you know, especially the ones that keep calling iphone 4 and 4S, the iphone 4G.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:14 2

66. taz89 (Posts: 2014; Member since: 03 May 2011)

Well maybe the UK average Joe is smarter lol..

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 07:16 2

47. sinple (Posts: 132; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)

Connect iphone to computer, click jail break.

How hard is this?

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 07:19 2

48. Aeires (unregistered)

As many problems as it creates, I have to say no because it offers too much. Instead, app developers need to change the way they do business, like forcing verification processes for paid high end apps.

Besides that, the average people who pirate/side load apps are the people who know about rooting. Custom roms will always have the ability to side load, so unless you make the entire ecosystem a walled garden, it's not going to work.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 07:39 2

51. ibap (Posts: 785; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)

I rarely sideload, but - I've got at least one older app that works fine on my phone, but is no longer available in the market. It relates to NPR stations and there was a free version and a paid version (which I bought), but is simply not there any more. Should I have to lose this because I can't 'sideload' it from my backed up apk? Or maybe it is there with a new name and I just can't find it? Searching the market is often a crapshoot.

I also often clean up and remove apps from my phone, after backing them up. Should I have to rely on the market to be able to re-install them, especially if they are older versions that run on my phone and the newer versions may not?

If they're going to do anything to restrict sideloading, they've got to commit to preserving everything so it will be there when you need it. And/or there needs to be a way to tag a backed-up apk so you can re-install it.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 07:42 1

52. KazEmpire (Posts: 39; Member since: 07 Nov 2011)

Well i live in IRAN and google doesnt even allow me to download FREEEE apps from play store. if i cant install sideloaded apps then how im suppose to install one single app?

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 20:55 1

92. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

move out of Iran and you will see a whole new world, my friend. I know from experience as I have several friends that I have met over the years that moved out of Afghanistan and Iran.....one owned a bike business prior to the Russians taken over things, many moons ago.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 07:53 1

53. script_writer (banned) (Posts: 56; Member since: 27 Jun 2012)

i can totally see where their coming from but if they were to remove the option, there plenty of other up and coming OS to jump onto. Amazon, firefox, and facebook are all still developing at the mo but they have their chance to shine (or not) when they all launch.

I like my freedom

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 07:57 2

54. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)

They have already set it up to verify if apps are paid there's no reason to take away the ability to side load apps..

The end.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:20 1

55. AlanB412 (Posts: 32; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)

I think dev-side verification checks would be the better idea. I currently have various apps that were made by some intelligent devs that like getting their money. These apps perform verification checks, and if you're using a pirated version they simply won't run or they'll boot you back to "free" functionality. Blocking unknown sources might work to dispel casual users from piracy, but as with iPhones the casual users are more likely to be the ones paying for their apps anyways. If unknown sources were blocked you can be sure that xda and all the other sites would find a workaround immediately, and anyone who is determined enough to keep side loading pirated apps will be doing it again anyways. If security and piracy is that big of a problem, then GOOD alternatives to this should be found. A simple fix like blocking unknown sources isn't so much of a protection as it is a false barrier. Erizon and AT&T phones have been doing that for years and it has not stopped me from bypassing them so I can install things like Amazon Appstore.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:01

60. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Well, both companies' Android phones allow you to sideload, load from alternate app store.

posted on 02 Aug 2012, 04:46

121. djcoder (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Aug 2012)

AT&T phones blocked sideloading a while ago I believe.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:24 2

56. Hammerfest (Posts: 384; Member since: 12 May 2012)

First off, yeah, agree with everyone else, the poll is put forth horribly.

That being said, if you want this, go to Apple and iOS, because there is NO piracy there right? RIGHT?... WRONG

Needless to say, I use the sideload install feature every time I get a new device, or setup a device for someone else, expecially when I dont have their login info! I wont even ask them for it either, and telling them the basics to get when they finally do get/add an account is POINTLESS, so things like Adobe/Flash/Keyboard(alternative) and some basic tools.

I will agree that Android needs some BETTER* tools for developers to help curve the loss, HOWEVER, those who already KNOW how to pirate anything, and are currently causing them "issues" will only adapt and overcome any roadblock and only serve to cripple the platform in the future. THAT BEING SAID, Google has put into place some Developer tools and "DRM" type features into JB 4.1, but like I said, it will NEVER stop piracy for those who are UNWILLING to pay ALREADY.

There are some GREAT arguments for both sides (mainly against, still) of the Developers letter here:http://yro.slashdot.org/story/12/07/24/205211/app- developer-android-designed-for-piracy?sbsrc=md

Personally, there where some issues I know of/have seen, but more then half the developers issue is... well a DEVELOPER issue, not the fault of the platform...

*I have used a few tools written in 2011 and 2012 for my PC, guess what? instead of using a nice GUI, they use the CMD prompt... DEVELOPER ISSUE, the code is THERE for the GUI, but they either didnt know how, or chose not to, NOT A PLATFORM ISSUE.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 08:59

58. good2great (Posts: 1042; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)

and this folks is why android is better than iOS...

i voted yes, for unselfish reasons.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 11:37 2

74. Whateverman (Posts: 3284; Member since: 17 May 2009)

Only one of many reasons why it's better than iOS. BTW, ever heard of installous? What's that saying about people who live in glass houses...

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:00

59. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

I am not concerned about this as we will still find a way around whatever Google does....

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:03 1

62. cncrim (Posts: 910; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)

Pay app need to be encrypted

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:05 2

64. Jayray78 (Posts: 13; Member since: 01 Jun 2011)

I'd like to take this time to point back to recent survey saying the 93% of game downloaders pay for them.http://www.phonearena.com/news/Nielsen-survey-shows-that-Games-are-the-most-installed-apps-category_id20122

I also seem to remember that the average Android user only installs 22 apps.

While, yes, its incredibly easy to pirate apps, its definitely not the majority of users. Like, its easy to root your phone, but less than 1% of users do it.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:27 1

67. Shubham412302 (Posts: 454; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)

this can only be prevented by making android close source (which is impossible) and removing debugging options...........
so android will be totally like wp and ios.......
then only meego is a better option(hope jolla will be showing their mobiles soon)
even side loaded apps are available for wp7 by flashing roms

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 09:29 1

68. AndroidShiz (Posts: 154; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)

I have apps that I paid for that often say they don't work with my device, at least the market says they don't. I usually back up my favorite apps especially if they don't have a history of being updated. Often when I sideload, they work perfectly fine. Often the dev has no real plans to make it compatible, so I sideload to continue using the app. Gameloft and others like them, simply do a license check beforehand, that's all devs have to do. Not sure why they all don't. I'd only be for the blocking sideload if the devs actually updated the apps to work with ea iteration of Android before hand, not six months later or sometimes longer. Not all devs do this, but games like Plants Vs Zombies on Google Play never gets updated timely and still doesn't work on Galaxy Nexus. Blocking would also stop Amazons suck market to stop spreading so fast too.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 10:00 3

69. Jyakotu (Posts: 854; Member since: 12 Dec 2008)

Android is pretty much the PC of smartphones: you can do whatever you want with it basically. Not surprising that piracy of apps is higher on Android.

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 10:06 2

70. flipjzn (Posts: 257; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)

Some people are just plain cheap to pay for $0.99 app );

posted on 26 Jul 2012, 10:10 2

71. ncv144 (Posts: 126; Member since: 04 May 2012)

I actually have a reason for sideloading paid apps, the play store, for some reason does not want to accept any of my credit cards so when i need an app, i cant pay for it and i sideload it.

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