Android News

Some paid apps unavailable on unlocked phones?

February 23, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka

Android, Google, Open Handset Alliance

Some paid apps unavailable on unlocked phones?

Android users who have an unlocked developer phone will be unable to see certain paid apps that have invaded the Android Market. According to a response by a Google employee on the Android Market help site, “copy-protected applications, including Shazam and Calorie counter” cannot be seen by unlocked developer phones.

That means anyone who has purchased a developer T-Mobile G1 or is a Google employee who received a dev G1 phone from Google as a holiday bonus may be shut out from certain paid apps.

The Google employee states that this is a recent change. I hope it’s one that will be rescinded.

One would think that Google and other Open Handset Alliance members wouldn’t want to shut out the early adopters of their operating system who have waited patiently for paid apps. Why reward their patience with exclusion?

Security seems to be the most likely factor. Google probably fears that a developer phone could make it easier to pirate apps, even at the expense of honest people who just want more options. Is this the “Open” that Android’s Handset Alliance was supposed to offer?

[Android Market Help Forum]