Android News

Sprint Hero, Droid Eris, and 1.5 device owners unable to see certain apps?

November 23, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka

Android Apps

Sprint Hero, Droid Eris, and 1.5 device owners unable to see certain apps?

This afternoon I noticed a few people complaining of being unable to see certain apps on the Android Market of their Sprint Hero. This is a complaint we often get from users asking for QR codes or links for apps we mention, but then I saw the same complaint on another website and decided to look into more.

After polling a few of our Twitter followers on Androinica, we received several confirmations from people unable to access certain copy-protected apps in the Android Market, including apps that they already bought. The problem even bit staff member Robert, who is unable to see Twidroid Pro even though he purchased the app, has it installed on his phone, and is told than an update is available.

What gives? According to CNET, the problem could be that the update Sprint pushed to phones last week blocked copy-protected apps; however, we received word from a Verizon Droid Eris user that he’s experiencing the same problem.

ONE POSSIBLE CAUSE FOR THE PROBLEM

The Android Market filters app listings based on several factors, including things like carrier, country, firmware version, and screen resolution compatibility. There are certain apps someone on Sprint may be able to see that I cannot see on my T-Mobile G1. Reader Genjinaro suggests that this could be the root of the problem.

It’s possible that HTC’s updated ROM may have inadvertently included a code that altered the phone version to not be able to see copy-protected apps. Similarly, Android developer phones are not allowed to download copy-protected apps, so the Market app on the phones doesn’t display such apps. HTC’s latest ROM may have done something that accidentally caused Hero owners to suffer the same fate momentarily. When developers in this Google thread turned off copy-protection, their apps were viewable once more.

ANOTHER POSSIBLE CAUSE FOR THIS PROBLEM

In regards to our Twitter follower unable to see certain apps, he’s not alone. The thread also shows that Eris users are unable to see certain apps. That points to this being a possible bug in Sense or Android 1.5 preventing users from seeing certain apps. This is an old bug that was supposed to have been fixed already, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. My only concern with this is that many people report being able to see the apps in question before. How else would they have purchased them?

Who else has been having problems? I’d love to hear from Samsung Moment, Motorola Cliq, or Droid Eris users (all U.S.-based phones still running Android 1.5). If your country has paid apps enabled, search the market for Twidroid Pro and Advanced Task Killer. Let’s us know whether or not you can see these apps.