If you haven’t read the tech blogs recently, many people are frustrated with the Android Market. DVD Jon, the legend who first cracked the encryption key on DVDs, blogged about what is wrong with the Android Market.
What is wrong with the Android Market? JUNK APPS. I love how it’s open and anyone can develop anything for it without it going through Apple’s Nazi approval process. But, at the same time, I hate scrolling through the list and seeing this shit that’s completely useless:
There are a few different types of apps that should simply not be allowed. Firstly, ringtone apps. There is one exception – RingDroid. I don’t use it, but it lets you import mp3s, clip them or even search for songs and use those as ringtones. That is fine with me because it is a functional app that serves a purpose. Apps that do not serve a
Next on my list of flawed apps: joke apps. There are multiple apps for different jokes. You have driving jokes, South Park jokes, dirty jokes, blonde jokes etc etc etc. It goes on and on. Please explain why an app could list a bunch of jokes randomly without performing any function? I want my app to do something for me, not just cycle through the same 40 jokes. Newsflash – the phones have a browser. If I want to look up jokes, I’ll Google them. I don’t need an app per joke category.
Next issue: The same author can publish 200 apps that are all the same except one minor thing. For instance, some developer made a live wallpaper app with country flags for the World Cup. I didn’t feel like scrolling through them all. This is a waste of space and they all do the same damn thing.
Before I fix the Market, you need to understand how devs get their apps listed: To be published on the Android market, the developer pays Google $25 and then publish can do whatever he or she wants (as long as it doesn’t violate their terms of service). Anyone can install .apk apps if you allow the option to install from unknown sources, but I’m talking about over the air Market apps.
This is how you fix the Android Market, in simple bulleted form:
- Google hires me to work in their Android segment
- Revamp the Marketplace UI to sort better. Sort not just by type, but by popularity (number of users), and by “Google Verified” or “User Created” see next bullet
- Segment the Market into two areas. Google Verified and All Apps. “Google Verified” means the app has gone through a quality assurance approval process similar to Apple’s. A developer will fill out an application for the app to become “Google Verified.” The app must be stable, perform a useful task or function and be updated frequently. This will eliminate soundboards, jokes and ringtone apps. At the same time, the user can also browse “All Apps” and open up the rest of the trash apps. There would be a toggle switch and it would default to Google verified, but the user would be aware that he or she can also browse other apps.
This will allow anyone to create any app, so there won’t be developer outcry. It will also solve the junk app issue / allow apps to be on the market that do not necessarily violate the TOS but aren’t Google Verified.
Sound good? Yeah it does. It needs some tweaking, but that’s my basic framework.
I do realize this was probably a boring blog entry, but fuck it.