Google “not happy” with Android Market paid-app performance

January 26, 2011
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Google is "not happy" with the number of paid app purchases from the Android Market, with Android platform manager Eric Chu telling developers that the company had several strategies for driving app buyers in 2011. Speaking at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco this week, Forbes reports, Chu confirmed that carrier billing would be extended beyond just AT&T, so as to remove the payment obstacle for more users, while in-app payments would also come sometime this quarter.

Actual discovery of apps is also being streamlined, with Chu saying that Google is tweaking the Android Market search algorithm as well as investing in more people to weed through any titles that violate the ToS. There'll also be a new push for HTML5 apps, and better social integration with the Android address book which Chu described as "the best social graph."


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  • Raf de Haan

    Not so strange. Nobody wants to pay with a creditcard by phone. They should change Checkout by adding PayPal…

    • PacoBell

      And why not? Most folks are used to posting by credit card via a PC browser, so what is so different about a mobile one?

    • Paul

      Well if the are willing to put their credit card info on the desktop but not in the phone they could just sign into google checkout on their computer and put their info in.its not like we have to put in our info everytime we purchase an app.but I don’t think the 15 minute window to get a refund is helping much. I’ve stopped buying apps since they did that. And I’ve probably purchased I’ve over 50 so far. But with only 15 minutes to decide if I like the app or not I’m not willing to invest.I already have a bunch of apps I don’t use that I have to look at in my downloads cause I bought them on old phones or better apps came out.the only way I will even consider buying an app anymore is if there is a free version to try it out first before buying.I don’t need more apps in my downloads I don’t use cause I didn’t decide I didn’t like it within 15 minutes.

  • Ben10

    We’re not happy either with their crazy update policy and unless they become serious about this issue, many smartphone user will remain reluctant to switch to android.

  • Zetsurin

    Sorry to say it, but it’s largely in part due to the philosophy of the type of users Android attracts – Linux/open source advocates who are used to everything being free. iOS on the other hand gets ‘all the rest’ who pay.

    I’m both an Android and iOS user and I’ve paid for a fair number of apps on both platforms, but being in the Android crowd and comparing that to the Apple crowd, it’s really quite apparent.

    • dave

      You’re joking. Most people who have Android phones have never even heard the word Linux.

  • casey

    I own an Archos Internet Tablet – it runs Android and I would love to access the Google App Marketplace but since it’s not a Smartphone they don’t allow access. Not everyone using Android is a phone and if they want to expand their support base it would be helpful if they opened it up.

  • Josh

    How about letting me pay with my google apps account email address which is set up with Google Checkout? That would be a start. I refuse to open a new google account and add it to my phone when my own email address works for everything else.

    I’m waiting to spend about $30 in this way!

    • George

      @Josh: I am using the market with my google apps id – why doesn´t it work for you?

    • LarryV

      That is exactly how I pay for my apps. Using my google ID (which is already in the system) and google checkout. The paying method is super fast and just a click away and never have to enter my cred8it card. Do you guys live in another planet? Google checkout is like paypal. It works flawlessly and is very quick and easy to pay for apps. I have no problem with the current payment system. Sometimes I have to wonder what people have been smoking cause a lot of the messages here have nothing to do with reality.

      • dtg295

        He’s referring to GAFYD not working with the market. Google has a tendency to only support “gmail.com” Google accounts on all new services and I also have to say this is one of the reasons I’m not adopting Google services as much anymore.

  • George

    One major problem for me is finding apps at all! There are not enough categories to start with and you cannot refine the search results with filters like new, order by rating, downloads etc. So even if I want to spend money I just sometimes give up to find something as I don´t get the feeling, that I had a good overview of what´s available; and a decent web version of the market would help a lot, too!

    • Mathijs

      Give http://www.appbrain.com/ a try. It’s a great website for browsing apps, and there’s also the “AppBrain App Market” app on the phone that allows searching with filters and different sorting options.

  • don

    I do not want carrier billing as then my kids will get an app. currently i have a debt card that has no money on it as the default, thus no purchase can be made. i also am wanting the pin that google was talking about. The pin would be required to make any purchases. I also want to know about the rating system that is not in place yet. I would also like to have an option to block all paid apps unless a pin is used to see the paid apps. Also a passcode to launch market place would be great. ALso a my favs would be great for the free apps. I currently purchase apps only because i dont have to search for them later.

  • Johan

    Maybe if there were more apps actually worth paying for?

    I regret most of my purchases because they ended up being buggy and/or badly designed; FCs, unecessary security permissions, memory leaks, background service abuse and app manifest broadcast receivers that are never disabled to name a few common issues. So now when I only have 15 minutes to find deal breaking bugs I usually just don’t buy even if the app looks interesting. It’s not worth the hassle.

    This is actually true of a lot of free apps too, but you can’t expect too much when it’s free.

  • Jeremy

    I second Raf’s suggestion – add PayPal. I would buy a lot more apps if I could pay with my PayPal account.

  • Rimma

    I have a problem with Android market – search and “related” apps. There is no meta data to describe app, so search for app is based on how knows what. For example: my app Mobile Road Warrior doing Invoices, Receipts, … but there is no way to relate it to Invoice creating apps. I have “Related” apps that have nothing to do with my app. When I am making search for invoice app, mine not even close there.
    Google is a king of search engines and cannot offer better search for android store?

  • Clean Credit Guy

    I have a credit score that other folks would divorce their spouses to get. Last week I finally downloaded a paid app for the first time from Google’s app store, and my card promptly got suspended because it made the fraud prevention people at the credit card company nervous, especially since it was a British app, and the currency had to be converted from pounds to dollars, creating an odd number in the amount of my charge.

    I don’t blame the credit card people. They’re looking out for both their interests & mine. Still, I never had a card suspended before for an actual purchase I’d made. Certainly not when I bought MP3′s from Apple, Google, or even Audio Lunchbox. Maybe Google should consider a fixed pricing structure like the others have.

  • Tim

    I’ve been trying to get paid apps from Android Market for 3 weeks now. I think it’s hilarious that Google’s made it so complicated for their customers that they’re not making any money. Poetic Justice…

  • Paypal_On_Android_Now

    To me this is a matter of principle against Android-Google’s extorsive lack of payment options (to promote their own Checkout business). In my case I already have a Paypal account that would happily use if I could. I do not need and do not want to open another account like GoggleCheckout.

    (ERIC CHU!) or whoever at Android Market, LISTEN!!! MANY people (me included) WILL NOT BUY FROM YOU until you accept ACCEPT PAYPAL!!.

  • Steve P

    Well, I think that maybe they should actually ALLOW us to buy Apps! I want to buy EA Bejeweled 2 but when I log in, it says that (translated) this item is not available for my mobile network operator!!!!!!

  • Dakow555

    I think the first step would be to add PayPal. That would make it so much easier to buy apps. It’s ridiculous to need to use a credit card directly. Just plain dumb.

  • ccrashh

    Why pay if there’s something just as good for free?  None of the pay games are that much better than the free ones.  There are some awesome pay apps (Titanium Backup, for instance), but none that you have to have.

  • googlefail

    Maybe its got something to do with the fact only 4 types of payment method are allowed 2 Ive never heard of and the other 2 are credit cards. I don’t have any so cant buy anything. #Majorcockupgoogle