Word has surfaced that Google has a remote killswitch for applications on Android-powered handsets, much like Apple has for the iPhone. IPhone owners were very angry when they read that Apple could disable any application on their device remotely if they choose.
Located in the Android Market terms of service, Google says that they might remove an application from a user’s phone if it violates the developer distribution agreement. The agreement reads, “Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement … in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion,” Google has been vey upfront about the killswitch when Apple did not confirm that the iPhone did indeed have it until days after a developer discovered it.
Google stated that if an instant arises where an application must be killed, they will try to get the users money back. Google said that it will make “reasonable efforts to recover the purchase price of the product … from the original developer on your behalf.” If Google is unable to get the full amount back, it will divide the amount it does get among affected users.
Google also has more of a need for such a feature as the killswitch because there is no initial screening process when an application is submitted to the Android Market, leaving the opportunity for potentially damaging or otherwise malicious applications to get to at least a few handsets. Android Market policies also include a refund program, stating that you can return any application for a full refund within 24 hours of the time of purchase. This becomes particularly useful when an application does not offer a trial version.