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Kongregate App Pulled From Android Market

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the gone-in-a-flash dept.

Android 139

itwbennett writes "Last week Google took a page from Apple's book and pulled the Arcade by Kongregate app from the Android Market for violating its terms of service. In particular, the part that forbids distributing 'any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market.' As Kongregate's Jim Greer explained to Joystiq, the app is essentially a custom web browser that loads in a Flash game from the mobile version of Kongregate. Plus, it will cache the game so you can play offline. And this may be the feature that got it yanked, speculates Ryan Kim at GigaOm."

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Not critical (1)

sgrover (1167171) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991480)

Pulled from the market, but nothing saying it can't be installed manually... Or am I wrong?

Re:Not critical (4, Informative)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991660)

You can actually grab it from Kongregate's site itself. [kongregate.com]

Re:Not critical (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991836)

Of course. You can still install from any source you like, but Google doesn't have to help you distribute it. Perfectly valid decision from Google, and Android is still more open than the iPhone because you don't have to use Google's Android Market. Still, I think it's a stupid decision from Google. It sounds like a perfectly reasonable and harmless app, and banning it gives the impression that Google secretly envies Apple's control freakery.

Re:Not critical (2)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992356)

I don't see much control freakery, in fact I'm usually amazed at the things sold in the market. Take ROM buddy, for instance. Not only does it fall afoul of the same paragraph as this app, but the roms it offers for download are copyrighted and not theirs to sell ("only download if you own the original game" yeah right!) It's a paid app, too.

Re:Not critical (1, Flamebait)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992998)

Quite the rationalization you've got there. Google censors something and they are still open. Apple censors something and they are closed and evil. At least have the balls to tell the truth to yourself, even if you can't admit it to the rest of the world.

Re:Not critical (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993030)

Android still is open. If one particular source is closed, nothing is stopping you from using another source.

Apple? Not so much

Re:Not critical (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993894)

If only someone could break the iPhone out of its jail.

Re:Not critical (2)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993128)

Not really. Android has a little checkbox in the setup menu that if checked (or was that unchecked?) allows you to download and install apps without using the marketplace just like you would on an older Windows mobile phone or a computer. Just go to the webpage, download and install. The marketplace is only a convenience, even a non-rooted phone can still run apps from outside the marketplace so long as they don't require low-level system access (like tethering). An iPhone however ONLY allows the user access to what Apple chooses to allow in their marketplace. The only two ways around that are to Jailbreak and risk bricking it or buy their sdk and program it yourself. The two are quite different that way.

Re:Not critical (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993704)

You're correct.

My only worry is handset makers like Motorola that are placing lock-in features in the phone hardware. It would be only a matter of time before a phone carrier has a special version of Android that is missing that little checkbox in the setup menu and force you to use their marketplace of choice. This could explain Google's decision with this app.

I'm pretty sure I have nothing to worry about, since I have an HTC phone and multiple manufactures make it hard to lock down an entire Android ecosystem. However, the potential for a very limited lockdown is there. It's definitely open today. I'm just saying we shouldn't get too complacent with these hardware locks.

Re:Not critical (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995064)

There are already totally locked down Android devices out there. I'd very much like the ability to install a half-way functional MP3 player on my B&N Nook, for example.

Re:Not critical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34996260)

So Google should lock down the OS to prevent B&N locking down the OS? Open systems enable consumer choice, you are still responsible for your choices.

Nooks can however be rooted: http://nookdevs.com/Softroot

Re:Not critical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34995340)

Oh, you mean like the Backflip on AT&T [blogsdna.com] ? Mind you, that's a carrier wanting it locked down, and it isn't hardware, and there are ways around it*, but it's still been done already.

* Note that wandering through a set of adb commands is not something that should really be considered accessible to the "standard user". Then again, I know people who are barely technically literate who have jailbroken/rooted iPhones/Android phones, so I guess it isn't as difficult as one would think anymore.

Re:Not critical (2)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994190)

Quite the rationalization you've got there. Google censors something and they are still open. Apple censors something and they are closed and evil.

Why don't you read the post you're replying to? I explained it right there.

Android is more open by its very nature, because you are not restricted by what Google approves or not. With an iPhone, you are bound by what Apple approves (unless you jailbreak, which Apple would like you to believe is illegal). So when Apple chooses not to sell something in their App Store, it's censorship: they're blocking the only possible way to get it. When Google chooses not to sell something, it's not censorship, because you can still get it through other channels. Just not through the most visible one.

But your reaction does demonstrate the second part of my point: it's bad PR, because to uninformed people, it looks like Google is doing exactly what Apple does.

Re:Not critical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34996592)

Ever heard of Cydia? Probably not - you sound uninformed.

What's wrong with this? (5, Insightful)

dlevitan (132062) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991494)

Last week Google took a page from Apple's book and pulled the Arcade by Kongregate app from the Android Market for violating its terms of service.

Except that on my Droid I'm still allowed to download the app from Kongregate's website and install it, no matter what Google thinks. They can even update their app automatically, or, even distribute more than one app. I have apps like that on my phone. Of course, they don't get the exposure of Google's app store, but there's nothing inherently wrong with Google saying "We don't want that in our app store". As opposed to Apple, I choose what can and cannot be installed on my phone, not Google/Apple.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991518)

Control of the most common path of software installation is a dangerous power in anyone's hands. I don't think we should be happy when Google swings its weight around there, even if there are other roads than that highway to get apps out.

Re:What's wrong with this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34991598)

A dangerous power! Nice perspective there. "We don't want to sell this". "WHOOOOOOOA, DANGER WILL ROBINSON!". Idiot.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991944)

For a long time, there were a variety of ways to buy things - many computer stores, mail-order, etc. People were used to diverse paths, and so apps could easily do well even if they missed a venue. With a single central app store, things are different and control of that store effectively makes or breaks an app.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

EsbenMoseHansen (731150) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991686)

On the contrary, be glad! This sort of thing shows just how dangerous it is to have only one app store. The solution, of course, is to have 3 or 5 independent stores.

Re:What's wrong with this? (2)

Loosifur (954968) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992552)

Dangerous power? Don't you think that's going a bit far? I would point out that it takes a comparable number of steps to install something from a website as it does to install something from the Market. Granted, you lose the Market's update checking, but there isn't anything preventing individual apps from checking for their own updates outside of the Market AFAIK. As long as you've enabled the option to install non-Market apps, that is, which hardly demands technical expertise on the part of the user. And honestly, I'm not entirely clear on how this decision violates the principles of open source, but I'm no expert in the field.

Now, forcing a private business to violate their own terms of use with regard to their own app is more dangerous, IMO. Google owns, develops, and maintains the Market, and users access it with the understanding that they neither own nor rent any part of it. In other words, Google offers the Market on its own terms, neither forcing users to make use of it, nor conceding the right to decide what is and isn't offered through it. Forcing Google to offer a competitor to Market (which the Kongregate app is, in terms of game distribution) from the Market itself would be like forcing HH Gregg to maintain a Best Buy within all of its stores.

I might be going out on a limb here, but coming from a Windows background (a DOS background, if you go back far enough) it took me a little while to get used to the idea of using an app to install something, rather than just going to the website and downloading it. Is this maybe a bigger deal for Linux folks? From my several abortive attempts with Ubuntu I recall my options being Synaptic, or some command line stuff involving apt-get. Steam came out of my ears the first time I found out that I couldn't double-click on an executable to install something.

PS. Just installed the app from the browser by going to the Kongregate website. There's a download link that takes you to GetJar, and the whole process took less than a minute. The world continues to be safe for freedom, democracy, and small, furry animals.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995116)

I basically agree with you - it's a totally different situation to Apple's 'app store or nothing' way of doing things, so it bothers me far less - but a single distributor with a big enough market share can become very dangerous. Just look at what WalMart can do - making certain movie and game ratings commercially non-viable is the first example that comes to mind, but I'm sure there are more.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993148)

I agree but that's more of a cultural problem. People want the convenience of one all encompassing App store and they don't want to find and install their own stuff. Even if they replaced their marketplace with one run by some independent and supposedly impartial third party they would just be giving the power to that third party. I think that having the option to go around the marketplace is probably the best we can hope for.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997242)

That option already exists... create your APK file, host it on a web server and put a 3D bar code with the URL all over your web page.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994036)

Dangerous how?
I mean really? You can side load software on most android phones with little to no effort. "Don't by any android phone that is locked down to prevent side loading by the carrier... AT&T I am looking at you".
You can also download alternative app stores for Android phones.
So no this is really a none issue. This company didn't follow the rules and was removed from the android app store. The vast majority of users can still download it if they really want to. So what? A company is allowed to pick what it stocks in their store and Google does not prevent you from side loading so what is the danger?

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#34996174)

The danger is that this is not just another store - it is *the* store, the main place users go when looking for software. Whenever there's one of those, we should be very nervous - Just because Google did set rules doesn't mean that they should set them arbitrarily or for their own strategic reasons.

Keeping an open platform is not based just on "what can you do" - common practice matters too.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991534)

If they were to shut Kongregrate out of 'the market', only to launch their own gaming service through the market sometime later, they'd be no holier than Apple.

Are Google's motives pure?

Re:What's wrong with this? (4, Insightful)

RagingMaxx (793220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991638)

I think Google is trying to protect developers on what is still an emerging platform.

Plus, operating the App Market is not without cost, and Google takes a cut of all app sales to pay for that. If Kongregate or Steam or anyone else released a free app which allowed software download through an alternate channel, Google would basically be distributing their competitors products, for free.

Google cannot just have 'pure' motives, they must also be tempered with pragmatism.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992046)

That all rather begs the question of whether it is a good idea to have one company controlling Android, thereby destroying any plausible claim to being Open..

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Pastis (145655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992078)

Operators that ship android don't need to distribute the Google version of it. They can take the open source version and add a mail, maps and app store application of their own.

Android is open. Google's android version has a few restrictions.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993164)

Just imagine the cries of fragmentation that would get us from the Apple fanbois!!!

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Pastis (145655) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993536)

Hehe

Talking about fragmentation!

2 versions of Android ? What a waste !
2 competing Desktop Environments on Linux ? Bouh !
Different Linux distributions ? Yack !
Different people ? Uerg ...
Different species on Earth ? pfff
Different planets & environments ? Crazy !
Different universes ? (not yet proven, but ...)

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994974)

I thought the reason for this is because they try to have some level of quality in the marketplace (no malware, for example), and downloaders allow people to circumvent those protections. Of course, your answer may be a larger reason for them.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Saint Gerbil (1155665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991730)

They have pointed out what they did wrong and posible solutions on what they should do about it.
Thats more than apple will do.

Re:What's wrong with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34991692)

This can be evidenced by the fact that they'll be getting huge exposure via slashdot and other related news sources - and consequentiality getting more downloads than ever.... If anything Google will have just popularised this app more.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995510)

Point is, Google isn't banning the app, nor is it trying to hide the app. Google is merely declining to distribute it via their market because they want to know what's in the programs in their market and you can't do that with something that downloads and runs executable code after the fact. They built in functionality specifically so you can side-load the app if you want, either by downloading it directly on the phone via URL, moving it to the phone via data cable, or, if you're really lazy, you can take a picture of a scan code on the screen and the phone will bring up the apk and all you have to do is click install. They put the choice firmly in the users' hands, regardless of what they allow on their specific market.

Don't like it? Write your own market app. Allow whatever you want in there. It's only a database search GUI and an app loader program.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Floritard (1058660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991714)

I was initially puzzled by the move, but as pointed out it is clearly in violation of the Terms of Service. I remembered reading this rule when I signed up as a developer. I think the real problem is the lack of an official explanation from Google. Kongregate is a pretty large site and gaming on Android is still in it's infancy. It just seems weird that not only did they not totally embrace this new, pretty solid little gaming app, but that they didn't provide the reasoning for taking it down. They didn't even explain it to Kongregate from what I can see as they have also not officially explained why it was pulled. It seems clear that the above reason is why, but we're only left with this third party guess. It's that silence that makes the pull seem especially heavy-handed, leaving news sites to make the Apple comparison, even if you can easily get the app elsewhere [kongregate.com] just fine.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Alanis Morissette (1593757) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993784)

Well ok, except that Apple has received a lot of flack for running a curated app store period. The argument that Apple should allow alternative stores is much more legitimate, but as I see it the stores themselves are equally as closed.

Re:What's wrong with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34994836)

Unless of course the manufacturer decides to take away that ability, like was done to some of the Android phones on AT&T. The sideloading checkbox was removed.

Oh and don't forget Motorola's locking down the bootloader with e-fuse technology.

But I forgot, none of that counts because DROID FREEDOM OPEN SOURCE YAYYYYYY and APPLE FASCISM BAD BOOOOOOOOO

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995696)

Your argument is with AT&T and Motorola, not Google. Pick a phone that allows side-loading and bootloader unlocking.

Re:What's wrong with this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997320)

Last I checked, Google licensed out the OS to those companies, so some of that blame does indeed go to Google.

Oh and don't forget that Google refuses Marketplace access to devices that aren't 'blessed' by them.

But of course, Google good and Apple bad, so we just ignore that type of thing here on Slashdot.

Re:What's wrong with this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34997060)

So, a non-issue then.

It does seem that you have the best of both worlds (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991606)

It does seem that you have the best of both worlds with Android.You can download through the Apps store and know that there will be some degree of vetting and rogue software removed. If you want something outside you can do that too, but have to judge the source yourself.

Re:It does seem that you have the best of both wor (4, Insightful)

creativeHavoc (1052138) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991654)

I agree, Google says "we will not sell this through our app store" whereas Apple says "you cannot have this app." There is no reason to liken Google to Apple here.

Re:It does seem that you have the best of both wor (2)

phmadore (1391487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992018)

Agreed.

Re:It does seem that you have the best of both wor (2)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994676)

I agree, Google says "we will not sell this through our app store" whereas Apple says "you cannot have this app." There is no reason to liken Google to Apple here.

This isn't wholly true you know. Apple says, 'you can't have this through our store which is the only way without hacking to get it on our OS. You can have it if you hack the OS or install a different OS, but we won't support you."

I realize this may seem like nit-picking but it's important to note that Apple doesn't actually stop anyone from getting an app legally, they just make it inconvenient if you want to use their mobile OS on the hardware they sell. The point still stands though.

I'm still waiting for Google to decide it's time to create a new, better store that incorporates the advantages of a vetted system for all apps with the advantages of many sources and no completely banned apps. It is certainly possible to build such a system, although it may be complex. It would be nice to see them leapfrog Apple on this front.

Re:It does seem that you have the best of both wor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34994790)

They don't stop you? You must be mad. They try to stop you every single update by stopping jailbreaking. You're wrong.

Nope (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995482)

They try to stop you every single update by stopping jailbreaking.

Actually not every update breaks jailbreaking, and usually if you just wait a week or two to update you can re-jailbreak.

Remember that Apple doesn't really care about jailbreakers, but they do care about security holes that jailbreaks rely on to get in.

Re:It does seem that you have the best of both wor (2)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997646)

They try to stop you every single update by stopping jailbreaking.

No, they try to fix security holes every update. If they were serious about stopping you from running unapproved apps on iPhones they'd lock the hardware to the OS.

Re:It does seem that you have the best of both wor (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995084)

Unless AT&T, TMobile, Samsung, LG, Motorola, et al, decided that sideloading apps was bad for their bottom line.

Where's the distinction between Flash and e-books? (2)

Andrioid (1755390) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991656)

How do you make the distinction of online content, like e-books, flash games, podcasts? All are "online content", yet reader applications are allowed to go online to fetch the content (or even sell it). In my honest opinion, the only rule should be to exclude competing "Android markets", not content providers.

Re:Where's the distinction between Flash and e-boo (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991786)

How do you make the distinction of online content, like e-books, flash games, podcasts? All are "online content", yet reader applications are allowed to go online to fetch the content (or even sell it). In my honest opinion, the only rule should be to exclude competing "Android markets", not content providers.

The difference, as far as I can make out, is that ebooks and podcasts aren't applications in themselves, only data files. Flash games are interpreted and can be made to do almost anything. Google doesn't mind having Flash applications or games in its store, but it doesn't want a store (or other distribution center) inside its store for applications or games.

Re:Where's the distinction between Flash and e-boo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34994492)

The difference, as far as I can make out, is that ebooks and podcasts aren't applications in themselves, only data files. Flash games are interpreted and can be made to do almost anything.

I don't know, PDFs can do just about anything these days. Isn't that the reason we get all the malware through them?

Google Reply (Karma Whoring) (3, Informative)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991662)

UPDATE: Google responded with a statement standing by its decision to pull the Kongragate Arcade app. “Applications in violation of our policies are removed from Android Market,” Google said. The reasoning comes down to the fact that the Kongregate app, while it acts much like a browser, has the ability to cache games for offline play. That elevates it into a competing software distribution platform offering outside content, something the Android Market terms of service prohibits. It’s likely that a simpler app that listed Kongregate games and launched a traditional browser could get approved. Or if the games were submitted as individual apps, they would also fly. It seems a distinction is being made here between digital content like books or music and mobile apps, which is why Kindle and other services don’t appear to be in danger of being pulled.

Re:Google Reply (Karma Whoring) (1)

citizenr (871508) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991842)

That elevates it into a competing software distribution platform offering outside content, something the Android Market terms of service prohibits.

I predict Amazon marketplace will be blocked from Google marketplace :D

Re:Google Reply (Karma Whoring) (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992226)

The solution to Market restrictions is to work around needing the Market.

I'm sure Slashvertising was at least partially effective. :)

Re:Google Reply (Karma Whoring) (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994166)

It's also pretty obvious why the rule is in place. I believe we all know flash apps themselves are subject to security flaws. Someone downloads kongregate's app from the google ap store, kongregate accepts a program that actually has a virus. All of a sudden google gets bombarded with "I got this in your store and it has a virus, what kind of quality control do you have, apple is right". This isn't a hinderence to fans of kongregate's games, if you are familliar with their games you are familliar with their site and can click the link on kongregate's page and get it yourself.

Says it all, really (5, Informative)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991830)

Google Marketplace: "My house, my rules."

Android Phone User: "My phone, my rules."

Apple App Store: "My house, my rules."

iPhone User: "My phone, Apple's rules."

Re:Says it all, really (-1, Troll)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991934)

Wow, seriously? An article criticizing a move by Google, and you still find a way to turn it into an anti-Apple rant?

Get a life.

      -dZ.

Re:Says it all, really (0)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992060)

Wow, seriously? An article criticizing a move by Google, and you still find a way to turn it into an anti-Apple rant?

Get a life.

-dZ.

Any time is a good time for an anti-Apple rant, IMHO.

Re:Says it all, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993276)

The first sentence of the post compares Google to Apple. Posting the distinctions between the two is more than appropriate.

Re:Says it all, really (2, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993860)

Android Phone User: "Give me Froyo!"

Some Android Handset Makers: "No! Buy a new phone!"

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Also note that rooting the phone to install 2.2 solves the problem, but so does rooting an iPhone to solve the "Apple' rules" problem.

Still, the level of hypocrisy seen in these comments is just hilarious. Google are taking the exact position that Apple have taken: deciding what will and won't be allowed in their online store, and yet the twisting and contorting by the Apple-bashing folk to justify this as somehow different from Apple is amusing. The last time this happened was when a serious bug appeared for Android (sending text messages to the wrong people), and there were a flurry of posts trying to downplay it as "not serious" or "this hasn't affected me so it's not an issue" and even "I haven't seen this bug so I doubt it's genuine".

Any criticism of the Android platform/ecosystem, no matter how deserved or accurate, is met with a volley of fury and justification from slashdot at the moment. There's a term that was coined for just such behaviour: fanboys. Of course, fanboys only exist in the Apple camp, right?

I'm not deciding one way or the other whether this is a good decision, but it is a decision made based on the rules of the store. Nor do I think that the inability to install non-App Store software on your iPhone without rooting it is necessarily a good thing either. It is interesting to watch the reactions of people on both sides though.

Re:Says it all, really (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994024)

I call them "Droidbois".

Re:Says it all, really (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994558)

It only looks like hypocrisy if you didn't really understand the original complaint to begin with.

Re:Says it all, really (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994822)

The original complaint being "I want an iPhone, but I know ahead of time that the system is a walled garden, despite this I will moan and complain that it should be more like Android"?

There are pros and cons to both ecosystems - a negative on the iPhone side is an inability to install apps that are not in the app store without jailbreaking. This is irrelevant to a discussion about what apps are sold in the store however; if the potential inability to install apps not approved by Apple is a concern then why buy an iPhone in the first place? If you bought one anyway and then rooted it then you are in exactly the same position as an Android user is right now in this situation - can't get it through the main store, but can install it anyway if they really want.

The argument here is about whether Apple and Google are right to dictate what they can carry in their respective stores and the answer is "of course" - it's their store. The issues arising from what to do after that are part of the differences between the two systems, they don't somehow "justify" Google's decision but not Apple's. It's either both, or neither.

Re:Says it all, really (1)

FallinWithStyle (1474217) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997708)

You're twisting the argument. Yes, if an android user wants froyo, and their handset manufacturer doesn't release the update, you can root the phone and get an update from the community. What does this have to do with being able to install third party apps on the phone?

Re:Says it all, really (2)

Dillon2112 (197474) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997762)

You're glossing over the (very important) point about what exactly the rules in the store are. Sure, from a legal perspective, you can say "Their store, their rules" and be done with it. But from a practical perspective it matters a lot if they have a rule that says you can't re-implement the functionality present in current (or planned) official applications, as Apple had/has (I'm not current on their stance in this regard). Google, on the other hand, goes out of their way to point out that you can replace many components of the underlying system, like the contacts, email, dialer, and home applications. To say that both systems have rules, and therefore they are both the same is disingenuous; it would be a bit like saying "Well, the United States has laws, and so does North Korea, so they're basically the same."

Which brings me to my second point. For years, no one really knew what the rules were in Apple's store. Apps that developers had spent months on were magically rejected. There was no transparency. Compare with Google's store, which has very clear, transparent rules that developers must agree to before they can ever submit an application for inclusion in the market. I hear that Apple has tried to increase transparency recently, but I don't know to what extent they have succeeded.

If you consider both those differences, and then pile on the fact that even if Kongregate fails to abide by the rules, even though they agreed to them before submitting their application, Android users can still visit their website and install the application that way, you have a system that by all measures is more "open" than Apple's.

And all of that ignores the fact that the operating system itself is open source and can (an is!) used and modified freely by dozens (or hundreds) of companies around the globe.

All that is to say: the differences between the two systems are deep and far-reaching, not merely the fact that applications can be installed from a website on Android, but not iOS.

Re:Says it all, really (1)

Alanis Morissette (1593757) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993990)

Except that there is no such practical thing as an "Android user" as you haven't considered the handset manufacturer, network provider and the stacks of legalese that they put between you and your OS. Not to mention any modifications that have been applied to your phone to lock down your experience, eg crapware that can't be removed, blocking root access etc. And google by the way are responsible for this because when they chose the android license (as a known side effect of the linux codebase they elected to use) they knew full well this shit would happen. So remember that android is only open to your local cuddly handset provider, Google couldn't give a stuff about you. Except for your lovely private data.

Re:Says it all, really (1)

Chemisor (97276) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994620)

Steve Jobs: "You are so grounded!"

Re:Says it all, really (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34994692)

Android Phone User: "My phone, the carrier and manufacturer's rules"

Oh wait I forgot, Having to root your droid to get around those restrictions is TOTALLY DIFFERENT than when you jailbreak an iPhone to get around Apple's restrictions.

Re:Says it all, really (1)

brainboyz (114458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34996376)

Don't know about you, but my Nexus One was pretty much unrestricted.

Re:Says it all, really (1)

Drakino (10965) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997976)

So, how's Gingerbread on the Nexus One...

I was tempted to try Android again with a Nexus S, but considering their previous phones (Nexus One, G1) with a pure Google experience already seems abandoned, I'm still a bit weary. At least with Apple, they have been very consistant with providing updates across the entire product line. 4.0 was the first iOS release to drop support for a phone, one that was 3 years old at the 4.0 release. If I have to hack a device, especially one sold by the vendor directly just to be up to the latest release in a years time, the phone turns into a toy instead of a device I can depend on.

Re:Says it all, really (1)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995106)

Google Marketplace: "My house, my rules."

Android Phone User: "My phone, my rules."

Apple App Store: "My house, my rules."

iPhone User: "My phone, Apple's rules."

Windows Mobile User: Fuck, is that a tumbleweed?

iPhone user: My phone, My Rules (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995512)

iPhone User: "My phone, Apple's rules."

You can jailbreak at any time. Any device you physically control is always under your own rules.

On Android, if it's "your rules" why can you not update many Android phones to FroYo?

Re:Says it all, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34996614)

iPhone User: "My phone, Apple's rules."

You're damn right. Apple Rules!!!1!!
suck it droid

Not like Apple (5, Informative)

Lavene (1025400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991924)

Apple says "We don't like it so you can't use it!"
Google says "We don't like it so we will not distribute it. You're of course free to get it elsewhere."
Big difference. Huge actually.

Re:Not like Apple (2)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993012)

Actually, to be accurate you change Apple to "We don't like it so we will not distribute it"

Really it's a small difference. You're just lying to yourself if you think otherwise.

Re:Not like Apple (2)

Keerok (870468) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993552)

Actually, Apple is saying to you " We don't like it, so we will not distribute it and we will make it hard and possibly cause you to break the law or your phone or your agreement or your warrenty to have it"

Re:Not like Apple (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993882)

Just like some Android manufacturers who have users who can't upgrade to Froyo without rooting....

Re:Not like Apple (1)

assantisz (881107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995742)

But that would be phone manufacturer's doing and not Google's. Big difference, no? There will always be at least one choice of phones that allow you the full pure Android experience: the developer phones like Nexus 1 or the Nexus S.

Re:Not like Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997608)

Not exactly. You're comparing upgrading an OS vs. installing an application.

Re:Not like Apple (2)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993998)

And yet essentially the same thing. They won't distribute it and you'll have to go elsewhere. It's not against the law, so that is a bogus argument on your part. As for the warranty, if you jailbreak the device it is perfectly logical for Apple to void your warranty on the device at that point. They can't tell wtf you may have done to it and shouldn't be responsible for the hacker tinkering with their phone.

Face it, you give Google a free ride on this, but they censored something just like Apple. You either have to be honest and treat them the same or run the risk of someone calling you a hypocrite.

Re:Not like Apple (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994272)

Apple did everything in their power to prevent jailbreaking, they attempted to make it against the law, and every version of IOS attempts to prevent jailbreaking. We are talking the difference between a store opting not to carry pornogrophy, and a store doing everything in it's power to push for pornography to be outlawed.

Re:Not like Apple (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997574)

Yes, they did, and I disagreed with that attempt. But I'm not talking about what they've attempted, I'm talking about the reality of an app that is censored by violating some terms of service in an app store, either Apple's or Android's. It essentially boils down to the same thing, we won't distribute it and you have to find somewhere else to get it.

Re:Not like Apple (1)

Keerok (870468) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994552)

The censorship issue is one thing, yes both companies apparently care about what they agree to distribute through their "Apps" service, and I personally agree that both companies should have the ability(or right) to control what they supply through their portals. I find fault on the issue of device ownership and what you are supposedly "allowed" on the device. To me it appears that the google approach seems more like the pc market, which I'm used to (buy device, put what you want on it, with some restrictions) but it's more complex because google doesnt create all the devices, just the OS. Where as apple (mobile stuff) is not quite so accomodating with respect what you may want to put on it. Oh, I didn't say it "was" breaking a law, just that the possiblity exists, and yes apple shouldn't honor a warrenty if the the device is tampered with, the risk is too high, but then that leaves you not having an app you may want which is what I was saying, "they make it Hard" to get an app you may want. In the end, it just business philosophy, and the apple, with all their restrictions and crap I dislike, seem to have made a good choice on how they want to run their company, at least finacially.

Re:Not like Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34993686)

And without breaking the Apple EULA, how do you obtain it otherwise?

I suppose the rose-coloured glasses go well with the all-white kit you shills get....

Re:Not like Apple (1)

Alanis Morissette (1593757) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994132)

Google says "We don't like it so we will not distribute it. You're of course free to get it elsewhere."

Are you sure that this freedom is virally guaranteed? Otherwise Google are actually saying "we wash our hands of it, please check with your friendly, neighbourhood handset provider" I don't know the answer to this, but if no then we need to start adding this very important caveat to all generalisations made about what the customer can expect from android powered phones.

Re:Not like Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34994846)

After a Jailbreak i dont see the diference.

No difference, iPhone situation slightly better (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34995542)

Apple says "We don't like it so you can't use it!"

And then you download it from Cydia, just like you'd download an Android app from somewhere else.

Android in fact is hampered by not having as well known an alternate application store.

Non-story (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991952)

Kongregate gets tons of visits every day. All they need to do (which they are) is advertise on the site - and you can just pick it up from there.

Big deal.

I learnt about this app from their website, and I picked it up from there - I didn't need to trawl the store either.

Re:Non-story (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992032)

Not a big deal for them. I think the main point is that there's people who don't have that luxury or free publicity with the same problem.

Re:Non-story (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992064)

Well, they violated the TOS - since its considered an "App Store".

I doubt any 'small fry' would have problems with that. Having your own app store/download hub requires a ton of resources.

Google can be surprisingly annoying about that (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34991994)

I think their worst feature is that they seem to delight in waiting for a fair amount of cash to build up before just deciding to yank an account. Basically just stealing the money. It'd be one thing if they just warned you beforehand, but it's not uncommon for them to just do it out of nowhere. No warnings, just out of nowhere locking down an account. What's more annoying is that there seems to often be little logic to it. Sometimes they'll give warning after warning, months and months of it given to people spamming the market with their crap. Other times they'll just yank peoples accounts and money with no notice. And you can guess how probable it is that they'll even bother to reply to any questions about what's going on. When it would be rather nice if they'd instead give you a shout about a problem beforehand. So, you know, YOU CAN ACTUALLY FIX IT. I've been doing android development for about half a year now. And in that time, talking to others doing the same, I've gone from being a bit of a google fanboy to finding them very annoying at times. I love android, it's a fantastic mobile operating system. But google's market is just annoying to me in a lot of ways. Especially when people tend to portray it as both a bastion of freedom and an open place where the benign leadership actually cares.

Re:Google can be surprisingly annoying about that (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 3 years ago | (#34994586)

I would hope that they refund the purchase price to those who bought the app. Is that not the case?

Jebus (-1, Troll)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992408)

How many times can people continue this inane dribble.
wah wah wah iphone is closed and baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad wah wah wah.

Don't you think we all have heard everything so far and made our decision on what we prefer?

Re:Jebus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34992546)

How many times can people continue this inane dribble.
wah wah wah iphone is closed and baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad wah wah wah.

Don't you think we all have heard everything so far and made our decision on what we prefer?

OK, you're right, we were all posting hoping to convince you you to make a non-iphone decision, but now you've let us know what you think, we'll shut up.

Uh guys the iPhone does that too (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34992564)

I can install apps from the browser too with my iPhone. I'm not limited to the AppStore. So just stop hating for like 5 minutes.

The browser needs to be pulled too. (1)

yacc143 (975862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34992894)

Considering that the browser can be used to install "offline-useable" webapps, and somewhere in the web there might be a page that links such offline capable apps (the main villain here seems to be a small Californian company by the name of Google???), so the browser is clearly in the business of providing an alternate market place, right?

(Actually, postulating that there are more than one such page, I guess it's a case of an emergency, pull the browser, it can introduce multiple alternate market places, plus these can use alternate payment methods, ...)

So will Google be remote-destructing all instances of webbrowsers with support for Google GEARS, HTML5 or similar on Android devices?

No, I found it. (1)

EW87 (951411) | more than 3 years ago | (#34993084)

I just found it in the Android Market, Downloaded it, and Installed it. I'm playing it right now. Evo 2.2.

Actually, a good thing... in the very short term (1)

kjcole (781817) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997966)

I'd never heard of the app until it became a news item by virtue of being pulled from the Market. So, now the app gets advertised in the multiverse that is slashdot, tweetscape, et al. It has acquired a fresh "hotness" for at least 15 minutes.
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