A couple of days ago we reported on one Android developer’s decision to adopt a free to play model after some giant piracy ratings, and now one developer is saying that Android is designed for piracy. Matt Gemmell, an iOS and OS X developer, blames Android’s piracy problem on the platform’s openness, and namely “the corrosive mentality that surrounds such openness.”
The problem isn’t that it’s hard to buy Android apps, or that it’s too expensive. Actually, Gemmell thinks that the chronic cheapness of mobile apps is a problem in and of itself. The problem, he says, is that it’s just too easy to steal apps. It’s only a matter of downloading the file from some nebulous source and dropping it into your device’s drive.
The end result of all this could end up being the total stagnation of the Android platform, as developers make a mass exodus to more profitable platforms, like iOS and Windows Phone. The only other option would be plastering advertisements over everything, and even then, someone will just find a way to block those.
Now, Gemmell says that the only solution is locking down Android, but that doesn’t necessarily mean locking it down in the same way that Apple chooses to lock iOS down. Locking down really just means making it a little bit harder to rip off someone’s work – there’s no reason that piracy should be as simple as downloading something and dropping it into your device. Sure, no one is going to stamp out piracy, and people will find a way around it, but convenience makes a big difference.