The Embarrassing Android/Droid Paid App Pledge

I know this doesn’t affect most of the readers on this website considering it’s an iPhone site, but I just wanted to make sure you knew about the Paid App Pledge campaign for Android users.

Basically what’s happening is that someone came up with this pledge idea because developers aren’t making enough money from Droid apps so they can’t finance full time support.  They, Droid users, are asking other Droidians to pledge five dollars a week on apps…  Over $250 a year!  Even worse, they are also asking to donate money straight to the developers!

So, in a quick recap. Driod users want other Droid users to spend money on apps that they may not want or need just to keep developers developing. Or, if they really don’t want to clutter up their phone with unwanted apps, just give those developers the money anyway.

How about this; buy an app if you want it, or buy an app if it gets good reviews and looks fun. That way those developers that created that app get the money for it. That way those developers that created a successful app can keep creating other successful apps. But with this pledge you are basically giving money to developers who may make terrible apps, but now that they are financed through this pledge they will continue to make bad apps.

Does this app pledge make sense to anyone? Or am I missing the point?  (Editor: Maybe they used the government’s method of assisting industry as an example).

I’m honestly not bashing Android users, I just don’t understand why you would buy something, an app, that you don’t want or need just to keep more unwanted and unneeded apps coming out.

As of July 2 a total of $105 a month was being pledged. That’s over five grand a year. I’m sure its even higher now. What are your thoughts on this Droid App Pledge?

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Josh is our resident iPad owner. He hates hidden word games. Developers BEWARE!


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  7. indica

    August 29, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I would just like to say, as an Android user that I do like the paid apps, and I use to download/purchase them. However I have had my phone reset and yes I’m using the same account. But I am unable to download any of the apps I already paid for. Google makes it pretty difficult to contact them, and when you finally do they send some lame automated response that is no help at all to the issue, and doesn’t even seem like a real person actually read the email. This coupled with bad experiences with developers not helping with apps… It puts a really bad taste in your mouth about buying apps. Here I am with purchased apps already and no way to use them.

    So maybe instead of people bashing the users, they should really look into the issue, or maybe they already have and it’s just easier to say the users are cheap that our service SUCKS!

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  8. Derrick -Lex-

    July 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    One more thing, Google needs to revamp the market and find a way to reward developers, better search functionality (how can the best search engine have crappy search technology implemented in their app search) etc. Visibility may be the issue more so than Android users are freeloading peasants.

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  9. Derrick -Lex-

    July 14, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    For the record, I was a previous iPhone user (back in the original and 3G days). Then I moved to Palm Pre/WebOS, before deciding that Android 2.0 was mature enough and that there was compelling enough hardware (i.e. Moto Droid) to finally make a HAPPY jump.

    That being said, I disagree with Chuck and the example used LarvaLabs is laughable in my opinion. Chuck your idea wasn’t laughable I think LarvaLabs, their software, and their complaint is laughable. I for one don’t play games on my phone. I have dedicated hardware for that (PS3). Secondly, I have no need for their SlideScreen app. It’s pointless (in my opinion) given the vast amount of widgets available. I’m not trying to dog the company I’m simply saying maybe they need to diversify their product line, and consider the fact that maaaaaaybe people just aren’t that into the apps they sell.

    I’ve bought PLENTY of apps that were worth it. If the price is right, the app does what I want. I purchase it. So to act as though Android users are freeloading peasants is amusing to me.

    The whole premise of Android is to have an open platform. That is the reason you see so many free apps on Android. The openness of the platform draws the open source dev community. Think about sourceforge, SugarCRM, OpenHRM, etc etc. Of course I don’t expect iPhone users to know much about open source communities which is why you see better looking apps on the iPhone many times. Open source software doesn’t always look as sexy but it’s often free or available for a small fee.

    I’m a little sidetracked. My point was people will always pay for apps if they’re getting what they want. People on the Android platform even DONATE to devs who are offering their app totally free. So I fail to see a need to tarnish the Android platform by saying we need to take a “Paid App Pledge” because a company that makes software that doesn’t appeal to the masses says we’re freeloaders and it’s not worth their time. In my opinion I’m looking for useful software that improves my experience SlingPlayer, Evernote, Droidbox, CherryPlayer, GroceryIQ, InventoryDroid etc to name a few.

    Developers are flocking to Android not running away and if LarvaLabs doesn’t think Android is worth developing for, well they have the option to develop for iOS only. I surely won’t miss them. Any smart dev knows that if you’re aren’t developing for the iPhone OS AND ANDROID you’re missing out big time. Devs had the option with WebOS because the number of phone sales weren’t there, but with Android having so many phones, so many carriers, and such a wide base they’d be foolish to not take advantage. And if your app isn’t selling, take a hard look at your software, is it crapware? Read the comments find out what’s wrong with it.

    Ok, now a shameless plug for my blog:

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  10. Chuck Falzone

    July 14, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    In my opinion, the problem is a common mis-perception that Android uses won’t spend money, and really that’s what I was trying to get at, by getting people to talk about the apps they’re buying. Tho I’m sure there are others who’d argue with me about that, and with valid viewpoints.

    I have no trouble finding plenty of good apps to try out, both games and apps, free and paid (and have the luxury of trying paid apps for 24 hours to see if they’re worth the money to me). AndroLib keeps some statistics on the Android Market, including apps vs. games, free vs. paid, etc.

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  11. Cody

    July 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm


    Good to have you on the site! Thanks for coming and explaining a bit more about the background on this pledge thing. More than anything, I would like to see a healthy mobile gaming market, it’s good for all parties. I’m just worried to hear that developers are making so little money that there is concern from their fans they will stop developing for the platform entirely. I will be writing an article shortly about the Microsoft phone marketplace. Apparently Microsoft themselves will be paying developers to develop for that platform. i would like to see developers rewarded for their work but I think it makes more sense for that work to be rewarded in a typical capitalistic method instead of donations.

    Is the problem Android users won’t spend money or that there is a lack of apps to spend money on? If the former, why? I would definitely be interested in learning more about what makes that market so much different from the App Store market.

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  13. Chuck Falzone

    July 14, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Hi. I wrote the AndroidGuys post you linked to. Thanks for covering it! Yes, you’re missing the point a bit. The idea is to fight the perception that Android users are loathe to buy apps by getting them to talk about the apps their buying. Not to treat developers as a charity or tell people to spend money on crap just to be spending money.

    As for encouraging donations, it’s in the context of there being a fair number of open source Android apps whose developers distribute their apps for free but encourage donations from satisfied users. Not sure, maybe this is less common on iOS?

    Anyway, there are lots of great apps for Android, many of which would be impossible on iOS (or impossible to get approved). Come try it out sometime!

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  14. Cody

    July 14, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Seems sad that they have to do it when there is no such need on the App Store. The open platform that every Droid commercial raves about is responsible for the very downfall of the Android Store. It’s so open that everyone can simply steal a developer’s work.

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  15. devolute

    July 14, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Donating towards software projects you believe in isn’t new. Nice try tho.

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