1. TheBirdDog's Avatar
    OK, so I'm not so naive to think that Google hasn't done some good for the tech world. However, my question isn't meant to be quite so vague...

    Why do we need Google for apps? What do they really bring to the table?

    Here's where I'm coming from:

    Say I have an idea for an app. Perhaps it is a really good idea and has enough merit to stand on its own. I can even get all the funding that I need for any marketing necessary and the nature of the app is such that word of mouth will also have a huge part in growing the user base. Android is open source... so, couldn't I just make an app that runs on Android but only release it through my own website?

    I'm sure that Google takes a cut from every app purchased and download from their app store and probably a fairly significant one at that. What is the biggest advantage that they give a developer [if any] other than exposure?

    BlackBerry can't give BB10 users access to the Google Play Store because of the OHA but why does Google Play Store get to lock down the individual apps? Do app developers have to sign some sort of exclusivity agreement with Google in order to release their apps in the Play Store? If so, how are they allowed to be in Apple's App Store as well? Is there some sort of collusion there that allows developers to 'break the rules' so long as it's only with the other monopolistic competition?

    Why couldn't someone like Netflix, for example, host their own app on their website and allow me to download it directly from there? Why send me away to Google or Apple? If my device is capable of downloading your app directly, why not?

    Anyway... I'm curious to hear what people think about it. Hopefully it will spark an interesting conversation. I think that there really are some "Net Neutrality" principles in jeopardy here and that Chen wasn't necessarily crazy to make that claim a while back, even if he's since decided that he can't beat 'em so he's joined them.
    02-21-16 02:55 AM
  2. Soulstream's Avatar
    Some companies already do that: https://www.whatsapp.com/android/

    There is nothing preventing any app dev to just go this router. The problem is that by default sideloading apps in android is disabled and sideloading is considered a security risk. Also app updates would also be a little more difficult.

    Google play also has an automated scanning system for apps in order to detect malware. While it is not perfect, it is better than nothing. Under 1% of Android malware actually comes from Google play.
    02-21-16 04:07 AM
  3. howarmat's Avatar
    The biggest thing is that its a security risk and as mentioned shut off by default. Technically nothing is stopping you from distributed on Gplay, amazon and your own site but you will not reach the same amount of customers just having it on your site. Its also easy to distribute the app freely around without paying assuming its a paid app. There are many other reasons which all have things the Dev can do to counteract but you still will have the security issue which is the biggest hurdle IMO
    02-21-16 04:53 AM
  4. Ronindan's Avatar
    Google also provides some of the most common developers tools as well. Google Maps, search, analytics, video hosting services (youtube),.... etc are not just nice services but developers tools as well. And those tools work, you don't hear of sudden failures of Google Maps or You tube.

    Also Google promote their developers tool as well - Google IO is not just some fancy party - behind those annoucements are classes, training sessions & seminars on how to use Google dev tools. People forget that Google has been offering these tools when people are just carrying pda. Google had worked hard and long to gain developers trust so it just natural for developers to publish their app in Google play when they know they can depend on Google to host their work properly.
    02-21-16 06:29 AM
  5. TheBirdDog's Avatar
    Does anyone know what the fees are for having an app in Google Play? It must be substantial. For an app that costs $0.99, how much of that does Google take? Is it somehow another thing that they do for 'free'?
    02-21-16 10:35 AM
  6. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    There's yet another thing that hasn't been mentioned: payments. Google has payment information for hundreds of millions of users in their system, which means those users already trust Google with their information (so it isn't important that they trust YOU with it, because you don't need it and won't get it from Google). It also means that if your app is in the Play Store, a user can buy it simply by clicking "Buy It Now". Two taps on the phone screen and you have cash incoming to your developer account. They don't need to find their credit card, punch in all the numbers, etc. It's painless - so more people actually pay for it.

    Your app being in the Play Store legitimizes your app in many ways, and it certainly exposes your app to far larger numbers of people at no cost to you. Most people on Android who need an app simply go to the Play Store and search, and it wouldn't matter how great your app was, if it wasn't in the Play Store, they would never find it. Very few people do web searches for Android Apps, because there is a central store already.

    Apple proved the worth of a central store originally with iTunes (back when iTunes was strictly a music store), and again when they created the App Store for the iPhone. It's what people want, and today, it's what people expect. The iPhone doesn't even allow apps to be sideloaded - you have to jailbreak the phone in order to do that, and doing that comes with some big downsides. Android allows sideloading, but the feature is disabled by default, and most people never sideload.

    Most users are also not at all interested in sideloading - the process is FAR too complicated for them. They want to go to a store that's on the phone and click "install" and be done, and they know that it's just that easy on iPhone and Android, so if they can't get that experience on another platform (like BB10), chances are they'll simply abandon that platform and go back to iOS or Android. In fact, lots of people have done exactly that, for that very reason.
    02-21-16 10:38 AM
  7. app_Developer's Avatar
    ^^ payments are a huge advantage if you have a paid app! Especially if you want to sell your app in multiple countries.

    As for Netflix, they don't charge for their apps, so the cost of being in Play is negligible. There is no exclusivity, so they can list their app in as many places as they like.
    02-21-16 12:24 PM
  8. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    ^^ payments are a huge advantage if you have a paid app! Especially if you want to sell your app in multiple countries.
    Absolutely! Apple and Google do all the heavy-lifting to sort out whatever issues there are to get local currency into the users' accounts. It doesn't matter if users don't have credit cards or bank accounts - it's all been figured out and app devs don't have to sweat all of that. Nor do they have to deal with all of the various money rules of different countries. They simply set a price, Apple or Google collects it, takes their 30% cut, and passes the other 70% to the dev's account. Easy peasy.

    It also makes it so much easier for the users, because they don't have to figure out a bunch of different payment methods for different apps they want. They just put money into one store - however that's done where they live - and they can buy whatever they want with a couple of clicks. Without that, a lot of sales would simply never happen - the extra hassle of figuring out how to pay would put off a lot of users and make them think twice. With a centralized store, its so quick and easy that users are much more likely to make spontaneous purchases.
    02-21-16 10:44 PM
  9. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    Absolutely! Apple and Google do all the heavy-lifting to sort out whatever issues there are to get local currency into the users' accounts. It doesn't matter if users don't have credit cards or bank accounts - it's all been figured out and app devs don't have to sweat all of that. Nor do they have to deal with all of the various money rules of different countries. They simply set a price, Apple or Google collects it, takes their 30% cut, and passes the other 70% to the dev's account. Easy peasy.

    It also makes it so much easier for the users, because they don't have to figure out a bunch of different payment methods for different apps they want. They just put money into one store - however that's done where they live - and they can buy whatever they want with a couple of clicks. Without that, a lot of sales would simply never happen - the extra hassle of figuring out how to pay would put off a lot of users and make them think twice. With a centralized store, its so quick and easy that users are much more likely to make spontaneous purchases.
    Which is why buying gift cards for either the Apple or Google Store have become kinda popular for some people these days. We have grandkids, nieces and nephews.... that we have found buying them one of these gift cards is very well received.
    Tien-Lin Chang likes this.
    02-22-16 09:03 AM
  10. Prem WatsApp's Avatar
    ....

    Most users are also not at all interested in sideloading - the process is FAR too complicated for them. They want to go to a store that's on the phone and click "install" and be done, and they know that it's just that easy on iPhone and Android, ....
    That's why "we", in reverse, are required to use apk downloaders like Snap, apk download sites, apk extractors or shady app stores...

    :-(

      There's a Crack in the Berry right now...  
    Troy Tiscareno likes this.
    02-24-16 03:47 PM

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