Google "not happy" with slow Android app sales

By on January 26, 2011, 10:16 AM
The number of Android smartphone users is rising quickly, but the number of purchases of paid apps in the Android Market is not growing at a comparable pace. Google is downright "not happy" about the purchases of paid apps, Google's Android platform manager Eric Chu said during a question and answer session at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, according Forbes.

Chu then outlined a vague roadmap for Android apps in 2011:

  • In-app payments system: it's coming this quarter, allowing app users to make purchases within an app, in addition to paying for apps themselves.
  • Carrier billing: In December, Google launched its first instance of carrier billing with AT&T, where users could directly bill apps to their phone bill rather than using another payment system. More such billing arrangements with carriers around the world are coming, and while working with carriers to set this up is both expensive and time-consuming, Google knows it is very valuable to users.
  • Improve user discovery of apps: In addition to the team in charge of weeding out apps that violate Android Market's terms of service, Google will be continuing to tune the ranking algorithm to make it easier for users to discover the best apps.
  • Getting social: Google will be promoting the Android address book for developers, so that it aggregates user contacts from multiple sources, not just Google's own address books.
  • HTML5: for Android apps, Google is "betting on" HTML5 as a way to create apps.

If you're an Android developer or end-user, what specific improvements do you want to see for paid apps in the Android Market?





User Comments: 18

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Well, one thing is for sure. I haven't bought a single app since the 15 minute refund went into effect. Before that I think I had only refunded a couple apps out of dozens.

Guest said:

its because the android apps suck. they need to develop a better operating system as well cuz android is nice but compared to ipod software and graphics its nothing .

Leeky Leeky said:

its because the android apps suck. they need to develop a better operating system as well cuz android is nice but compared to ipod software and graphics its nothing .

I disagree, and find it quite the opposite in fact. I find the Android OS, and its layout to be much better than the iOS.

Was certainly good enough to make me change from a iPhone 3GS to a HTC Desire - a move I'm glad I made.

Arris Arris said:

It's a strange world. People are perfectly happy to buy clothes they don't need, cars with features, performance and gadgets they don't need, even phones with features they will probably never use. But they seem a lot more reserved about buying applications for their phones that they don't need. For me on any phones/OSs app/market/store most of the paid for apps are non essential gimmicks or toys that people won't even keep on their phones for free. If they filtered out all the rubbish then the complaint would be that "there isn't enough choice/selection" instead..

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Arris said:

It's a strange world. People are perfectly happy to buy clothes they don't need, cars with features, performance and gadgets they don't need, even phones with features they will probably never use. But they seem a lot more reserved about buying applications for their phones that they don't need.

Perhaps there is something about the 'intangible' that make such purchases less satisfying.

Arris Arris said:

Perhaps there is something about the 'intangible' that make such purchases less satisfying.

I think you put your finger on it there, something hard to do with the intangible

Zilpha Zilpha said:

Two reasons I don't buy apps - all the ones I really want have free versions and there is already an obscene amount of bloat on my phone forced upon me by the carrier.

Aside from that - a lot of apps are just garbage.

Another huge issue is companies trying to "double dip" so to speak. They sell you a product like a subscription to a magazine and then turn around and try to sell you an app to read it online. People are wising up to this kind of behavior and companies can't get away with crap like they used to.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Zilpha said:

Another huge issue is companies trying to "double dip" so to speak.

Annoying indeed, and unfortunately this isn't just the case for apps .

princeton princeton said:

Guest said:

its because the android apps suck. they need to develop a better operating system as well cuz android is nice but compared to ipod software and graphics its nothing .

Sorry. Android phones win in both software and hardware. The iphone's hardware is mid end at best and open platforms have beaten closed ones ever since IBM vs Macintosh.

Zecias said:

the only thing keeping the android phones from steamrolling the iphone is the app store and the screen resolution; mainly the app store though.

Guest said:

Make marketplace available to download on any android os as an .apk. Ap sales will rise. I have atleast one other device runnning android 2.2 x86, however getting the marketplace installed is a mystery to me, if even possible.

Guest said:

Apple is a giant in the field of Apps. A simple example is the a game app called infinity blades, powered by unreal technology, completely smashes android's gaming apps in terms of graphics and performance. But i must agree that those apps have a huge consumption in power.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Aw, Google's "unhappy". My heart bleeds for them. Not. Now where will they get the funding to set all those big, heavy, tracking cookies, or for that matter, the gas for their "street view" vehicles? I can tell you where they won't be getting it, by aiming "targeted ads" at me.

Guest said:

Maybe not all of you knows, that many users from "less developed" countries including Slovakia (that when I am living in) has canceled the access into the Android Market. We have access only to free application. I use to use data card from my holiday trip in Italy and I am after inserting it using my VISA card for purchases. As Italian I am probably a better human like when I am Slovak... So that Google would think also about possibility to enable to pay also such beggars like Slovak citizens to earn more money...

Edito Edito said:

Im sad for google cause they are loosing focus :-(

JudaZ said:

Mabe its time to try Ovi Store.

Moved from 2 million downloads a day, to over 4 million a day in a matter of 2 -3 months. And its seems to be escalating. And no, its not just free apps that gets downloaded.

JudaZ said:

Edito said:

Im sad for google cause they are loosing focus :-(

Sad to say I agree. Google got created manly because these guy felt tah the search engines of that day was no good. Likes of for instance Webcrawler.

Google has spead into diffrent ventures, from everything to gmail and maps that is great, to mobile operating systemes, and even fails like the Chome OS (that probably will be canceled anyway, maybe be to replaced by android in the future), and it has started to show big time.

Google search results is moving more and more back to what webcrawler was. The thing the started everything that they were trying to improve, and for a time succeded in doing.

The greatness of the google search made them one of the biggest companies in the world. ....but today the search results are still delivered lightning fast, but what you get is just decent, its not great like it was.

If you have specific search topic, no matter how you do your search, its really hard to get the result you are looking for.

Google, please look at your search engine and dont spead yourself so thin. I need a good search engine again, like it was back in the days.

Guest said:

Google is unhappy? But this is what they wanted. They wanted to use developers for their hard work, fostering a community of free apps supported by their own google adsense. Their users won't pay for apps, if they won't pay then developers won't make anything. Have you ever been to a restaurant where the waitresses aren't paid, don't get tips, and still bring you food? I sure haven't. Have you ever seen a construction worker build you a house for free? Well okay there's that one show on TV but they're making money being on TV!!! It's just economics and at this point google wants to use developers for supporting their advertising platform.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.