Scottish app developer Matt Gemmell has written a lengthy blog post slamming Google (GOOG) for setting up Android in a way that makes app piracy insanely easy. Specifically, he says that Android’s open architecture has made it easy for users to sideload pirated apps on their devices without having to even root or “jailbreak” them first.
“You search the internet for pirate copies of apps, then copy them onto your (regular, unrooted, non-‘jailbroken’) device, and launch them,” Gemmell writes. “The system is designed for piracy from the ground up. The existence of piracy isn’t a surprise, but rather an inevitability.”
To make things better, Gemmell says that Google needs to lock Android down to some extent to make it more difficult for users to steal software. Otherwise, he says that developer interest in the platform will start to dwindle no matter how popular it is with users.
“People have to get paid,” he concludes. “There has to be a revenue stream. You can’t reliably have that revenue stream if the platform itself and the damaged philosophy behind it actively sabotages commerce. If you want a platform to be commercially viable for third-party software developers, you have to lock it down.”