There’s a storm a-brewin’ in the Android Developer scene. At the heart of the storm is a claim that Google isn’t paying Android Developers the full amount due to them.
In a report filed on the Android Market Support forum on July 28th, one developer noticed his sales for the month did not match the payout. While it’s not unusual for the Android Market order processing to lag a little bit, the developer claims these orders were in fact charged, but simply didn’t make it into the monthly payout. As it turns out, this developer is not alone; many other developers have spoken up, indicating this issue has also affected them.
Through further investigation it was found that the processed orders that were not paid out all came from the same source: the web version of the Android Market. It appears that, when a customer purchases an app via the web version, the order is processed slightly differently, thereby stopping the payout to the developer.
As of Thursday, August 4th, Google has stated they are aware of the issue and are working on a fix; however, no time frame for a solution was given. Until there is a confirmed fix, we recommend making purchases via the on-device Market client. After all, we want our developers to be paid for their hard work in a timely manner, right?
This isn’t the first time Android Developers have called Google out (see here and here) on these types of issues. Not surprisingly, some developers are beginning to urge Google to be more transparent in these types of problems. The idea has even been raised that Android developers need to unite in the form of a union in order to get Google to be more responsive to developers’ concerns. While I don’t think a union is the answer, I can appreciate the sentiment that Google should be more forthcoming with developers, especially when it comes to payments (which many developers rely upon as an important source of income). The fact that it took a week for Google to respond to this issue makes it glaringly obvious that something needs to be done.
Again, I’d like to remind you that you can help out developers until this is confirmed as fixed by making your app purchases via the on-device Market. I’m sure they’d appreciate it.
As far as transparency goes, what do you think? Does Google need to be more transparent with developers (and users) when it comes to Android? The recent study of open-source projects we posted yesterday suggests Google could stand to be more transparent in general.