Lately the iPhone App Store has been all over the blogosphere for the removal or rejection of various apps. Another thing I noticed was Android users teasing the fanboys because Android doesn’t have to deal with problems like this. Or does it? While it may be easier to get into the Android Market, getting removed still seems to be a huge headache.
When a program is removed, remnants are left behind for any user who had previously downloaded or purchased the app. For example, months back, I purchased Cubik, a pretty rad Tetris clone. Since then, Cubik was removed from the Market (I assume due to copyright infringement but I can’t say for sure). To this day, when I load the market and click My Downloads, I still find Cubik listed, teasing me with its Tetrisy awesomeness.
It gets weirder, though. You can still click on the app, see the description, the ratings, even an Install button. There is no warning or message that the app has been removed or is no longer included in the Market. When you click Install, the confirmation page displays, and the download tries to start.
After a few seconds, you get a notification saying the download has been declined. Clicking the alert gives the extra info The download of “Cubik – Tetris® Clone” was declined because it was removed from the Android Market. When an app or game is removed from the Market, why isn’t it actually removed? Seems like a logical question…
I know its a pretty minor annoyance to have some unavailable apps in My Downloads list, but its just another example of the poor housekeeping going on in the market. At the very least these ghost entries should have a warning displayed that what you are viewing is not available in the Market. Last week, Jean-Baptiste Queru tweeted “Wanna work on #android market and make it great? We’re hiring!” With any luck they’ll find some skilled devs who can beat this unruly market into submission.