Oct, 29 2008

When you see an application listed as FREE you expect it to be FREE, right? So did we. Little did we know that when you download applications like “Fast Food Calorie Calculator” its sole purpose in life is to direct you to the MobiHand website so you can PURCHASE the application for $9.99!

Great, just what we wanted! What a crock… the crap they’re passing off as “Android Applications” are glorified links to purchase pages. The application is clearly listed as being FREE… and it is FREE, to download… but it doesn’t actually offer much if any value unless you purchase the full application. And even then- a list of fast food nutrition information for $9.99? Can’t you get this crap for free online? The people that need this darn application are the ones that should STOP EATING FASTFOOD ALTOGETHER (me included).

This is a pretty cheap trick by MobiHand (and others) if you ask me (see update at bottom). They’re preying on excited G1 customers, tossing up paid apps that are actually skeletal “demoes” and listing them as FREE. Of course people download them thinking it is free and then get directed to their website to buy it. Which everyone knows they DON’T want to do.

I’m not sure how many different ways I can explain how obnoxious this is. It destroys the user experience. I loaded the application description and chose to “flag content” for “other reasons” and simply put “not free” in the text box. I hope they get kicked off the market. Although if they do… it opens up a HUGEEEEEEE can of worms as far as Google regulating the market, which it is NOT supposed to do. Instead, I hope the application somehow gets user-pummeled into oblivion.

If your application isn’t free than don’t list it as free. Sure, you can get into the weasel-like technicalities that it IS free because you didn’t have to PAY anything to download the software to your phone. Blah blah blah blah blah.

I’ve now got a bad taste in my mouth with these “DEMO” applications. On AndroidForums.com we’re compiling a list (here) of applications that claim to be “FREE” and then do virtually nothing but link you to their purchase page after offering you virtually zero redeeming value.

Horse Manure.


UPDATE: David Schoenback from MobiHand asked us to clarify the point that MobiHand couldn’t possibly be held accountable for how developers listed in their marketplace choose to promote applications via other avenues. He’s right… and here is a portion of the statement he sent me:

“MobiHand had nothing to do with this so-called “cheap trick”. We operate a legitimate open marketplace for developers to sell and customers to buy Android apps. We did not create or know in advance about the listing in the Android Market. It’s not our responsibility (nor would it even be feasible) for us to control how our developer partners choose to promote, through other channels, the applications they have listed in the MobiHand catalog.”

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