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The War Against Spam Continues: Developer “Will Still Flood the Android Market”

If you thought Google and a few “spam app” developers simply had a misunderstanding with the disappearance of their entire catalog of apps the other day, then guess again. One developer – So Wallpapers – had a representative contact AndroidGuys to inform them that their apps had been wiped clean from the market, too. Over 1,500 apps would see their demise, but it wasn’t just the ones Google might’ve considered “spam”.

“I can’t believe it. Our other good apps were also removed.” That’s quite unfortunate, but perhaps he has a point as to why he had to use spam apps to make up for the lack of revenue they were getting from other apps. “We didn’t want to have to [spam the market]. But the Android Market doesn’t have many people who like to pay for apps. So how is a developer to live? Just off of ad revenue?”

no-spam-5

According to their source, the developer has more than one account which they can use to submit apps to the Android market with all of  them accounting for more than 1,000 apps. These apps are adult in nature and have yet to be pulled from the market. Irony ensues, but the developer isn’t waiting to play nice with Google:

We will still flood the Android Market until it provides a better profit environment. We will fire in the end! We welcome other developers to join with us.”

Anyone that’s read my commentary on the subject of different revenue models in the Android market will know that I can’t stand to see developers (that truly earn it) not get money from their userbases (the people that actually express interest in their apps before the developer realizes they need to make some money). But it’s another thing when you’re polluting the market to get a buck from apps you couldn’t care less about because users don’t find your other apps worth spending money for.

Ad-based revenue isn’t always a dead-end either: more than a few developers have expressed joy from the revenue they’ve generated through ads. One developer – MHGames (the one-man team behind the Bejeweled clone Jewels) – has been making quite a nice living off of his lone Android game for a while now. Even if he needs to start his project up for the iPhone (due to a newborn baby that he needs to support), he still claims Android to be his “baby” project that made him quite the collection of pennies over the months.

“I’m not allowed to share any numbers, but it’s been waaay over my lowly expectations.. ;)

Make a good product and the numbers will come. Don’t pollute Android’s (admittedly sloppy) marketplace with useless apps, though, as it’s a very painful experience for other developers, users, and Google alike. I hope no developer takes him up on his offer and I can’t bring myself to feel sorry for his particular situation with Google due to how he handled it. For all you other developers? This is how not to get into anyone’s good graces.




  • behold_this

    Pardon my French but f#@k that developer! He is trash! Here’s a tip loser make apps that don’t suck and people will pay for them!

  • hates this website

    now google ban that developer LOL

  • Sean

    That guy gives a bad name to real developers like myself.

  • Jason Bowdach

    This is why the market is so flooded with crap apps. Hopefully Google continues to remove this developers apps. How are you supposed to “live”? Developa quality app that people WANT to buy, instead of hundreds of crap apps that no one wants and junks up the marketplace.

  • Steve

    Google’s laissez faire approach to the admin of the market and touting free as opposed to paid in this market vs the Apple market and what do you expect? Free is nice but serious developers need to be paid for their work and google needs to pay attention.

  • dook

    Maybe nobody buys his other apps because can’t find the fuckin things after dumbshit flooded the market with wallpaper apps. I’m curious to find out what his other non-spam apps are. Something tells me it’s probably either something stupid or something superfluous – a half assed clone of an existing app.

  • ian

    If this story is real, the developer is an xxxxxx and spoiling it for the android users and the android developers. If he is spamming, google needs to crack down on him and his many guises.
    If he made decent apps then people would pay, his failure to make decent money suggests he is lame as a developer.

  • Mike

    Market spam sucks!

    I will and do pay for an app if it isn’t available for free or is better than the free alternative. If I have a choice between two products that were the same except in price, I would go for the lower priced items. If a developer wants people to buy their app, then make it worth buying.

    Spamming the market will make it hard to find the things I want/need and in the process it’ll piss me off. I won’t buy from a developer that pisses me off, I don’t care if they have the better app or not.

  • dook

    Actually, you know what the market needs? Some sort of search filter mechanism like on androlib.com, where you can sort by ranking and filter out apps that are below a certain amount of downloads.

    Or better yet, a tree-view type of functionality, where all apps listed in the search from the same developer are children of a parent node, that you can collapse or expand by hitting a (+) next to the guy’s name. So numbnuts can still spam the market, but nobody has to wade through his crap to get to something meaningful.

  • http://willfe.com/ willfe

    @Steve: Trouble is, people *do* pay for apps. I’m one of them. The fact that there’s free (high quality) competition for most current software on the Android market is most certainly not a bad thing — it’s a *fantastic* thing.

    It gives us free useful tools, while at the same time motivating developers to come up with something better that people are willing to pay for.

    Also, @behold_this: Right on :)

  • Eric

    @Steve: how is google touting “free”? To me it seems they choose to feature apps based on popularity, not price.

    Don’t feel bad for this guy. If he made apps that people wanted, they would sell. If he made them free, more people would download them, and he could make a decent return from advertising.

    I develop for this market as well, and while I’m not in a position to live off my earnings, I’m not going to use that as an excuse to treat the market like my personal oil well to rape.

    No, I’m not ENTITLED to that, so I work my day job and develop for android in my spare time. Maybe someday it’ll be my full time thing, but for now I just realize that it’s not in the cards.

    Now, what I would like to see as a market USER, is a way to filter out certain developers at our discretion. Don’t like this guys apps? Just remove him yourself instead of waiting for Google to do it.

  • Simon

    Sounds like this developer needs his head caved in!

    Where is he?

  • Kevin

    A flag system like craigslist has might help. Create categories for wallpapers, ringtones, sound boards, and dumb worthless shit. If someone doesn’t put it in the right category, we can flag it for removal.

  • Sam I Am

    @Eric: “Now, what I would like to see as a market USER, is a way to filter out certain developers at our discretion. Don’t like this guys apps? Just remove him yourself instead of waiting for Google to do it.”

    Excellent idea. Would truly make the Android OS the anti-iOS.

  • F. Augusztin

    1) the spammer guy is not worth to be called developer.
    2) many people would pay for apps – but it is impossible because the list of countries where it is possible to pay is extremely short.

  • timmyjoe42

    What a loser.

  • WhatDa

    Keep removing the bottom tier crap.

  • Gus

    @Steve, are you now for tightening restrictions? Open systems have historically been largely hands-off. If you want open Android, this is part of the price you pay. You can’t go around blaming everyone else all the time. You need to own up that this is the system you wanted.

  • C Doggy

    I read the piece and was so angered by the developer’s remarks, and was about to post something related to my thoughts….but

    I see everyone pretty much feels the same way I do!

    GOOD! Don’t support sh!tty developers like this. Let them waste away for the use of sloppy tactics.

    Support awesome apps and solid developers and make sure you do NOT bother with these other ridiculous idiots!

  • s

    We need a filter to be able to BLOCK any developers we don’t want to see in the marketplace. I’m so sick of wading through 8,000,000 stupid slider puzzles named Batman, or Incredible Hulk, or Spongebob, or watever other copy-righted character they want to slap on basically the same dam app over and over. (How do they even get away with that blatant copy-right infringement?) For instance I didn’t even know there was a psx emu in the market til I saw it when i was bored going to the bathroom. Had to scroll through pages and pages of pure garbage games just to reach it. And could someone PLEASE tell me how a friggin soundboard is a game?! How about all those nude pics of girls? I’m not saying I care if there’s nudity in the market, it’s just NOT A GAME! And neither is RUBBING A PICTURE OF SOME DAM GIRL’S @SS OR TITS!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bobby J

    A robust filtering system is badly needed. While I don’t have any problem with Google removing thousands of spam apps from a single developer, I can understand how the very idea makes some people uncomfortable. But with some good filters available, such actions wouldn’t even be necessary since users could just filter out all the crap they don’t want to see.

    I do want to point out that it is already possible to filter out apps from given developers in search results. Just like you can use pub:”" to limit your search results to apps from a given developer, you can do -pub:”" to remove all apps from a developer. And it stacks, so you can make your query something like:

    awesome app -pub:”Spammer 1″ -pub:”Spammer 2″

    It’s cumbersome to say the least, but with Chrome2Phone and Froyo, I can initiate market searches from my desktop pretty easily, which makes adding these parameters significantly easier.

  • Terrence

    I agree with what u said, make a good product and the numbers will come. I spend up to $30 a month on apps in the market but I don’t spend time or money on useless apps that my phone already does natively (like ringtones and wallpapers, I hate seeing those apps!) I buy (and donate to) creative and functional apps like Gmote, Websharing, Where’s my Droid, CamCard, Rockplayer, etc. “Developers” like him (and his apps) need to be removed from the market because they make browsing the market a terrible, terrible experience. He gets absolutely no sympathy from me for what Google did. Don’t make “just cuz u can” apps, make unique apps that showcase the power of Android and don’t make it a numbers game (quality over quantity)

  • Charles in Vancouver

    How about we respond by launching a massive campaign to search out this developer’s spam-apps and flag them as such? Ask everyone to contribute a simple 5 flags per day.

  • AMZss

    @ Eric good idea .
    I really would like to thank Google for removing these apps I hope they remove all the spam from the market .

  • s

    Seriously though. Every morning or evening i’ll say “hey, lemme take a quick glance at the market and see if anything cool’s popped up” and then I have to wade through the literally dozens of apps some jerk developer vomited onto the market that are all the same dam crap over and over. (or they just make a bunch of different total crap games that don’t work and no one ever downloads) I’m talking to you, free4android, Puzzle, Playstation, Red Tomato, Felix.Brown, Aroma Planning, me4android, Brain&Puzzle, and all the other devs flooding the market!!!!!!!

  • shaneaus

    I love all three of the above comments!!!

  • Phil

    I do not understand how anyone believes spamming the market is going to improve their chances of making some money. If nobody wants your first crap app nobody is going to want the rest of the 999 others.

  • Magnus

    One thing Google could do to help developers get paid is to open up the Android Market for purchases in other countries and ALLOW people to pay for apps.

    As it is, several countries can only access the free portion of the market, no wonder developers don’t get paid.

  • Neemo

    paid apps for the rest of the world, hello? wake up google and help us help your dev’s

  • Paul

    Fuck this developer. His apps suck and that’s why nobody buys them. Fuck you, you leech ass developer, go make apps for the istore. You bitch.

  • Logotic

    Damn good riddance to So Wallpapers! I spend a lot of time trying to find decent porn in the android market and their crap apps turn up by the dozen in all my searches, and they’re all the same: Stupid Engrish descriptions like “All man like sexy” and “make mark to support us”, and all you get is six or eight pics of some Korean jailbait wearing a swimsuit so bulky it wouldn’t offend the Taliban.

    Buh-bye, So Wallpapers, and say “Hi!” to the devil for me when you die!

  • behold_this

    @logotic
    You spend a lot of time looking for porn on your phone?! Wow…sad! ROTFL

  • k

    We can’t block him, he isn’t breaking any rules. We need a filtering system, as mentioned before, and some way so that an app gets yanked if it’s under a certain grade for a certain number of ratings, say under 3 stars across 1,000 ratings. That way, the community can speak up and kill off apps.

  • M.

    I have NO problem paying for useful apps… but there is WAY more garbage in the Market Place which makes it hard to spot the GOOD apps… “So Wallpapers” should quit crying and learn how to promote a good product

  • M.

    Lets turn this into a positive thread.. EVERYONE list the most useful apps you know so we can search them and find the GOOD apps on the Market Place.
    Terrence mentioned some good apps Ive never seen before.

  • Brad

    I personally don’t like the idea of having to buy an app outright, and then return it if I don’t like it. I wish Google would make it so that the actual financial transaction for an app purchase is delayed for a day or two, so that if I decide I don’t like it and uninstall it, it simply cancels the queued transaction, and I don’t have to worry about watching my credit card bill to make sure the refund took place. If they did that, I would be MUCH more likely to try out paid apps. That would be great for whoever takes a hit on the credit card transaction fees, and would be great for developers because they wouldn’t have to design their own version of a free trial app. With this system, every paid app would technically be a free trial app for one or two days, whatever the “return” period is that Google has established.

  • Morph

    nobody is ENTITLED to anything. this dbag can go fuck himself. but i’d prefer that Google give me the ability to have a “blacklist” of devs that will never show up in the market on my phone. if implemented right, there would be the ability to filter categories of apps that would have value beyond my just my own interests.

  • Wetworx

    There’s a crap-ton of useless apps in the Market that include wallpapers and audio clips of stuff that you know the devs don’t even have the rights to use. Why would anyone pay a dev that doesn’t even pay royalties themselves?

  • Dorank

    I hate the current Market app. It is missing a blacklist of publishers and the ability to only show free or paid just in apps (like in the pre 1.6 days).

  • iOverpriced

    Nine months ago I’d check the new apps list every day. I haven’t bothered in at least 2 months now. Everything is an Asian girls wallpaper or quotes from a celebrity.

    These developers should have EVERYTHING deleted and banned from the market for 6 months every time they’re found to be spamming. We don’t need a billion apps, we need good ones.

    These 1,000 apps they put out can be covered in a single “wallpaper” app, or “quotes” app. If they’re too lazy to get a job and think they can throw junk out there and whine when people don’t pay for it, I feel no sympathy.

  • http://archangel.posterous.com Vegeta

    Wow, what a truly annoying developer, I do hope he fails at generating revenue as his method not only pollutes the user experience, but clouds the search for quality apps by developers that actually care. For all those praising Apple at the moment. I agree that Apple’s market has it’s benefits for some developers (although you have to pay a lot of money to even begin app development on Mac). I still rather have free and open source anyday, as any good app worth having is eventually known and you just search for the name or QR it, Phandroid and Gizmodo take care of listing the really decent apps, paid or otherwise. I do hope that Google continues to battle SPAM without giving in to the walled garden Apple has, stifling many would-be developers that don’t meet Apple’s “iFart” quality.

  • Stephen

    I hope this is a first step for Google. The next step should be removing all the apps that violate IP. The hundreds of puzzle game apps and wallpaper apps where the developer just grabs images off the internet.

  • Matt

    these spammers represent what 50% of the actual developers do too.

    waaah waaah we can’t extort money, what are we to do?

    instead of making something good where people are glad to spend the money on it.

  • xarophti

    @s, and try looking at “Tools”. Since when is “sexy and funny pictrues” (yes, that’s how it’s spelled) a “Tool”? And speaking of tools, one of the biggest spamming tool (other meaning) developers out there is M Star LLC. This numbnuts takes a simple engineering equations and builds an apps out of them. Dozens. And updates them almost daily to keep him?self on the top of the “just in” list.

  • niko20

    Exactly how does spamming the market help with the “users not wanting to buy paid apps”? What an ass. My paid apps have made me over $20k so far. Make something worth buying and people will buy it dumbass.

  • Will

    The Market sucks because it’s way too hard to navigate intelligently. Sites like AppBrain help, but most of that functionality should be built in to the Market app to begin with. It’s rather pathetic.

    Also, it’s far too easy for Android software to be pirated, which may have some impact. I’m thinking specifically of that site which sells ‘subscriptions’ to access to all the popular paid apps on the Market — what scum bags. They even have the gall to advertise it in the comments of apps on the Market!

    There’s also the fact that apps are refundable. I’ve seen this cited (somewhere…) as one reason why it’s harder to be profitable on Android. I’m inclined to believe it — when I had an iPhone, there are certainly plenty of apps that I would have ‘returned’ within 24 hours if given the opportunity.

    [Note: I realize that pirating apps on iOS isn't difficult, but I'd bet money that a much larger fraction of Android users are aware that they can and how to do those things. I hope I'm wrong, however.]

  • UHF3

    Everyone has pretty much already spoken my mind. Shy of everyone flagging apps as being inappropriate every time we see one, which would be hundreds of times a day. Maybe Google could make a market section named Crapps and just dump all of the garbage in there!

  • behold_this

    Everyone flag developer “ringtone music” released the same app 15 times today under different names and icons but same app! Asshole even used same description! These guys are friggin pricks

  • LaterSpammers

    Bravo to Google for booting those crap apps. I most definitely support developers of proper apps. If you have a good free app that works and adds value to the User experience on my EVO I am more that willing to pay to have a full ad free version.

    BTW, threatening to push even more spam apps out because your current lot of spam apps were pulled is not smart marketing.

    Phandroid how about a running list of Spam developers to avoid. Then we can avoid giving them any of their apps the initial download (only to uninstall) and force them out by preventing them from earning their paltry add revenue in the first place.

  • InstantKarma

    I just wanna know what “fire in the end” is supposed to mean.

  • Chuck

    Would appreciate Phandroid monitoring its site to eliminate those like “dook” who use unnecessary cursing in their comments. No need to do so. Use xxxxx like ian. Be intelligent.

  • Beenyweenies

    I agree that Google should not be removing apps unless they are proven to be malicious in some way. Instead, they should provide users with:

    - User customizable filters. Weed out specific app categories, developers etc. at your discretion and based on your own interests and needs

    - More fine-grained categories and/or require ALL sound boards, ring tones, wallpaper apps etc. to go in the “Themes” category. This would separate most of the wheat from the chafe

    - Put a hard limit on the number of apps any one developer can have in the store at one time, say 100 total. Why would any legit developer, even a large one like EA games, have more than that at once unless they are all spammy crap? Developers could request additional slots if they can prove a legitimate need. This rule alone would clean up the Android store considerably.

    - Better community flagging features. If an app is miscategorized, spam etc. then users should be able to rate it as such. Once an app passes a certain threshold, it is reviewed by an admin. If this happens more than x number of times, the dev’s account is suspended.

    Android is an open platform and as such Google should tread very lightly. They need to just empower the community to do their own policing.

  • Logotic

    @InstantKarma: Fire in the End is one of their apps

  • Perry

    Why not have a rewards system for the marketplace? Like spend X amount per month and get X prize at the end of the month? Maybe a beta for a new feature?

  • Johnny

    As a developer, Android sucks horribly. I tried porting 2 of my apps from Blackberry and iPhone over last month. These apps are very popular and make decent money. In the Android market people rate them as a 1 because they aren’t free. If you think I am going to port over the Quickbooks and Quicken mobile sync or any of the other apps that I have, you are seriously mistaken. Android will never have decent apps because of the users, not the developers.