Android Developers Spamming Their Apps in the Market [Rants]


Whether you’re an Android user or a developer, I’m sure we can all agree on 1 thing: the Android Market is far from perfect. I’m not talking about the UI or even how “open” it is (another topic for another time), I’m talking about things like this.

CatNinjaFly. Or is it SuperNinjaCat? Or NinjaCatFly? It doesn’t matter what you call it because all would be the correct answer and that’s my problem. They are all the exact same games, from the exact same developer. Apparently, the developer NANJAANDROID thought he could gain a little more exposure out of his app, by spamming it in the Market under different names.

Did I download the game? Yes. Did I enjoy it? I mean – it’s a freakin’ ninja cat for heaven’s sake. But that’s beside the point. The point is, how does stuff like this go unnoticed in our Android Market and what should be done about it? I don’t want to down rate the game because it’s actually quite enjoyable. Honestly, I’m not sure what can be done about “app spam” like this but I can tell you this, it needs to stop. NOW.

[Via AndroidSpin]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. you spelled app wrong silly goose

    1. Oh shoot. In the title! Thanks! Spell check doesn’t work on our titles (which is why I’m always messing them up) =/

  2. Fake reviews are pretty bad too, when there is 50+ bad ratings, then a handful that rave about how amazing the game is, bit suspicious.

  3. My biggest complaint about the market is how it makes you add a new title to your comments every time that you try to repost a comment.

    1. LOL! Same! xD

      I always try to think of something witty… hahaha

  4. Great wording in the description.
    All your base are belong to us.

  5. There this guy by the name of Yan commenting on every single one of them lol.

    1. Yan is the undercover developer! o_O

  6. These same developers are missing the fact that by having the same app appear under different names, they are diminishing the apparent popularity of each instance of the app. So instead of one app that’s been downloaded 10,000 times, you have 5 apps that have each been downloaded only 2,000 times. They may get more exposure initially, but they pay for it in the long run.

    1. The developer can still claim 10,000 downloads. Shiet, the developer of the (awesome) game Death Worm did.

      1. But they’d be making their app 5x lower down on the app lists based on popularity. It’s a stupid idea.

        1. True.

        2. My guess is he did this to get his name out there but most likely figured once some of the names caught on he could eliminate excess names through updates… basically combining them by having multiple names update to one name through pointless or minor changes…

    2. I’d just list it under different names, se which sticks, and remove the rest.


  7. I don’t condone this behavior, but I understand what causes it.

    It’s getting harder and harder to get noticed in the Market, especially for independent developers. The Market itself won’t feature an app until it has tons of reviews, but it’s impossible to get reviews if nobody knows that your app is out there.

    Popular sites are so inundated with requests for reviews that even getting a good mention is hard.

    Small and independent developers will try almost anything to get noticed and obviously some will try more outrageous things than others.

    It’s not surprising when a stunt like this get coverage on two very popular sites. This gag could easily turn into several thousand downloads for this app. It’s hard to not try something like this when it gets results.

    If you really want to discourage behavior like this, ignore it. It won’t go away as long as it works and right now it works very well.

    Rather then discussing how to curb behavior like this, we could discuss what devs can do to get noticed. I think there’s a real story there. What started out as a very friendly environment for independent developers is quickly getting overwhelmed by the bigger software giants and neither Google nor the community seems to notice.

    1. Agreed. There are principled people who will stay away from it but generally a story like this will pique interest morsel than curb it.

    2. While not related to Android or phones in general, Valve has been very supportive with independent devs on Steam . Maybe Google should figure out how they do it.

  8. Well, in the reviews mention you downgraded it because he spammed the market. The review should be based on the whole user experience with the developer and that is one aspect of the user experience you were unhappy with.

  9. Eh, let them do it. It only hurts the developer in my eyes. If I see something like that all from the same developer, it tells me not to download it as it might possibly be malware. Also, as someone else mentioned, they’re just hurting their own numbers.

  10. I’m a dev, and I have to say that it is tough. It’s dirty and spammable, and google does not regulate well enough. There is no way to get noticed. What they should do is have a system like Digg, where users and devs can up or down apps or developers. That way random apps can get noticed, and there wouldn’t be so many shit partnerships on the featured page.

    Check my shit out:

    1. I like what you did there XD. Give a great response and then plug your apps as well. I’ll surely check out your page, give the apps a good look at when I actually get something that can run them (lol Bionic), but only because you gave an honest response :)

  11. Succeeding in the android market is alot like succeeding in the real market. It takes a great idea, great implantation, great marketing and a whole lot of luck. Spamming your apps shows that you don’t have confidence in you product, which in turn gives others reason to question the quality of your product as well. I have seen this a few times and I just stay away from them. show some confidence, some pride in your work. If you feel it is worth the attention it will get it.

  12. Capitalism works my friends. The good gets accepted and the bad gets outed. Google should bring back the “new app” feature, but the rest will work itself out.

    1. Yes, it’s worked SO well the last 12 years, eh?

      1. I was thinking the exact same thing.

      2. yeah I bet you just can’t wait for the Soviet Union smartphone. 5 inches thick and only comes in red.

  13. No. His plan worked. We’re sitting here talking about it and I wouldn’t have known about it unless it was on here and how many other people read this and checked it out. Now I’m thinking of seeing what’s it all about. Good one spamming dev…. Good one…

  14. You know what I think we need? Hidden apps. I’m not talking like HAHAH THIS IS PRIVATE. No.
    I remember a while back I was browsing, and the whole page of I think media was spammed with these video caller ID things over and over again. Google SHOULD hide those apps from the TOP paid and things like that, but have them easily available on search (or show them if enabled) Not only that, but it would create an easier way to search for the particular theme you want. It’d be easier because then only certain search terms would be able to trigger the showing of ONLY these themes.
    For instance, when I search “Launcher pro” themes…I don’t want to be getting ADW launcher as the first freaking search result. It’d be easier if I could just go to the app, the app searches for the themes in the market (And ONLY those themes) and then I can go about my day rather then wading through bull crap.
    tl;dr – Create hidden subcategories that when searched, only show in this make believe sub-category, and declutter much of the market by doing so.

  15. Are you just discovering spam now? Take a look at the top 24 paid apps in entertainment.

    Talking Tom Cat
    Talking Tom Cat 2
    Talking Ben the Dog
    Talking Lila
    Talking Larry
    Talking Rex
    Talking Gina
    Talking Baby Hippo
    Talking Harry

    1. talking tom cat is a big youtube sensation because of stuff like this

  16. It is not stupid to do it. I developed a game named Paper ball and when I update it my game up to the top of new games list.
    But you can do it once per week. And after one day your game is lost in the deep of the list.
    Plus many app like “wallpaper of babes” in game list appears because google do not check apk.

    Market is not perfect. Then if you want to support an indie game developer try this:

    1. Sorry but any dev who pulls that shit, won’t get my support.

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