Google’s Auto-Correct Kills Launch of Android App Locai


Auto-correct, while normally extremely humorous can sometimes be detrimental to a business. Don’t believe me? Just ask the developers of Locai, a Dallas, Texas based start-up that introduced their app into the Android Market about a week ago. The only problem, nobody could find it. Google’s auto-correct function in the Android Market just about killed their launch. Go ahead. Give it a shot. Type — Locai — into your Market search bar and watch as Google assumes you meant “Local” and brings up a list of apps with that fill that description. Funny? No. Tragic? Well, if you’re a budding app developer than, hells yes.

The only way to actually find the app is by typing in “Locai” with the quotes. Something I didn’t even know was possible in a Market search until now. Let’s hope the attention brought by this new Market issue will be addressed in some coming updates. All Google would have to do is prioritize exact spelling before auto-correct queries. In any case, to help these guys out — why not give Locai a quick download. They’ve been through enough.

[Market Link]

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. Ouch. I know those developers so I got an email with a direct link… in fact I guess that probably why they did that…

  2. downloaded

  3. Go to Settings–>Locale and text then click on the settings for the keyboard you use (I use the gingerbread keyboard) then disable auto-complete. It’s the first thing I do to every android phone I touch.

    Auto-Complete is the single biggest source of frustration for your average android user.

    1. Oh no, this is different. This isn’t your keyboard’s auto-correct. This is Google’s. Even when you spell the name correctly, Google will assume you meant something else and bring you those results. Won’t even alert you like they do with Google search =p

      1. In the current market they do not notify you, but in the previous one they do.

  4. looks like a fun app. installed when it said only 10-50 downloads.

  5. Damn you autocorrect!

  6. I bet locai -local would work as well if you want to be fancy.

  7. This would be funny if someone wasn’t counting on getting paid based on app distribution. Goog owes them something for this mistake. Seriously, SOMETHING.

  8. Anybody else get disappointed when she said she wasn’t gonna “rip your clothes off”?

  9. Product creation 101. Find a good name. If your name isn’t easily findable on the internet or you don’t have an insane amount of marketing budget to get it known, you will sink.

  10. Sorry, but this is pretty much developers fault. Wrong name choice, really. There is a reason why google autocorrects locai to local – because visually they look pretty close, the keys on keyboard aren’t very far either – so in 99% of cases the user who typed locai really meant local.

    PS: “This item cannot be installed in your device’s country.” – Google isn’t killing anything here. Developers do.

    1. And worse, what if I was a not-so-honest “developer” that posted things that sounded an awful lot like really popular apps, but were just spyware. People would stumble upon my app even though it’s not popular and you pretty obviously meant the other app.

      Have to agree with you here.

      1. Yeah, I think typo squatters should burn in the same Hell that spammers go to when they 404.

  11. That’s not autocorrect/autocomplete, that’s the market app ranking algorithm.

    If 30922 apps already have a ranking against the term “locai” (because it is a misspelling of local) why would they expect that their new app would rate anywhere near the top? It’s like launching a new website with zero page rank and wondering why you’re nowhere near the top.

  12. “All Google would have to do is prioritize exact spelling before auto-correct queries.”

    Why should they, especially for misspelled common words? If they made such a change, how long would it be before that turns into the favourite way for malware writers to get their stuff on people’s phones?

  13. Wow with an advert like that i don’t think i’d want to download that app anyway, latitude already does it, hell so does facebook, why do we need another pointless app clogging up our phones . ..

  14. Searched for Locai (No quotes). Second hit. What’s the issue?

    1. Actually, the lack of a Download button is a bigger issue.

  15. Thanks for the great write up Chris. It’s been a couple of stressful days but your last line there definitely helped. Fortunately today the auto correct went away and now when you search for Locai we are the result that comes up.

  16. Market on phone -> no hit -> “This item cannot be installed in your device’s country.”
    Devs just killed app themselves ;)

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