Piracy on Android: It’s still a huge problem, but we can solve it together

September 25, 2012
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We love poking and prodding our Android devices for hours on end, and every once in a while, when we hear about or use an amazing application, we’ll open up our wallets and support the developers that make our phones and tablets that much more enjoyable to use. Some people though, they don’t see the world that way. They pirate applications. According to a report from Protection Technology Research (PTR), just 10% of Android apps downloaded are actually purchased. On average, a developer writing an app for iOS makes more money than if he or she would have made that same app for Android. And worst of all, 55% of developers are terrified about losing money due to pirates.

What can be done? The survey was commissioned by StarForce, a company that provides software for developers to secure their applications. With that in mind, of course they’re going to tell people that piracy is a huge problem, because they want more people to use their tools. But forgetting about that for a second, we as Android users know how stingy some of our friends can be. Finding pirated apps and side loading them is incredibly painless. Instead of ignoring that kind of behavior, we should stand up and force people to respect software.

Look, chances are if you’re reading this you’ve probably grabbed something off a torrent site or a usenet server. Paying $30 for a Blue-ray that may or may not be good is a tough pill to swallow. Buying a $60 game only to have a 12 year old kid scream obscenities into your hear isn’t pretty either. But apps, come on now! Apps rarely cost more than a dollar or two. That’s money you would’ve otherwise probably throw away on fast food or on a cup of coffee.

We’re not saying pirating cheap stuff is bad, but pirating expensive stuff is OK. That’s hardly the message we’re trying to convey. We just want you to think about the people who love Android as much as you do, so much so that they wrote an app in their spare time. If they don’t deserve some money, who the hell does?

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