It’s simple enough, right? You don’t want to pay the price tag for the app you see so you can get it by just typing the name and .apk in Google. So why is pirating apps coming so often now? With the new apps that try to embarrass you if you try and pirate them, viruses starting to appear in 3rd party markets, and the tag of “cheap” being posted on you by developers, many people are taking a second look at pirating apps. Is it worth it? Some forums are set up to help pirate apps, others will ban you if you bring it up. How can there even be a debate on whether it’s right or not?
If you go to a developers website (xda for instance) and bring up pirating you will be shunned immediately and probably banned. Developers put a lot of time working on their apps. Loyalists will also bring up the fact that apps do not cost that much. “Is it so hard to pay .99?” they’ll ask. How would you feel if you spent days (even weeks) creating something and not gain anything from it? That’s the reality developers are facing. A lot of anti-Android critics are saying that because of this, developers will not look at developing for Android. But here’s an interesting twist on the idea: With how easy it is to pirate apps in the Android world charging for apps might actually become a thing of the past. A lot of developers are now opting to make a free version with Ads in it for the people that would otherwise pirate their work, and an ad free version for the people that are willing to pay. I don’t know if that’s good or bad for the market, or for developers for that matter. However, realize that not all parts of the world can buy paid apps in the Android Market yet. That means that a developer would have a larger audience if he/she released an ad free version and a full version. So it actually benefits a developer (in terms of audience) to do both. I don’t know if fiscally it ends up being the same. Rovio has decided it only will charge for Angry Birds Rio on the Amazon Store and the free, ad supported version will be on the Market. Do developers make more money selling it for a quick buck, or banking on ads to create revenue? Would you rather make a guaranteed buck, or the possibility of make more with the risk of less? Also, how many times have you heard that a big advantage of Android is that so many apps in the Market are free? Pirating is pushing more apps to be free and the idea that you can get anything for free on Android. From a popularity standpoint, this may be making the fiscally aware smart phone user even more likely to try out Android. Just something to chew on.
In a day and age where music is pirated almost as much as it’s bought we can’t be too surprised this is happening (heck, if you watch a “non official” music video on youtube you’re technically pirating. Crazy, right?). We live in a world where the internet makes information and a lot of things free and people are starting to demand that for all of their electronic goodies. Do I recommend pirating? Absolutely not. I understand that developers take a lot of time to make something and I’ll support them when I can. At the same time a lot of my good friends pirate apps because they don’t want to pay for them. I wouldn’t consider any of them to be any less of morally upstanding citizens than I am. So where do you stand on the subject?