Licensing service for Android apps should cut down piracy

Think you’re pretty slick by just finding the stand-alone APK’s for apps that you should’ve paid for? Obviously the developers of those apps are sick of their hardwork being distributed for free, but Google has just implemented a service to help them out.

Android’s new licensing service allows the individual app to call Google’s server to check the app against purchase records vs the credentials of the purchase. So if the credentials don’t match, the app won’t have full (if any) functionality on your device.

This will be great for dev’s and consumers alike as long as it verifies the credentials on a per-Google account basis and not on a per-phone basis, which would make getting a new phone quite the frustrating process.

[via android dev blog]

  • Dan

    This is a very bad idea no matter how they implement it… so you forget your gmail details. Potentially a lot of wasted money. Lose your phone. Again the same thing. If they find a way around those 2 scenarios then the idea stands to be a good one.

  • Ian

    if they forget their password then they can go hit the forgotten password button in gmail.
    If they lose their phone then re download them on a new phone.

  • Sined

    @Dan forget your email details? Someone gives up wait too easy.

    There are so many ways you can recover your account.

  • Michael Murphy

    I just hope it’s implemented seamlessly and features some kind of certificate system so the phone doesn’t necessarily have to check with the server EVERY time the app is launched. What if I’m not in coverage?

    I believe the devs deserve to get paid for their work, but I still want my app to launch quickly and consistently.

  • KeyesLabs

    KeyesLabs announced this exact same technology months ago. At least we know it was a good idea!

  • Alex

    Does it mean that I won’t be able to check my text notes/memos, use Advanced Calculator or play Solo while I’m not in a GPRS/EDGE/UMTS or WIFI coverage area?
    Not to speak about what carriers charge (at least in Europe) for data transfer when roaming in different networks.

    I hope they will do it by “validating” the application installation once (just after install) and then they will allow me to be the master of how I use my smartphone.
    I like to be able to connect to internet but I don’t want to be forced to be connected.

  • ari-free

    “ServerManagedPolicy is a flexible Policy that uses settings provided by the licensing server to manage response caching and access to the application while the device is offline (such as when the user is on on an airplane). For most applications, the use of ServerManagedPolicy is highly recommended. “