HTC Hero, missing applications from Market after firmware update

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greenrift

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Nov 20, 2009, 10:32:36 AM11/20/09
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I'm not sure who I should complain to about this, HTC or Google, but
after I did the most recent Hero (sprint) firmware update I am unable
to see applications that I developed nor several applications that I
paid for (and free ones) on the Market. This makes updating them
unavailable. Also, if I do a factory reset on my phone, then I will
not be able to download these paid for applications again. What's the
deal here? A friend of mine who also did the firmware update is in
the same boat. Since I do have applications out there that people are
buying, I am now unable to view comments for those since I cannot see
them on the Market. What's the solution to this? Should I contact
HTC as well?

Thoughts?

Greg Donald

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Nov 20, 2009, 10:40:31 AM11/20/09
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I'm actually glad to hear this, I thought it was only my phone acting up.

I can't see any of my apps in the Market now either. I first noticed
it several hours after HTC firmware upgrade yesterday.

Is this some issue with the Market or more HTC bugs?


--
Greg Donald
http://destiney.com/

blindfold

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Nov 20, 2009, 11:50:02 AM11/20/09
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Just a (wild) guess. I see that your SpecTrek app uses the camera.
Might the problem be related to the ongoing discussion about the HTC
Tattoo and app visibility at
http://groups.google.com/group/android-developers/browse_frm/thread/bda3d385db2b44dc/
? There android.permission.CAMERA seems to play a role for as yet
unknown reasons.

Justin Giles

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Nov 20, 2009, 2:14:58 PM11/20/09
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No, that isn't the case.  My apps just use the network permissions and nothing else.  Also, why could I see the apps before my upgrade and now after I cannot?  Again, I don't know who to point the finger to at this point.



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Greg Donald

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Nov 20, 2009, 5:51:39 PM11/20/09
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On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 1:14 PM, Justin Giles <jtg...@gmail.com> wrote:
> No, that isn't the case.  My apps just use the network permissions and
> nothing else.  Also, why could I see the apps before my upgrade and now
> after I cannot?  Again, I don't know who to point the finger to at this
> point.

One of my missing apps has no permissions at all, so that can't be the issue.

I think it's most likely HTC breaking stuff. The firmware upgrade
from yesterday doesn't even fix the icon issues I told them about a
month ago.

Greg Donald

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Nov 20, 2009, 5:54:26 PM11/20/09
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On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 4:51 PM, Greg Donald <gdo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> One of my missing apps has no permissions at all, so that can't be the issue.
>
> I think it's most likely HTC breaking stuff.

My app sales are really down since yesterday too, so I'm pretty sure
this is affecting others besides myself.

Does anyone know if there's some kind of connection between firmware
versions and Market app listings?

Mark Murphy

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Nov 20, 2009, 6:15:22 PM11/20/09
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Greg Donald wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 1:14 PM, Justin Giles <jtg...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> No, that isn't the case. My apps just use the network permissions and
>> nothing else. Also, why could I see the apps before my upgrade and now
>> after I cannot? Again, I don't know who to point the finger to at this
>> point.
>
> One of my missing apps has no permissions at all, so that can't be the issue.

Is it copy-protected?

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Greg Donald

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Nov 20, 2009, 7:02:02 PM11/20/09
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On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 5:15 PM, Mark Murphy <mmu...@commonsware.com> wrote:
>> One of my missing apps has no permissions at all, so that can't be the issue.
>
> Is it copy-protected?

Yes. Is that known to cause issues?

eric

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Nov 20, 2009, 8:04:45 PM11/20/09
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On Nov 20, 7:02 pm, Greg Donald <gdon...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 5:15 PM, Mark Murphy <mmur...@commonsware.com> wrote:
> >> One of my missing apps has no permissions at all, so that can't be the issue.
>
> > Is it copy-protected?
>
> Yes.  Is that known to cause issues?
>
> --
> Greg Donaldhttp://destiney.com/

I confirmed last night that enabling copy-protection on my app hides
it from the market for sprint hero users.

I did some testing with one of my sprint hero users. He had
previously purchased the app (copy protected) but could no longer see
it in the market after the OTA update. I published a test app in the
market and flipped the copy protection on/off a few times. When cp
was off, the app was visible...when cp was on, missing app. Note that
you need to clear the market app cache between searches.

I suspect, although I have no evidence, that the same thing may be
happening with the Eris on verizon. Those users also cannot see my
copy-protected app. I would be interested to hear if any other users
with copy-protected apps have Eris users.

There is an interesting related post that gives some hope of flipping
of the copy-protection. I'm waiting to see how it goes with Matt and
may give it a shot also.

http://groups.google.com/group/android-developers/browse_thread/thread/3c26247d7a0540d1


SoftwareForMe.com SoftwareForMe.com

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Nov 20, 2009, 8:40:08 PM11/20/09
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Great information.

I believe the Eris's problem is in fact the copy protection. I also know the Hero had this problem when launched in the UK.

Can anybody estimate the risk of dropping copy-protection? I know our app is pirated already, but is it so much easier to copy without the protection that we might have a real problem? Our app uses resources (even when it's not being used) on our servers, so a giant change in the paid/stolen ration could cause us real problems.

SoftwareForMe.com
Makers of PhoneMyPC

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Greg Donald

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Nov 20, 2009, 8:46:48 PM11/20/09
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On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 7:04 PM, eric <er...@snoggdoggler.com> wrote:
> I confirmed last night that enabling copy-protection on my app hides
> it from the market for sprint hero users.

Great. So if I unprotect my apps so people can once again see them to
buy them, they will get pirated and sales will plummet again.

What to do, what to do..

Justin Giles

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Nov 20, 2009, 9:00:56 PM11/20/09
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That is an unacceptable solution.  I don't understand why the Market would need to act like that.  If the phone is on a network, it should be able to see ALL applications regardless of copyright protection or not.


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eric

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Nov 20, 2009, 9:10:50 PM11/20/09
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I don't know if this will make you feel better or worse but my app is
copy-protected and is *easily* findable on filesharing sites.

I'm gonna flip off the copy-protection (after some testing).

I want the app to be available to anyone who is willing to purchase it
more than I want to prevent people from stealing it. Why should
paying customers be the ones who are penalized?

On Nov 20, 8:46 pm, Greg Donald <gdon...@gmail.com> wrote:

Greg Donald

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Nov 20, 2009, 9:35:38 PM11/20/09
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On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 8:10 PM, eric <er...@snoggdoggler.com> wrote:
> I don't know if this will make you feel better or worse but my app is
> copy-protected and is *easily* findable on filesharing sites.
>
> I'm gonna flip off the copy-protection (after some testing).
>
> I want the app to be available to anyone who is willing to purchase it
> more than I want to prevent people from stealing it.  Why should
> paying customers be the ones who are penalized?

Good point. Pirates aren't usually paying customers anyway.

My apps came right up when I turned off the copy protection just now,
so yeah, bug confirmed, whomever it belongs to.

eric

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Nov 20, 2009, 9:46:25 PM11/20/09
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Greg, you're aware of the copy-protection flipping bug right?

http://groups.google.com/group/android-developers/browse_thread/thread/3c26247d7a0540d1

It is reported to have been fixed in 1.5 but I haven't heard of anyone
confirm it via testing. If it is still a problem, you wouldn't notice
a problem until your users get their next update of your app.

That's what I was referring to when I mentioned testing. Matt Hall
said he was going to be testing it (at the end of the thread), so I
was waiting to hear from him. I'm also trying to find one of my users
that could help me test as I flipped it.


On Nov 20, 9:35 pm, Greg Donald <gdon...@gmail.com> wrote:

Justin Giles

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Nov 20, 2009, 10:28:40 PM11/20/09
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Flipped mine and they show up now too.  Glad that they show up now for potentially all users, just not that happy with having to do it.  When is someone going to take responsibility for this bug?


Greg Donald

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Nov 20, 2009, 11:18:02 PM11/20/09
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On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 8:46 PM, eric <er...@snoggdoggler.com> wrote:
> Greg, you're aware of the copy-protection flipping bug right?
>
> http://groups.google.com/group/android-developers/browse_thread/thread/3c26247d7a0540d1
>
> It is reported to have been fixed in 1.5 but I haven't heard of anyone
> confirm it via testing.  If it is still a problem, you wouldn't notice
> a problem until your users get their next update of your app.
>
> That's what I was referring to when I mentioned testing.  Matt Hall
> said he was going to be testing it (at the end of the thread), so I
> was waiting to hear from him.  I'm also trying to find one of my users
> that could help me test as I flipped it.

So users bitten by this bug should solve it by uninstall/reinstall ?

eric

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Nov 20, 2009, 11:58:05 PM11/20/09
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Yep, back when the bug originally surfaced, that was the only
resolution I was aware of.

On Nov 20, 11:18 pm, Greg Donald <gdon...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 8:46 PM, eric <e...@snoggdoggler.com> wrote:
> > Greg, you're aware of the copy-protection flipping bug right?
>
> >http://groups.google.com/group/android-developers/browse_thread/threa...

eric

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Nov 22, 2009, 8:45:19 PM11/22/09
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I released a new version of my app (DoggCatcher) to the market and
removed copy protection

I did this after successful testing of an upgrade from the copy
protected version to the new non copy protected version on a 1.5
handset.

I also confirmed with one of my users that my app became visible in
the Sprint Hero market. Today I stopped by a verizon store and
confirmed that my app is now in available on the Eris market.

This seems to be pretty good evidence that the copy protection was
hiding apps from some phone's markets.

It has been about 24 hours since the removal of copy protection and I
haven't heard of any upgrade issues thus far.

VoXHTC

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Nov 21, 2009, 5:24:33 PM11/21/09
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Well to be honest, until this happened I was paying for all my apps. I
can afford it. Now that NO ONE IN CHARGE seems to give a damn about
it, Sprint , HTC, Google. I just started downloading all the paid apps
I could find from other sources.

I bought them for a reason I need them working as they were intended,
and no one messes with my money. Period.

On Nov 20, 5:46 pm, Greg Donald <gdon...@gmail.com> wrote:

Mobilehavoc

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Nov 21, 2009, 10:12:44 PM11/21/09
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I'm the user of eric's app that helped him test the copy-protection on
the Sprint Hero Market. First wanted to thank eric again for choosing
to turn off copy-protection so that as a paying user I continue
receiving the updates/support I should be and allowing other potential
users to discover the app.

Just one thing I wanted to add to this discussion...although I don't
have an app in the Market...I feel that there is a portion of users
that pirate apps no matter what (sometimes for monetary reasons or
whatever it may be) and then there are others who pirate apps because
they are forced to do so due to DRM and other related issues.

Once this issue hit, I noticed several honest paying customers of
several Android apps (based on forum posts and private messages to me)
look for and start reverting to pirate sites to get access to the apps
they have already paid for. Now they've done this they also not only
download the apps they purchased but can easily branch into using the
pirated source for future apps too. In the end that's a lost customer
for Android developers.

So in the end, I don't think there's anything you can do to avoid
having your app pirated, it happens on every platform I'm aware of.
What you can do is limit or avoid forcing people to pirate your
software because you don't provide them an easy, hassle free (and DRM
free) venue to get it legitimately. Maybe I'm just naive. :-)

String

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Nov 23, 2009, 6:39:39 PM11/23/09
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After getting reports as well of my own paid (and hence copy-
protected) app being unavailable to Hero and Eris users, I've done
some more investigation on this issue. I'm 95% sure now that the issue
is that these handsets are stuck at Android v1.5, which uses the old
(pre-donut) Market client. The strong circumstantial evidence seems to
be that this client cannot now see copy-protected apps on the Market.

If any of you have access to a 1.5 handset (Hero, Eris, Cliq, any
Samsung), try it for yourself. Open the Market and look for paid apps,
any paid apps. The only ones I could find were Advanced Task Manager
(which, although $0.99, isn't copy-protected) and DoggCatcher
(mentioned in this thread as having copy-protection removed). That's
it. My own paid app isn't visible - though my free ones are - and
overall, I did a lot of browsing around in a sea of free apps. No paid
ones to be seen.

As a further test, I did a search for one of my free apps and found it
fine. I then turned on copy protection from my Developer Console and
it could no longer be found on the 1.5 client. I turned it off, and
the app came back (though it did take a few minutes). That's pretty
damn conclusive in my book.

It's also pretty serious for any developer trying to earn a living
from Android. 1.5 devices are still 24% of the market, thanks to HTC
and others dragging their feet issuing updates (source:
http://androidandme.com/2009/11/news/what-does-android-fragmentation-look-like/).

In addition to developers generally losing a quarter of their sales,
my own most worrying cases are these:

1. One of my free apps is a 7-day trial, with the license available as
a separate paid "app" on the market. I have customers who are ready
and willing to pay for my app - only they can't because the license
isn't visible from their phone.

2. Users who need to wipe or replace their phones, then being unable
to reinstall apps *which they have already paid for*.

Now, this is clearly a bug which has been introduced on the Market
server fairly recently; case 2 above is someone who was able to
install the app once (from his 1.5 Hero), but now can't. And clearly,
this bug didn't exist when we were all on 1.5. Therefore, it could
also be fixed server-side. The trouble is getting the attention of the
necessary people at Google to do so.

Apart from removing copy-protection altogether, is there any possible
way to address this from our side?

String


On Nov 23, 1:45 am, eric <supp...@snoggdoggler.com> wrote:
> I released a new version of my app (DoggCatcher) to themarketand
> removed copy protection
>
> I did this after successful testing of an upgrade from the copy
> protected version to the new non copy protected version on a 1.5
> handset.
>
> I also confirmed with one of my users that my app became visible in
> the SprintHeromarket.  Today I stopped by a verizon store and
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