New Android Market Client Update

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webmonkey

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Dec 11, 2010, 3:42:44 AM12/11/10
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From the blog post at:

http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/12/android-market-client-update.html

"Since most users who request a refund do so within minutes of
purchase, we will reduce the refund window on Market to 15 minutes."

Funny, this is also my experience but not because they do not like the
app, but because it won't download!!! The purchase was successful, but
the download will be stuck at 0%. So they panic and cancel it within
minutes and then mail us that it won't work!

Julie Andrews

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Dec 11, 2010, 4:32:50 AM12/11/10
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Pent

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Dec 11, 2010, 5:52:46 AM12/11/10
to Android Developers
> "Since most users who request a refund do so within minutes of
> purchase, we will reduce the refund window on Market to 15 minutes."

This is really bad news for me.

I don't have a trial version for my (relatively) expensive app because
I was relying on the 24 hour refund period so I'm going to drop waaaay
down the ranks.

Clearly, the thing to do is make my app free and sell an unlock app.
Of course, with that fantastically long notice period of 'over the
next several days', implementing that will be no problem at all <---
sarcasm.

They're really piling it on lately, I was even tempted to use caps.

For all clarity, it's not the change I object to but the vague, short
notice period.

Pent

Zsolt Vasvari

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Dec 11, 2010, 6:17:00 AM12/11/10
to Android Developers
No offense, but the fact that you don't have a trial app is a really a
bit tricking people into buying the app. A large percentage of people
are too timid, don't know, procrastinate, etc, to get a refund. I
think if you have an expensive app, it's almost mandatory to have some
sort of free version. Just my two cents.

Pent

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Dec 11, 2010, 7:09:43 AM12/11/10
to Android Developers
> No offense, but the fact that you don't have a trial app is a really a
> bit tricking people into buying the app.  A large percentage of people
> are too timid, don't know, procrastinate, etc, to get a refund.  I
> think if you have an expensive app, it's almost mandatory to have some
> sort of free version.  Just my two cents.

No offense taken, the thought hadn't even occured to me.

Nevertheless, it's another change from the Market that requires major
action with hardly any notice.
and which I don't believe they'd get away with without a de facto
monopoly.

Pent

Zsolt Vasvari

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Dec 11, 2010, 7:19:26 AM12/11/10
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By the way, the 15 mins is the standard Google Checkout refund
policy. If you buy anything using Google Checkout, you have 15 mins
to change your mind. In effect, Google is not sending your order
onto the vendor for 15 minutes. So Google just took away the special
treatment for Android App purchases.

My guess is what we will see in the Developer Console is no refunds at
all. We won't even know that the refund happened, which is OK by me.

webmonkey

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Dec 11, 2010, 7:34:14 AM12/11/10
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My issue is that all the changes are cosmetic. After 2 years they
still haven't improved the actual buying experience for users. Orders
are declined, downloads won't start, and users have no idea what to
do.

H

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Dec 11, 2010, 7:40:15 AM12/11/10
to android-d...@googlegroups.com
Yeah, I agree. Do we know if the 15 minutes starts from (a) the moment the buyer has "purchased" (and not yet downloaded) or (b) the moment they *successfully* download the app for the first time..?

Zsolt Vasvari

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Dec 11, 2010, 8:00:00 AM12/11/10
to Android Developers
If it's anything like buying anything else using Google Checkout, the
user will get their e-mail and at that moment the 15 mins starts. I
don't think it will have anything to do with the actual download
success.

I think Google would have done away with refiunds completely, had the
15 min grace period not been such a core feature of the Google
Checkout product. After all, the 15 mins is a ridicolous time for an
app purchase as a large number of apps (like mine) cannot be
evaluated in 15 mins. The 15 min rule is good differentiator from
PayPal and worked well for regular merchandise in case you clicked
purchase by error or you found the same item being sold by another
merchant for less. It doesn't work well for apps, in my very
insignificant opinion.

TreKing

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Dec 11, 2010, 2:12:44 PM12/11/10
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Every time I see a blog or email about Market changes, I get all excited about what they might be adding or fixing. And every time I'm left confused and disappointed.


On Sat, Dec 11, 2010 at 6:09 AM, Pent <tas...@dinglisch.net> wrote:
Nevertheless, it's another change from the Market that requires major action with hardly any notice.

Clearly the can't give more heads up, otherwise bad things would happen ... like developers would be prepared ... and it would be sign that the Market team gives a damn about developers. We can't have that now!

My issue is that all the changes are cosmetic. After 2 years they still haven't improved the actual buying experience for users. Orders are declined, downloads won't start, and users have no idea what to do.

Fixing those problems is going to take some serious technical skill and talent. Remember who we're dealing with here.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TreKing - Chicago transit tracking app for Android-powered devices

Pent

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Dec 11, 2010, 2:33:03 PM12/11/10
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> Every time I see a blog or email about Market changes, I get all excited
> about what they might be adding or fixing. And every time I'm left confused
> and disappointed.

Heh, I was just thinking that earlier. Used to be it was 'great,
wonder what's coming' which has slowly morphed into 'oh no, what are
they changing now' :-)

Pent

DulcetTone

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Dec 11, 2010, 3:12:58 PM12/11/10
to Android Developers
I agree... I find the change in trial period a step backward.

Tony

Michael A.

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Dec 11, 2010, 3:55:39 PM12/11/10
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On Dec 11, 9:12 pm, DulcetTone <dulcett...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I agree... I find the change in trial period a step backward.

I'm happy about one thing: at least the 15 minute limit will get rid
of the "I completed this game in 1 hour - uninstalled" crowd. I don't
have any apps of that kind myself, but every time I read a comment of
this kind on a $1 app, I just get annoyed on behalf of the afflicted
developer; it's such an abuse of the system.

Regards,

Michael A.

Nathan

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Dec 11, 2010, 5:23:58 PM12/11/10
to Android Developers


On Dec 11, 2:52 am, Pent <tas...@dinglisch.net> wrote:
> Clearly, the thing to do is make my app free and sell an unlock app.

Don't do it.

Users do not understand an unlock app. I've been down that road. You
can put it all over your description that you need to download the
demo first; this will unlock it, and you will still get irate users
wondering why the app they just paid for doesn't do anything.

You do not want to get in the way of immediate satisfaction for the
people who are willing to pay for your app without a trial period.
People who will shell out money without even reading your 325
character description are, after all, ideal customers.

Make a free version of your app instead. It could still be time or
feature limited. You can use a project library and it is a major pain
for you, but it is better than getting constant confusion.

>I don't have a trial version for my (relatively) expensive app because
>I was relying on the 24 hour refund period

I'd forgive them for this change if they would allow a real, developer
configurable trial period. 24 hours isn't long enough to evaluate my
app. For some, it might be too long.

Nathan

String

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Dec 11, 2010, 5:50:48 PM12/11/10
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On Saturday, December 11, 2010 10:23:58 PM UTC, Nathan wrote:

On Dec 11, 2:52 am, Pent <tas...@dinglisch.net> wrote:
> Clearly, the thing to do is make my app free and sell an unlock app.

Don't do it.

Users do not understand an unlock app. I've been down that road.

I'd second that.

You're much better off to create separate free and paid apps, with a clear upgrade path from the former to the latter. Nathan's right, "unlock apps" just confuse folks.

String

Nathan

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Dec 11, 2010, 6:47:52 PM12/11/10
to Android Developers

On Dec 11, 4:34 am, webmonkey <webmonke...@gmail.com> wrote:
> My issue is that all the changes are cosmetic. After 2 years they
> still haven't improved the actual buying experience for users. Orders
> are declined, downloads won't start, and users have no idea what to
> do.
>

Yep. My thoughts exactly.

I can't for the life of me figure out why they give people seven days
to update their credit card info. I don't even know what users see in
this situation, but they are obviously uninformed.

Later on, I will get mail from them saying they bought my app and have
been trying to download it for five days, and the Market is in some
sort of infinite loop.

Does the Market get the fact that not everyone checks their gmail
account? Many had to sign up for one just to activate their phone;
doesn't mean they want to use it.

Just decline the transaction already. You are going to decline it in
seven days anyway.

The very first time I bought something from Google Checkout, I
wondered why I never got a tracking number. Months later, I found a
bunch of emails at this gmail account that I'd pretty much just
reserved for future use. I hadn't given the address to anybody, so I
only expected spam. There were the tracking numbers.

That's what users are going through in their Market transactions, and
it's not getting better.

Nathan

Emanuel Moecklin

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Dec 11, 2010, 8:05:12 PM12/11/10
to Android Developers
I used androidlicenser to implement an upgrade function that allows
unlocking additional features.
Users can pay though Google Checkout or Paypal and you keep almost
100% of the money (minus ~2% transaction fee).
It's also not limited to the 29 country Android market is currently
limited to.
For the user it's convenient because he/she doesn't have to download
another app, doesn't lose the data already entered/accumulated in the
free version and can pay by other means than Google checkout.

So basically I have 2 1/2 half versions:
- Free app
- Free app unlocked = identical functionality as the paid app
- Paid app

I'm going to release the unlock function next week and if anyone is
interested I can share my experience with you.

Emanuel Moecklin
1gravity LLC

Brill Pappin

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Dec 11, 2010, 11:11:53 PM12/11/10
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I do have a separate free and paid version the same thing, and I'm getting real annoyed with having to maintain the two versions.
Actually, they are starting to diverge more than I can maintain them.

What needs to happen is the LVL API needs to support the concept of license levels, so we can build a single app that simply excludes features the free version doesn't have.

Fairly simple for the user as well. The simply see a Buy button and a Demo button... and in the app when the license is checked, we can see whats running. This would also get rid of the problem of the package namespace and having to have two separate builds.

Its bad enough I'm starting to think of developing my own licensing system, and sharing it with the rest of you.

- Brill

Brill Pappin

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Dec 11, 2010, 11:14:07 PM12/11/10
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Are you actually allowed to do that in the Market?

For some reason I thought there were usage rules against doing that...
Not that I have much sympathy for Google in that regard because there are problems here that should have been fixed a long time ago.

- Brill

TreKing

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Dec 12, 2010, 12:07:46 AM12/12/10
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On Sat, Dec 11, 2010 at 10:11 PM, Brill Pappin <br...@pappin.ca> wrote:
Actually, they are starting to diverge more than I can maintain them.

Revision control paired with an Android Library project should help.
 
What needs to happen is the LVL API needs to support the concept of license levels, so we can build a single app that simply excludes features the free version doesn't have.

That's probably not going to happen.
 
Its bad enough I'm starting to think of developing my own licensing system, and sharing it with the rest of you.

I'm sure many people would love to see what you come up with. I know I would.

XiaoXiong Weng

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Dec 12, 2010, 12:59:43 AM12/12/10
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That would be cool J

--

Brill Pappin

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Dec 12, 2010, 1:21:16 AM12/12/10
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I use SVN for every project I ever create :)
Library, but Libraries are simply an imperfect way to do it on this platform what with the resource and R classes.

TreKing

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Dec 12, 2010, 2:07:00 AM12/12/10
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On Sun, Dec 12, 2010 at 12:21 AM, Brill Pappin <br...@pappin.ca> wrote:
Library, but Libraries are simply an imperfect way to do it on this platform what with the resource and R classes.

Granted, I haven't created an Android Library project yet, but I thought that was taken into consideration...

Pent

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Dec 12, 2010, 5:37:18 AM12/12/10
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> Users can pay though Google Checkout or Paypal and you keep almost
> 100% of the money (minus ~2% transaction fee).
> It's also not limited to the 29 country Android market is currently
> limited to.

That's against the terms of the Developer Agreement, otherwise clearly
it would be stupid not to use the free-on-market-unlock-via-paypal-or-
checkout model. Lucky for you Google don't seem to have any interest
in regulating anything.

Pent

aelfwyne

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Dec 11, 2010, 7:57:03 PM12/11/10
to Android Developers
Really ... 2 things.

First, the fact is 15 minutes is not enough for most apps. In the case
of a game finished in 1 hour - if it is finished that fast, then it
probably wasn't worth buying in the first place. A good game would
take much more time. More importantly, even with the increased
download limits, many paid apps have additional data that must be
downloaded. For example, I bought a program called Human Japanese.
Once downloaded, it then launches and proceeds to download over 100mb
to the SD Card. Even on wifi, this frequently takes longer than 15
minutes. If done over EDGE or 3G, it could take even longer. Fact is,
the app cannot in any way, shape or form, be evaluated in 15 minutes.
NOT POSSIBLE. The same is the case with some games, that have the
program file download from the market, and game content from a 3rd
party server. Market THINKS it is completely bought & downloaded, but
you're looking at a much longer time before even being able to use it.
There will be NO GOOD come of this change, except a few whiny
developers will see their sales drop as people flock to piracy sites -
which are out there. And, it takes seconds to back up an APK and
refund it, so this doesn't prevent that.

Second, about users. Seriously. If someone is too stupid to check the
GMail account that sends its notifications DIRECTLY to the phone they
bought the app on..... then good riddance. Unless your app is "Smart
phones for Complete Morons in 3 easy words", then chances are you
don't want that person anyway as someone you'd have to support. It
would cost you more than they paid for the app.

tobias429

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Dec 14, 2010, 6:56:56 AM12/14/10
to Android Developers
> Unless your app is "Smart
> phones for Complete Morons in 3 easy words", then chances are you
> don't want that person anyway as someone you'd have to support. It
> would cost you more than they paid for the app.

First time I see a developer stating that certain customers are below
his dignity level to support. But then again Kurt Cobain also didn't
like how many "uncool people" listened to his music... In general,
given the average prices on Apps on the market, any support question
that you get will cause you an amount of work that - if multiplied by
a sensible hourly rate - will exceed the profit from that specific
user by far.

I also don't see a problem in selling a game that you can finish in an
hour. Hey, you shell out more dollars per hour for almost any other
sort of entertainment. What's your cost for a movie ticket? You also
can't go back to the box office afterwards asking for a refund because
you did not like the film. Imagine what it would do to Hollywood if
you could.

Most paid apps come with a free demo version. For those apps, who
needs a refund option at all?

Nathan

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Dec 14, 2010, 2:44:08 PM12/14/10
to Android Developers
On Dec 11, 4:57 pm, aelfwyne <aelfw...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Second, about users. Seriously. If someone is too stupid to check the
> GMail account that sends its notifications DIRECTLY to the phone they
> bought the app on..... then good riddance. Unless your app is "Smart
> phones for Complete Morons in 3 easy words", then chances are you
> don't want that person anyway as someone you'd have to support. It
> would cost you more than they paid for the app.
>
That person has already become someone you get to support when you get
the email asking where their download is. Or do you simply delete such
emails since they haven't given you any money yet?

I don't know that 'DIRECTLY to their phone' is a safe assumption. Yes,
that's how my phone is set up, but some people are even getting yahoo
mail as their primary account.

All I ask is that the Android Market just decline the transaction and
tell the user such inside the Market app. Or maybe they could use the
notification api. Do you think their "infinite loop plus email
notification" is user friendly?

When they don't keep users well informed and tell them what they can
do, us developers end up doing it instead.

Nathan

brian purgert

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Dec 29, 2010, 4:34:39 PM12/29/10
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I just released my first payed application and a get alot of refunds but they are usally within in 3 minutes which is really odd, im almost positive that it works on most phones, its just weird because you wouldent even be able to play the first level in that time.
On Dec 11, 2010 3:42 AM, "webmonkey" <webmo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> From the blog post at:
>
> http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2010/12/android-market-client-update.html


>
> "Since most users who request a refund do so within minutes of
> purchase, we will reduce the refund window on Market to 15 minutes."
>

> Funny, this is also my experience but not because they do not like the
> app, but because it won't download!!! The purchase was successful, but
> the download will be stuck at 0%. So they panic and cancel it within
> minutes and then mail us that it won't work!

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