Google's Android team said it has created a security tool to prevent the illegal use of paid Android applications in the Android Market. The move joins carrier billing in the latest in a series of efforts to make the Market a more serious application store.
In a move geared to please Android developers, Google
July 27 said it has created a free licensing service
to protect paid applications in the Android Market from
The move will prevent tech-savvy users from downloading
for-fee applications on the Android Market, which has some 70,000 free and paid
The service includes a set of libraries developers can
use to query the Android Market licensing server to check up on licensing
status of users.
The program retrieves information on whether users are
authorized to access the app based on stored sales records, said Eric Chu
, a member of Google's Android Developer Ecosystem, in a blog
"This licensing service operating real time over the
network provides more flexibility in choosing license-enforcement strategies,
and a more secure approach in protecting your applications from unauthorized
use, than copy protection," Chu explained.
Google plans to replace the current Android Market copy
protection tool with the new licensing service, which will manage access to all
paid Market apps for Android 1.5 or higher, over the next few months.
Google has taken a lot of heat over the last few months
for Android Market.
While the store has attracted thousands of developers who
prefer the open source approach over the more strongnet App Store from Apple,
the open and freewheeling ethos has sacrificed some quality.
For example, DoubleTwist's Jon Lech Johansen said the Market suffered
from insufficient billing and too much spam.
Google also attracted attention when it used the Market's remote application removal feature
to remove two potentially
malicious applications from Android devices.
On the company's second quarter earnings call July 15,
Google Senior Vice President of Product Management Jonathan Rosenberg promised
several changes were in motion to boost the e-commerce capabilities and overall user experience for
developers and consumers of the Android Market.
Google signaled one such change July 22, when it said that it is preparing to allow consumers to purchase applications
Android Market and charge them to their wireless phone bills.