Google Implementing Licensing Server To Protect Android Apps From Piracy

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News Posted: Thu, Jul 29 2010 7:54 PM
If you're an Android app developer, and you have been troubled in the past by ill-willed people stealing your apps and then hosting them online for others to download, it's evident that Google is listening to your squealing. Apple's App Store has been seen as relatively secure when it comes to copy protection on apps; while it's theoretically possible to jailbreak your iPhone and then download/install illicit applications without paying, it's definitely an arduous process that many don't care to even get involved with.

But with Android, one of its greatest assets could also be seen as one of its greatest downfalls for app developers. Most Android phones support a feature called "sideloading," which is something that Android owners pride themselves in having access to while iPhone owners do not. This basically allows users to just drag an app (.apk file) onto their device via USB and then install it that way. In other words, you never even have to visit the Android Market in order to install an app.


But piracy due to this is obviously an issue. Google is planning to curb some of that soon by changing the process by which devs can copy protect their creations. The new "licensing server" system is available now for devs that show interest, and it will become the main copy protection mechanism for Android over the next few months. Basically, this new system will allow an app to "phone home" to a licensing server in order to double check to see if an app has actually been purchased by the user of the phone. This will obviously not sit well with some end users (for example, what happens when you try to use an app while offline?), but it's probably a good thing in the long run. What do you think? Are you in favor of the new system?
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AKwyn replied on Fri, Jul 30 2010 7:54 PM

Probably not, if I have to be online to use apps that I payed for then forget it.

 

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acarzt replied on Sat, Jul 31 2010 2:21 AM

Yea.... I got to experience being screwed over by needing to be online for the first time.

In the example it was Bioshock 2.

You have to be logged into windows live whatever.

The GF played for 4 hours without being logged in... then found out there was no way to save the game... all data was to be lost.

I tried to log in with my live ID... but it wanted to update... if I didn't update it would log me back out

So I updated... and then it said to save game and restart.... but it still wouldn't let me log in because it was pending a restart.... wtf? really?

So yea.... 4 hours of game play lost...

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