Are games too easy to pirate on Android?

Also in today's open source roundup: Google picks the best Android apps and games of 2016, and six big changes coming in Android N

pirate flag skull pirate
Credit: flickr/fdecomite

Are games too easy to pirate on Android?

It's long been known that game developers make much more money on iOS than they do on Google's Android platform. The most recent example of this is Monument Valley. The developers of the game posted an article on Medium with infographics that show that 73% of their revenue comes from iOS, while only 17% comes from Android.

The post on Medium by the Monument Valley developers spawned a long and interesting thread on the Linux subreddit about Android and piracy:

Kojaengi: "I know there are plenty of statistics saying how ios is by far the more revenue rich platform for game and other app devs and I'm definitely seeing it here as well… But I don't understand why. Is it really just that ios users spend more or is there something else going on? "

Philosophermk: "Piracy. On ios you can't just download cracked paid game and install, on Android you need just to Google Monument Valley paid apk . Last year guys from ustwogames said that only 10% of their paid users on Android paid for the game.

Now imagine if others 90% actually paid for the game, those revenue numbers will look totally different.

I wish Google to come up with some way to check if user paid for the thing."

Slinky317: "I could have sworn a few IOs ago I remember Google announcing that they came out with an API or something that will check the Play Store when a paid app launches to make sure that person has actually paid for the app. I don't know if this feature was canned or pirates just found ways to get by it, but it seems to have been pretty ineffective."

Fenderbiz: "I still don't believe that 90% of Monument Valley players (or even devices) went out of the way to download an apk from a source other than the play store."

Philosophermk: "Actually 95% https://twitter.com/ustwogames/status/552136427904184320. This is for first year btw .

So if that was 40%(like ios), that means x8 more revenue from Android . To be precise 3,331,224 revenue from Android in first year which is more than ios."

Moops: "I think it's simply that iOS users have, in general, more money. It's a ‘premium' platform."

Charles211: "Nah. It's definitely piracy. And also revenue from ads. For Ios, it's more concrete and you hit a very casual group.

Think of how many people update their iphones, once you do that, your jailbreak is gone, and at times for months. Right now I haven't been able to jailbreak for about a year. Last time I tried jailbreaking, it froze my iPad, I had to restore and turns out Apple stopped signing the firmware i was on. So I had no choice.

Compared to Android where many people know backwards ways to get things and rooting somethings is just a click away. There is no restriction of downgrade and upgrade because of how open the software is. It's definitely a plus but in terms of access. A minus for developers. I buy more things now since I know how hard it is for developers, since I became one.

Also apps that block adverts and what not. I know they NOW have something similar for ios (blocking ads) but it hasn't been to the same extent as android."

Hecorat: "Offline paid apps/games on Android are too easily to pirate. Even for ones that are much much less popular than MV, just few hours after every update on the Play Store, people will start uploading the new pirated versions on numerous websites and pirated stores."

Utack: "The reason I will never complain when iOs gets the better apps: Android attracts a cheap community of pirates, that is the reality.

The Play store must also be annoying: sinking 1/3 of money for the app you made into Google with no other way of reaching customers. People are laughing and Amazons Android efforts so far, but it would bring a much needed balance."

Klonmeister: "Back in the 2011 when I spoke to some devs they reckoned they made twice as much money on the iOS app store as opposed to the Google Play store.

I hope Google looks at it but IMO the issues are: Android users have much easier access to pirate apps Android having much higher low end smartphone market share - meaning a lot of users might not have the cash to spend.

I wonder what they do to combat it, maybe limit installation to the Google Play store unless you have an unlocked phone or are a registered developer with Google Play."

More at Reddit

Google picks the best Android apps and games of 2016

Speaking of games, Google has released a list of what it considers to be the best Android apps and games of 2016 in its first annual Google Play Awards.

Ryan Whitwam reports for Geek.com:

Google doesn't have to be ashamed of its Android application ecosystem these days. Back when the Play Store was known as the Android Market, it was a different story. There just wasn't a lot of great stuff. Now there's enough that Google is having its first ever Google Play awards. The winners have been announced, and they're kind of all over the map.

Here's the list of winning apps with links to check out for yourself.

Best App: Houzz

Best Early Adopter: World Around Me

Best Families App: Thinkrolls 2

Best Go Global: Pokemon Shuffle Mobile

Best Game: Clash Royale

Most Innovative: NYT VR

Best Use of Material Design: Robinhood

Best Standout Indie: Alphabear

Best Use of Google Play Game Services: Table Tennis Touch

Best Standout Startup: Hopper

More at Geek.com

Six big changes coming in Android N

Google is working hard on the next version of Android, and it promises to have some significant changes from previous releases including better battery life, split screen mode and a few other goodies that most Android users will love.

Rob Pegoraro reports for USA Today:

After A, I, V, and R (as in artificial intelligence and virtual reality), the next most important letter at Google's just-concluded I/O conference here had to have been N.

That's the letter assigned to the next version of its Android operating system, the subject of a major part of the keynote Wednesday. Google will almost certainly name it after a dessert beginning with "n," in keeping with its habit of thinking with its sweet tooth when christening new Android releases.

While we wait for a ruling from the Google officials on that, here's what we do know is coming from Android N when it ships later this summer:

Split screen mode

Simpler multitasking

More interactive notifications

Longer battery life

More efficient apps

Security tweaks

More at USA Today

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