- Renegotiation of the 32% Google-tax on applications sales
- 32% of all application sales revenue is currently taken by Google, some of which goes to them, some of which goes to the telco carrier of the customer. Either way, it is large expense for which neither the developer nor the customer receive any value for. Even iPhone developers, who pay a similar tax to Apple, receive value for their tax in the form of Market curation. We get nothing.
- We demand that Google renegotiate this rate, either to a much lower percentage (preferably, no percentage) or give us some value for our money in terms of Market curation and support.
- Remedy to the Order of Entry Effect
- The Android Market only has two ways to browse: Most Recent and Top Selling. The Most Recent list is constantly being updated and a new application is only in the top few spots of the list for a minute at most. The Top Selling list goes back all the way to the beginning of the Android Market, so only the applications which have been around for years already can be at the top of the list. This leaves no room for organic growth of a new application. This Order of Entry Effect was also one of the main reasons that “Facebook Applications” were considered a failure.
- We demand that Google implement a way to browse for popular applications of different lengths of time and for different regions.
- Public Bug Tracking
- The Android Market has been, and still is, consistently plagued with technical problems. Also, despite the Open philosophy which Google champions in Android, the Market application is closed source, non-Free software. This combination means that although we as developers and customers have to deal with the crippling bugs of the Market on a daily basis, and yet we have no way to remedy them.
- We would like to see the Android Market open sourced, but if this is not possible, then we demand that at least the bug tracking for the client and the server software of the Android Market be done on a public bug tracker, so that we may report errors and highlight the errors which we feel are the most pressing.
- Increased Payment Options
- For the first two years the Android Market operated, Google’s own Checkout service was the only form of payment available to customers. This has changed in some places, and some are now able to pay with other methods. However, this isn’t enough.
- We demand increased payment methods, particularly a Web or Desktop based interface to the Market, as well as a way for developers to implement “Pay What You Want” pricing schemes.
- Codified Rules and a Removal Appeal Process
- The current Market provides only very vague guidelines about what is and isn’t acceptable content on the market. Many developers have had their applications removed without warning, without notice and without explanation. These rejections have come with no method of appeal.
- We demand that Google strictly codify the rules of the Market, and that any removals must be accompanied with a complete explanation and reference to the specific rules violated, and with a formal method for appeal.
- Communication and Engineering Liaison
- The feedback loop of the Android Market is broken. Google changes the conditions of the Market without any public planning and without soliciting any feedback from the developer community.
- We demand that Google fix the communication problems between developers and their own Market team by assigning a communication and engineering liaison who will respond to public and private issues with the Market, solicit feedback from the developer community, and make periodic public statements regarding the state and the future of the Market.
- Algorithmic Transparency
- Because the Market source code is closed, there are many mysteries about the way the Market behaves. The search function behaves mysteriously, some updates mean that an app is reposted to the “Most Recent” list and some do not, comment flagging appears to do nothing at all, and there is a list of Featured Apps, the content of which is usually stagnant and unexplained.
- We demand that Google explain the algorithms behind these features so that we may more thoroughly understand our own working conditions and the needs of our customers. If the Featured list is decided with human intervention and not algorithmically, we demand that there be a community representative on the committee deciding which apps should be Featured.
By no means does this have to be finite, but these are the issues the formative group found most important?
Have something to say about these? Have your own demands? Put them in the comments!