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Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store 225

Posted by timothy
from the say-those-were-good-free-pills dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Google has begun charging OEMs for access to its proprietary Play Store applications for Android though the reported amount is as low as 75c per device. Between charging OEMs for Google Play apps, showing ads within these apps (Search, Maps and GMail) and profiling users with the data it collects this does show that Google is willing to leverage their stranglehold on the mobile market to control and monetize wherever it can. Add that these proprietary applications and the proprietary Google Play Services are the primary areas for Android innovation and development and you end up with an operating system that is less and less 'free' in the freedom and cost senses of the word."
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Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store

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  • That's fair enough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 23, 2014 @06:32PM (#46051279)

    It's an important service which needs decent maintenance. 75c is cheap for providing Google with the funds to moderate and protect users.

  • by asmkm22 (1902712) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @06:58PM (#46051575)

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see what the big deal is. Like it or not, Google exists to make money. If they feel they have enough leverage to charge people for stuff that used to be free (be them consumers or OEM's), then so be it. If the market can't bear it, the endeavor will fail.

    Too often I hear the people complaining about products or companies are the same ones buying their stuff. We are asking for companies to regulate themselves and do what's in our best interest, when we can't even regulate ourselves. I think that's the whole reason government regulation even exists for things like this, is because people know they lack the willpower to make a chance on their own (stop buying the product), thus need some kind of external force to demand it.

  • by Desler (1608317) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @07:06PM (#46051677)

    For nothing? So they make no revenue from the apps they sell or the ads?

  • Re:Shrug (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @07:43PM (#46052017)

    > apple sells high-end devices, and it's users spend for money on add-ons such, peripherals, and cases.

    Apple sells expensive devices, but there's nothing high end about the 5S; it's in the same class as the Nexus 5, only for twice as much money.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @07:48PM (#46052061) Journal

    Is that a serious question? Take a look at the proceedings from any security conference in the last 2 years and you can find a very long list. The latest trick is for individuals who release small apps for free or a token amount to be offered money to sell their app, especially if the app already asks for more permissions than it really needs (great incentives there...). The buyers then release a new version bundled with malware. The new version is installed automatically if it doesn't need any more permissions, and since most manufacturers don't ship software updates for Android phones in a timely fashion there are typically a few nice root vulnerabilities lying around on a significant fraction of the installed base. From there, the attacker can do what they want (attack mobile banking apps, harvest passwords, send premium-rate SMS, or just proxy all network traffic and inject their own ads, the last being the most common).

    I know a couple of people who have turned down money to sell their (free, with only a few thousand users) apps for this purpose.

  • by Nerdfest (867930) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @08:01PM (#46052183)

    Nice to actually be able to see the damn source though, isn't it?

  • by ducomputergeek (595742) on Thursday January 23, 2014 @10:34PM (#46053141)

    This. I think Samsung was waiting to see how well Amazons and others did. The biggest threat to Android was never Apple & iOS, but Samsung. The question in my mind has always been, what happens if Samsung forks and derives their own OS without google...

  • by mjwx (966435) on Friday January 24, 2014 @03:04AM (#46054141)

    Can you backup your claim and list a few of the problem apps?

    Of course he cant, it's the truthiness of it. How dare you doubt his completely unsupported supposition when the truthiness is clearly there.

    But in reality, the number of compromised applications is incredibly low. Fake banking apps are removed almost as soon as they're added. For the most part you have crappy applications disguising adware and personal data collection (which Apple permits anyway), even these are very low in number. But the Anti-Android crowd would like you to believe you will get pwned as soon as you even breathe near the power button of an Android phone and have all kinds of whimsical arguments to prove it.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce