An app was published on Windows Phone store (don’t ask how it went through certification) and promoted on WMPowerUser, which helps users find out the market in which dev has made a paid app free. The app also instructs users how they can grab the app free from another market.
Are people REALLY this cheap? What’s a few bucks here and there to support developers trying to make a living? Is this really the message we want to send to Android and iOS developers considering making apps for Windows Phone? I hope this thing gets pulled from the marketplace. It’s got to be violating some aspect of the marketplace rules. Here is a quote from a developer who seems to be very annoyed by it.
Firstly, I think this app should be immediately banned because it capitalizes on a shortcoming in how a user’s store is decided on the basis of country they select in their device and not the country they have in their live id. I am surprised at that. I so hope that Windows Phone store will correct this mistake. I have also gone through comments over here and I thank those who support developers’ work and think that stealing apps from other countries is not OK. I also read that somebody raised the issue of equality which I don’t understand. Just for clarity, are you saying I should make the app same price (paid) all over the world in the name of equality? Does Windows Phone have same level of market share all over the world? Shouldn’t developer have the freedom to create their market by giving incentive in those markets which are not doing comparatively well? Developers (especially indie developers) are not rich people. They are as much in need of money as anybody else. They write 1000’s of lines of code and work extra to make their apps work and with a lot back and forth gather courage to make their apps paid in the crowd of free apps. And when they find that these kind of apps are assisting people in stealing apps from where it is free under a short term scheme, it hurts – not only their sentiments but also their pockets. Hope people will understand. If this app is not pulled from marketplace, I would be left with no choice but to make it paid for those other countries as well which are currently getting the app free. I will be very sorry for the users in those countries.
Some users are not very happy about it.
What a disappointment. A site devoted to windows phone and all the latest windows phone news would share this app and support it. This is the problem with sites like these. They don’t even bother to admit if its wrong they just share the app and say hey here’s this cool app that shouldn’t be allowed out there. Go download it.
Yes, please pull this app. If developers are seeing people rip off their app, I’m sure they will either raise prices for everyone or stop developing for our platform. And trust and believe, its still going to end up affecting the consumer in some way….stricter guidelines, more certifications, something. And what’s going to happen, the OS will end up running slower. Most apps aren’t even over $2. And if u can’t afford $2 to help someone develop for our platform
Many like it though.
I like the app, its great! and it doesn’t mean people are cheap. I pay for apps I need so you can’t call me cheap. I like the concept. EA, Disney and gameloft etc do free games from time to time and people miss out, so its good to see you can do this with this app. And if people don’t like it, don’t download it. Developers at the end of the day can choose how they want exposure…Never free cool, sometime free cool and try and buy cool…I’m happy either way as a paying and non paying customer
This app is a very good idea and very original!
This app is so disappointing … being a developer I am sad to see such apps getting mentioned on this site. Every indie dev needs to live on the apps they created and the marketing, effort that goes into creating apps is a lot.
–How App finds markets where app is free? It’s simple. Acquire deep link (user provides it by selecting app from store), construct new link for a specific country, fetch DOM, find price element, get price, repeat the process for all countries by constructing new url for each country.
–What user of the app does? They find which country’s market offers the app free. Then they change the country on their device, restart the device, and go to marketplace (which is now showing apps from the selected country on the device). They download the app (for free) and change the country back to their own. This way they can have the app for free whereas it’s not made free in their country by the dev.
–Why store allows it? I think this is a logical glitch in Windows Phone store. They associate app download with Live ID which is correct, but they determine store’s location from device and not from Live ID, which is incorrect and thus a temporary change in country on device makes other country’s apps. The store’s location should be determined by the country in Live ID and not by the country in the device. Still, with this glitch, it is difficult for users (if not impossible) to find a country where some app is free, if they don’t get assistance from apps like this.
—How are WP developers getting hurt? Developers of apps, more so indie developers, have to work very hard to build a descent app which can perform well among thousands of apps on the store. And then, with painstaking efforts developers decide their pricing strategy for different countries keeping in view many things, namely:
1) Market penetration of WP
2) Buying pattern of users
4) Purchasing power of users
5) Short term promotions
6) Promotions on the basis of local events
Now, if such apps let users know how they can get an app free from other markets (where it is meant for promotional purposes and developer specifically made it free for that country only), developers loose buyers sitting on fences – and unfortunately with free model so popular, most of the users are sitting on fences. Developers of paid apps, usually, work hard to come at a conclusion as to how they will promote their apps and how many downloads they can offer for free. They offer lite versions and trials to introduce their users to app and then let users naturally convert into buyers. This app completely nullifies all efforts of developers and assist users in finding and grabbing apps free from a location they don’t belong to. I am particularly hurt because my app is front and center on the screenshots in this app and screams that users can download $3.45 Avirall, for free, and lists out the countries where Avirall is free on promotion.
I have tweeted extensively about the app and the related issues and also invited other fellow developers to voice their opinions. Most developers find this app to be not appropriate. I have contacted the developer of the app and requested him to not hurt developers’ interests.
Please help protecting developers, in-turn protecting the app eco-system, and eventually strengthening Windows Phone. Please buy apps if you can, because developers are also human beings and they also have mouths to feed.