October 15, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
We give the Android Market quite a bit of grief on this site, but the recent troubles of dealing with market alternatives has me thinking that Google may deserve an apology. It’s not as easy as it looks.
Angry Birds is set to debut in the Android Market today, but developer Rovio Mobile has decided to first make it available in the GetJar store. Thousands of excited users have rushed to get it and the site has not surprisingly crashed. Instead of finding the right angle to launch birds and earn points, users are dealing with 502 Bad Gateways.
I’m sure the app will be available soon, but is this what we can expect every time an anticipated title is released? Even when GetJar was up an running, we fielded plenty of complaints from readers unable to locate titles or figure out how to download games.
The frustrating experience of dealing with Gameloft has been even more maddening. Their purchase process is very inconvenient and I’ve decided not to venture it. I’ve repeatedly said that no one makes better 3D games than Gameloft, but the world will never recognize that until they wise-up and sell through the Android Market.
Google says it’s not threatened by market alternatives, and if somebody could somehow manage to deliver a decent competitor, I’d welcome the option. But every time I actually consider purchasing from outside the Market, the experience is horrible enough to make me stick with the Market for the following months.
There have been several documented cases of the Market failing to download, not processing orders, being difficult to search, and providing a poor experience. However, it is on track for improvement and better than the experience of other stores. The Android Market is the lesser of 2, 3, or however many evils we can expect to have by the end of the year.