November 26, 2014

Android Market: Hiccups Continue

On the Android Market forums there is an uproar: many apps significantly suddenly dropped their counts. We already covered Market issues twice in the past week and Google even apologized to developers. However last night the first thing I noticed was that my “Credit Card” app disappeared from the market search. No, it wasn’t yanked. It can still be found by direct query “pname:bostone.android.credit,” but it does not appear on search by name, by keyword or even when I click on “View more applications.”

My troubles didn’t stop there: just this morning I went on the Market and to my dismay immediately noticed that counts on my apps were down, way down, to the levels of March-April 2010. This also affected position on the top list for Hire*A*Droid, which plummeted about 20 slots.

Being a programmer myself, I understand too well that no one writes perfect software. However, what disturbs me deeply is that there’s really no support system for the Android Market. The Market is not an open source so we have to rely on Google to fix any problems. Yet there’s no bug tracking, no support phone or even email or any way to file a problem ticket. There is, of course, the Android Market help forum, but in my professional opinion it is absolutely unsuitable as an issue-tracking system. It is what it is: a place to whine and cry with no obligation on Google’s part to even acknowledge any of the posts. Sometimes their engineers do reply but that seems to be random and far between. In any event, it places no obligation on Google personnel to follow up, much less to fix the problem.

What is your current situation? Counts, visibility? And what do you think Google should do with this?

Update: Tim Bray of Google has acknowledged these further issues on the Android Developers Blog, and says “the right people are aware of the situation and are working on it.”



  • http://www.isakson.info Craig

    I agree that there should be a better system in place to take care of trouble issues with the market. I too have been having the same issues as you. First my app could not be found by searching directly and soon after that my counts were WAY down. I have talked to a couple of other developers that are experiencing the same issues.

    • Anonymous

      If you do a Google search for "Android Developer Console", you can find the market on the URL http://android.brightstarcorp.com
      When you do a search for 'brightstarcorp' you can find an interesting press release relating to their relationship with Google.

      Do Google actually run the market?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/droidin droidin

    UPDATE: This post was written yesterday. As of right now counts for my apps are back to normal, as well as top list position and searchability. I still think that Google should add proper issue tracking to Android Market (and keep forum)

  • http://androidsfuture.blogspot.com Tallbruva

    I'm back to normal now. Even show 200 more downloads since I noticed the problem.

    I must say that they fixed it quickly, relatively speaking.

  • Radjin

    It's a pain. I have apps in the android flea-market as I like to call it and the app store. Although I had issues getting approved with Apple once in I am making a ton while my ranking on the Android market goes up then disappears beneath the waves of junk people are uploading. They keep this up and I am leaving as the app store works perfectly.

  • jasper

    The counter issue is indeed not so good. However the biggest issue I encounter is that half of the downloads cannot be charged since people are allowed to create a Google checkout account with an invalid creditcard number. Meaning that I get daily mails that although the user has downloaded the app, he/she cannot be charged. On this way we developers loose a lot of revenue

  • jasper

    Google market has a lot more problems. Promised phones, from the device seeding program, are not delivered to developers. Even-though they met all criteria. Contacting Google about this issue is impossible since they do not react on mails. They slowly become the same kind of organization as all other big companies. I hope they still look into this issue and fix all problems asap.

  • http://www.andrudes.com Andrude

    My counts are wacky. Have been for a week or two.

  • http://ranggaw0636.student.ipb.ac.id/ ranggaw0636

    I hope this kkin of thing won't happen again in the near future

    • http://dedenm06.student.ipb.ac.id deden

      yupz… i hope so…

  • Kerry

    There are problems for end-users, too. Many, many folks are having trouble downloading from the market, or even *browsing* it, for that matter. It's plagued with network errors and "download unsuccessful" messages. Attempts to bypass this issue using WiFi are also thwarted by these issues. Google really needs to get their act together.

  • http://yohan06.student.ipb.ac.id/ yohan

    nice pos thanks for sharing :)

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/koxx3 koxx3

    I have the same visibility problem with one of my applications : Pure messenger widget.
    Impossible to find it with market search… but it works by QR code …
    A Market bug tracker would be really great, I agree, there is too much problem with Google Market.
    When they are huge, Google react, if not, they pass…
    The list is long:
    – invalid credit card,
    – invalid curency (some credit cards cannot be charged with euros, so the purchase is blocked by Google without any information for the user)
    – invisibility of copy protected apps with custom ROM (or even Froyo),
    – no web search,
    – no possibility for devs to answer market comments …
    and now, fully invisible apps.

    Selling apps is a job for some devs (like me), download drops costs A LOT for those devs !

  • http://hendrop06.student.ipb.ac.id/ hendro

    (woot)
    this is a really really big probs..

  • David Foreman

    Welcome to my world. For anyone who has been using Google AdWords for the past few years these stories are all too familiar. Google makes great platforms that are fast and usable but their support system is steadily getting worse. The attitude of Google seems to be that bugs in their system are fine as long as they only affect a few people. The problem is that some of these "few" have lost their businesses because of a bug or an overly aggressive and broad application of a penalty. Google needs competition badly because they are incredibly arrogant. They consider their customers to be the end users of their products – many who get the product for free. But those of us who pay their bills (AdWords customers) Ap Developers are treated like lower caste beings that just have to deal with the consequences of Google's random glitches or half baked policy decisions.
    In Search Advertising Google is Judge Jury and Executioner. I love seeing them get a taste of their own medicine from Apple when Apple imposes their arbitrary rules upon Google. Monopolies suck. and Monopolists never do the right thing.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/jumbletron jumbletron

    They should just revamp the market. It's too hard to find quality apps. To find good apps, I have to check out blogs like this one. I did just download AppBrain so maybe that'll help.

  • jasper

    The counters are now jumping up and down.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/droidin droidin

    UPDATE: Counts are back but my app (Credit Cards) is gone again and now I can't even find it by direct package search. And no answer from Google or even "sorry we are working on fixing it"

  • http://niningm06.student.ipb.ac.id nining

    i hope it wont happen again,,

  • http://ekas0615.student.ipb.ac.id khay

    thanks for info

  • http://colectivoplanner.wordpress.com/about/ Chin Robley

    Hi, You Have a Nice website I really like it.

  • richi

    Google’s assumed lack of support is unprofessional and scandalous, a total lack of responsability.

    If anything goes wrong with the Market (and it does regularly – for me many downloads “jumps”, application that can’t be downloaded…), there is no way to report the problem, no one to write to, no one to talk to, only the forums – just pray that someone at Google’s will read them and do something about your problem. This is very stressfull and can be damageable to your reputation as a developer, or to your business if it’s a paid app.

    That’s really sounds like contempt toward developers….

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