nixonIt didn’t take long to get a response from Google in the saga involving tethered apps being pulled from the Android Market.  After going pretty much viral two days ago, the search giant updates the situation with the following:

We inadvertently unpublished your application for all mobile providers; if you like, we can restore your app so that all Android Market users outside the T-Mobile US network will have access to your application.

Did ya see that?  Google just straight up said they can, and will, filter out apps based on which provider you have.

While it’s nice to see Google step up to the plate and admit what happened, we’d really like to see what happens in the long run.  Unfortunately, it looks like the US might be looking at carrier specific results in the Android Market.  This would be one giant step back in terms of how open things truly are.  Who wants to consider the terms of service before choosing mobile providers?  “Hmmm, T-Mobile provides better rates, but Sprint offers more of the types of apps I want to use.

On a more positive side of things, if a developer plays their cards right, they could still manage to get their name and app out there.  Heck, they might still be able to turn a buck or two.

In the meanwhile, don’t forget you can also get PdaNet’s tethering app directly from their website.  Not only is it free, but you don’t need root access either.

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  1. T-Mobile needs to stop being dicks. Just deal with the abusive bandwidth user and stop blocking apps. Android is open. Keep it that way!

  2. Corporate hegemony continues. At least google did its part by making Android open enough that people can do things now which they couldn't before. But its gonna take time for mobile companies to come to terms with reality. They were once charging money for ring-tones – sorry not any more. You still won't see Android phones from the likes of Verizon and At&T for a while. They are scared of openness ! They consider their airwaves like prime sea-front property. Guess what, the sea-front properties have fallen by 50% in many places.

  3. Android is open, ADP is open, the G1 is a bit less open (only T-mobile firmwares allowed), and the market also is a bit less open (you'll only see what apps are considered to be appropriate for you region/device/telco). But as you don't really NEED the market, but can just download your apps directly from a website (like the AndNav2 app), no big issue.

  4. What I would like to know is, how as a developer you are made aware of which providers will carry your app. My guess is that Google have no mechanism to do this currently, but it seems pretty vital, otherwise developers are left in the dark.

  5. No big deal… You can still just install an app you downloaded. It is only a few applications that are or will be nixed, and as long as you can find them on the net you can install them even on an un-rooted phone. Seriously, it is better that only technically inclined users are able to tether. It reduces the impact on the network if say only the top 5% can figure out how to do it.

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