Android Market goes commercial in 131 countries

No more excuses for free Angry Birds


The Android Marketplace now takes payments in 131 countries, Google has revealed, leaving China and Greenland as the biggest blanks on the map along with some of the more war-torn countries.

That's up from the 32 countries that supported paid apps last September, and includes the Philippines which has been a notable exception until now. But China is still on the list as shown on the map snapped by Android Central at the Google I/O conference.

Map showing where one can buy Android apps

Greenland isn't a big deal, but being unable to sell applications to the billion or so Chinese is more of an issue. Apple has no problem with the Chinese version of iTunes, but Google's history of antagonising the Chinese government (by refusing to self-censor) is probably working against it.

That also means that Chinese developers can't sell Android applications elsewhere, unless they can find a foreign publisher; though free applications are still available for download and distribution.

It was the lack of global payments that prompted Rovio to give away Angry Birds on Android - supported by advertising. Rovio recently signed a deal with DownJoy.com to distribute the advertising-supported version of the game within China, but now there's much less reason to depend on such sponsorship elsewhere.

Local blog Penn Olson points out that China is well served with alternative Android app stores, stocked with "a mix of free and pirated paid apps for users to download".

But in 131 countries, as listed on the Android Developers' blog, one can let Google collect money for one's application - assuming one wants paying. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022