There are many apps created and yet never seen. For a multitude of reasons ranging from copyright infringements to unofficial tethering, apps are banned from the Android App store. There is useful technology in these apps however, and Kouchik Dutta has decided that there is no need for these perfectly functional apps to die a lonely death in the great landfill in the vast Internet clouds. Rather, he has decided to create an app store for people to access the rejects at will.
Dutta, also known as Koush in hacking circles developed ‘ClockworkMod’ software to open up an Android device for administrative control by the user after they ‘root’ it. Why would you want to root your Android device? After rooting or jail breaking the device can be stripped and then reloaded with customizable versions of Android.
Android has been known for having a little looser of a platform than the iOS market, whose restrictions are well outlined. Recently Android even released a rubric for Android app developers to follow to hopefully raise the bar to compete with the sleeker iOS developers. That is a risk you take with an open platform, but it seems like guys like Dutta don’t agree in the cookie cutter.
Your everyday user will not be affected by the Android black market of apps, they want the phone to come ready to use and free of complications. The folks that will participate in the underground world of Android applications are the computer savvy types, the tech geeks that want to push the limits of technology and discover the limits of software themselves. It’s not that the rejected apps that will be making it to Dutta’s website aren’t worthy of a place at the Android app market table, rather it is an issue of legal or monetization that prevents their acceptance. Dutta is smart to capitalize on these shunned apps. Many of them do deserve to see the light of day and would if there were not silly corporate politics behind their release.
It will be interesting to see what kind of an effect this will have on the future of mobile applications. Free markets foster competition and the black market may seem like a flash in the pan or simply negligible, but how will we see it in 5 years? Predictions could speculate that if there is serious money to be made via sites like Dutta’s the big boys will step in and try and shut it down.
It’s funny to think that the most open and free of the mobile app platforms, Android, would also be the one to have the first black market app store operated by hackers. App developers may even develop apps for the banned market instead of the official market based on the audience and attention they wish to garner.
The one thing to really watch out for is going to be adware or malware in the underground market. There aren’t exactly stringent regulations for protection on the Android Market, but if anything can kill the underground market faster than a corporate heel squashing it will be a proliferation of viruses.