What’s a walled garden? We suspect it has something to do with the fact that users or developers get locked into something they might not agree with fully. Most recently it’s been used to describe how someone ties your hands, when you don’t want them to, giving you less control then you should have over a particular device.

Well, for all the heat that Apple gets for having a walled garden, I’m pretty surprised no one has noticed that Android has their own type of garden that forces developers hands. Apparently if a developer decides that he wants to give away his app for a short period of time, he can’t re-add a price to it again. It’s free forever. If it’s free, and you’re hoping that you can charge for it down the road, you’re out of luck. Too bad, so sad.

Here’s a nice little quote:

3.3 You may also choose to distribute Products for free. If the Product is free, you will not be charged a Transaction Fee. You may not collect future charges from users for copies of the Products that those users were initially allowed to download for free. This is not intended to prevent distribution of free trial versions of the Product with an “upsell” option to obtain the full version of the Product: Such free trials for Products are encouraged. However, if you want to collect fees after the free trial expires, you must collect all fees for the full version of the Product through the Payment Processor on the Market. In this Agreement, “free” means there are no charges or fees of any kind for use of the Product. All fees received by Developers for Products distributed via the Market must be processed by the Market’s Payment Processor.”

So the next time someone asks you about Apple’s walled garden, show them this link, and ask them how that encourages development on their platform. Less pricing control does not make for a better developer ecosystem, it ties their hands kinda like a walled garden, and forces them to jump through unnecessary hoops.

Oh, and you know what you get from the android crowd? Super helpful comments from the community.  Man, the Apple community is second to none.

I’ll stop here before I get a little carried away and start dropping f-bombs.

Article Via Android Developer’s Google Group

Comments are closed.