Why Closing Android Market Developer Support Forums is a Bad Idea
Before we dig into the meat of this article, let’s lay a little groundwork.
Google is the driving force behind the Android operating system. Google has an application that lets you find, download, and install apps on Android-powered smartphones, tablets, and soon televisions (this is called the “Android Market”, for those who were wondering).
An app store isn’t useful if it doesn’t have any apps in it. Apps are written by developers. Developers need direction and assistance from time to time, not just writing apps, but publishing them into the various app stores.
Google knows this, and until recently, had a good method of communication between developers and staff set up. That method, the Android Market Support Forums, was a place where developers could get together and bounce questions off each other, and hopefully get some useful feedback from Google, too.
Unfortunately, it also became a gathering place to talk about problems with the Android Market. Delayed payments, rejected apps, downtime, missing stats, things that give Google’s market a black-eye.
Yesterday’s action should take care of that — and make it much, much worse!
You see, Google decided to “turn off” the Android Market to developer concerns. Not only that, they closed the announcements to comments, so frustrated developers have to find someplace else to vent their frustrations.
“…this Android Market forum will be dedicated to user issues and discussion. Because of the nature of developer issues, we feel that one-on-one support is best for the types of threads that have historically been posted to this forum by app developers.”
Google’s move is going to force developers to another forum (XDA comes to mind). Google will have less notice when problems arise, and will forfeit control over the posts. They even face the possibility of those developers abandoning the Google market in favor of another, one where Google gets no transaction fees.
Regardless of what happens, one thing is certain: Google has now lost a finger that was previously on the pulse of the developer community — or perhaps they’ve given the finger to the developers.
Source: Android Market Support Forums