Google's G1 Tethering Move Sets Precedent For Carrier-Specific Android App Markets

Illustration for article titled Googles G1 Tethering Move Sets Precedent For Carrier-Specific Android App Markets

When Google yanked tethering apps from the Android Market, anger broiled in customers and developers alike. Google's response is simple, but has far-reaching implications: tethering apps are back, just not for T-Mobile USA customers.

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What this means is that means that listed apps can be defined as carrier specific, by Google. A tethering app that violates T-Mobile's ToS will be either invisible or inaccessible to US users, while available to someone on a tethering-friendly network elsewhere. This has the effect of creating carrier-specific App Markets, and an uneven Android experience from company to company.

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Of course, you can still install whatever apps you want if you're willing to get your hands a little dirty, but removing a category of app from the Marketplace will make it effectively off limits for most. [Android Community]

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DISCUSSION

I'm okay with this... so far. Google is free to rule the Market however they see fit. It's their ecosystem, they have to do what they feel is necessary to keep it respected by the carriers who will determine the fate of their OS. Google is technically the publisher of Android Market apps, if T-Mobile has a problem with Google distributing tethering apps to T-Mo customers then Google has to respond to keep their relationship in good standing. That's fine.

I will feel this way as long as they never infringe on our godgiven right to install apps from other sources.

The very instant that Google picks up an Apple-type role and says that we can't install any apps that didn't come directly from them, I'm moving on. I refuse to participate in that kind of closed system, and I'd switch to WinMo or webOS or some other smartphone platform that is truly open to developers and users.