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Old March 20th, 2010, 08:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Purchased apps on multiple devices?

I have a question about the way the Android market handles purchased apps. I've seen in other posts where if you upgrade to a new phone, your purchased apps will follow you.

But how about if you use more than one Android device? For instance, later this year I may get an Android tablet. Presumably the apps I purchased on my Droid will downloadable on the tablet. But will they remain downloadable on my Droid? And if I purchase an app on the tablet, will it also be downloadable on my Droid?

It seems to me that if the apps are associated with your account, then you should be able to download them on multiple devices. I was just wondering if anyone has actually tried and confirmed this.

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Old March 28th, 2010, 03:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It depends on how each developer has implemented it. Sorry, but yes that means nothing definite can be said about it.

Yes, for most apps the obvious choice is to personalise it to the user account (for instance, Contacts and the other standard Android PIM apps work this way). This, IMHO, is the Right Way to do it for user-centric software (such as the standard Android PIM apps, games, or note-taking apps). This would mean that I could use my software on all my devices (not necessarily simultaneously, but also if I were to buy and switch to a newer device) -- but only in so far as my devices "act as one" in the sense that they all sync to the same mailbox, address book, and so on. That is to say, if I wanted to share an app --but obviously not my Google account-- with my wife, I'd have to invest in two copies of the software. To me this seems very reasonable.

Some apps are personalised to one specific device, so you'd have to register twice if you wanted to use it for two devices. This, IMHO, is well suited for specifically device-centric applications (for example Wave Secure), but should definitely not be used for something user-centric (a game or note-taking app) because this model would not play well if a user were to buy and switch to a newer device ... it smacks of Microsoft-style licensing.

I think it's a Very Good Thing that the Android OS does not support DRM; but unfortunately, it also means that application licensing and protection is not well supported, forcing developers to roll their own protection and/or enforcement mechanism.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 08:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The question has been answered already but I just wanted to add/clarify that you should also watch out for the 3rd party publishers. Most if not all of them DRM based on a unique identifier per device, so you wouldn't be able to do what you want.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was using all my purchased apps on a Droid and Nexus One simultaneously for a while. I had no problems.
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