Oct 17, 2011

Why Android is starting to suck... (or bye, bye SNES9x)

What a controversial statement! Where am I going with this?

Quite simply a core reason I chose Android over an iPhone is the heavy handed practices of Apple in choosing to disallow Flash support and heavily monitoring all apps available on their devices (which translates to no classic game console/computer emulators). Since then the Android Market seems to be gradually digging up and rooting out emulators. First it was the N64oid and Ataroid by yongz that got the boot. Next, I can't find Atari800 via searches (even though it still seems to be there via direct link). Now it's...


SNES9x that is the target. The best part, however, if it Google has a problem with you they just say "there's a problem..." and you're screwed. There's nothing more than a vague explanation. I've read similar stories from people with AdSense accounts. Do you run a business revolving around AdSense income? Google can take it away in a flash with no explanantion or dialog. Quite frankly, Google is becoming a scary company to deal with that is too big for its own britches.

Now, I'll give you that I can still install .apk files on my own and other 'third party' markets currently compensate for this. And, at the very least, Google lets me run what I want to on my phone even if they don't directly approve of it. But the heavy handed policies of Apple apparently exist on the other side of the aisle as well moreso than we might like to think.


  1. While I understand the frustration, I can imagine it's very hard for Google to justify allowing emulators on the marketplace when in most countries the ROMs required to actually make an emulator worthwhile installing are illegal.

  2. Yeah, it sucks that no real explanation is given , but generally i have no sympathy for those selling emulator apps. I'm not familiar with this one in particular, but for the most part these people have made a ton of money off other peoples hard work. Not only the Nintendo (who I couldn't care less about), or the original game developers (Who's ROMs are most likely being shared illegally), but mostly the guys who wrote the emulators and released them for free on the PC, only to have some opportunist repackage them for android and sell them for profit (in the process violating the terms of the emulator's license).
    If the emulator was illegal - and i suspect it was - Google really has no choice but to remove it (otherwise they are guilty of distributing it, and could probably be sued). I will accept that an explanation, no matter how simple, would have avoided most of the anger surrounding these issues though.

  3. I'll throw my hat in and say while emulators are cool, I haven't played one on a phone that is anywhere near as good as MAME on a nice PC. I can find plenty of other cool stuff to do with the phone. I tend to lean towards a middle of the road approach when it comes to moderating apps, I don't necessarily approve of Apple's heavy handed approach but on the other hand there is a ton of C R A P on the android marketplace. There has to be a middle ground.

  4. Sounds like it's a problem that only really applies to a very tiny niche. I don't imagine that there are too many others who really want to run emulators on their Androids.

    I'm with Schoon: if you want to play a classic game, you're better off playing it as it was intended: on a big screen (preferably CRT) with a joystick- or gamepad-based control system.

    Or, play one of the many great Android games that take their inspiration from classic genres and gameplay styles but adapt them to successfully work with a small screen and a touch interface: win-win!

  5. Google has the problem of being open to receive any software onto the platform, yet they are an American company governed by anal copyright, DMCA, and IP laws… if any of these companies requesting the take downs realised they could do quite well releasing their own product ‐ Android would be pretty hot.
    Sony at least understands this, and is willing to bring their PS emulator to select Android handsets, albeit with a silly licence‐our‐tech approach targetted at handset makers.

  6. GUYS you don't understand. Google isn't removing emulators because they are emulators. They are removing emulators with stolen code. All the emulators that were pulled off the market include code illegally stolen and sold to gain profit. Google has nothing against emulators, I hate when people don't understand what's going on :(

  7. As was said earlier, my key issue is the lack of an explanation when Google does something like this. If a developer steals code and tries to profit from it them there should be punishment. I think most people are opposed to copyright violation as without such laws we'd be in anarchy and there has to be incentive to create new works. I also agree that emulation is a small, niche. I'm into collecting the classic consoles and computers so I view this as a preservation mechanism. I don't always want to have to plug my old Atari 130XE back in and find a disk and ... it's nice to have it all archived on my PC on a reliable CD vs 5.25" floppies that are being subjected to bit rot. Just like a hand gun... emulators can be used for wrong, but they also have a legitimate purpose.

  8. The problem with SNES9x in the Android market is that it, and SNESoid were infringing on the GPL license of the PC software: they were not maintained as oen source while the software they were based on was