The 800 lb. Gorilla Strikes Again…

If you’re an Android developer today, welcome to the Android version of the Google Slap.

Today Google kicked an awful lot of independent Android devs right where it counts.  In the wallet.

They revealed an updated Google Play Developer Program Policies document that bans notification ads, and requires virtual currencies to come under the purview of Google’s direct monetization policy.  Which means you have to use in-app purchases for virtual goods or currencies.

Much of the Android development community is up in arms over this.  And with good reason.  Google is killing off a massive (and profitable) ecosystem with this update.

I love this post by BmlProds in the Making Money With Android forum…

And that’s the definition of power…with a few written words in a damn text, companies will struggle, jobs will end, and thousands of developers will suffer.BmlProds

There are a lot of developers feeling that way right now.

Me?  I’m not sure what to think at the moment.

On the one hand, the content of the announcement isn’t a surprise, even if the timing is.  I’ve been in the Android arena long enough to know that they had to do this.  It’s the freaking wild west on Android.  Which is both good and bad news.  It fosters a lot of creativity… but often at the expense of user experience.

So, overall, I both applaud and agree with the announcement.  I’m just not sure what it means for the immediate future.

I’ll think about it over the weekend and see where I fall.

At a minimum it presents an awesome opportunity for some enterprising business.  Hopefully that’s me.

Regardless, don’t ever underestimate Google’s capacity to make hard decisions that upset a significant portion of their constituency with impunity.  They’ve shown a willingness to do it time, and again.

It’s good to be the king.