Accessing the Android Market in the Emulator

Update (7/14/2010): The developer of the Fake Name Generator app has gotten in touch with me and we have settled our differences. He didn’t mean any harm, and I’m quite a bit excited about having an Android app that uses my website. Expect awesome app goodness in the next few days!

Google has this awesome alert service that lets you set up search queries and have new search results from them emailed to you automatically. For example, I have “jacob allred” as a query, so anything new with my name in it pops up in my email.

On Saturday night, I got an alert email from Google for “fake name generator”. Turns out somebody made a Fake Name Generator Android application and put it in the Android Market. “Well that is strange,” I thought to myself. “I don’t remember giving anyone permission to steal my content.” The guy stole my product name, logo, look and feel of my site, layout of my site, and my content. And to make it worse, his app has an ad on it so he is making money off my product while I’m stuck paying the bill for the server that powers it.

I decided to try to be a good person first, and try to contact the developer and see if we can work something out. Turns out the Market doesn’t really require developers to provide contact information. Lame. I managed to find an email address but I’m not sure if the developer actually reads it. I sent an email to him letting him know I’m not thrilled about his app and that I’d prefer to work out a way for him to continue using my services (using the API instead of screen scraping) in a way where we can both get paid.

Next step is to try to notify Google of the copyright infringement. Google has detailed instructions on how to file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act infringement notification, but it requires either faxing (I don’t have a fax) or mailing (which takes days). Neither is a great option.

My last option is to try to break the app. This requires downloading the app and then viewing my logs to see what it looks like when it scrapes my site. Should be easy, right? Not exactly. I don’t have an Android phone and apparently the Market isn’t available on the emulator. Lame.

Luckily, with much searching, I found this blog post that explains how to get the Market working in the emulator (albeit with an older API version). I ended up having to download the 1.6 image he posted on, but at least it works. Once I got the Market working, I quickly downloaded the app and broke it. That should get the developer’s attention. ;)

Anyways, if you are an Android, iPhone, or Palm app developer and want to make a legitimate fully-sanctioned application, shoot me an email. I’m interested in paying someone to write apps for all of those platforms, or in working out a revenue sharing option.

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