Developers fume as Android Market apps disappear from search results

More than a month after developers first reported their applications had effectively disappeared from Android Market search results, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) still has yet to solve the problem or explain the circumstances behind the snafu. On July 1, developer Kof Software created this Android Market Help forum thread reporting that its app no longer surfaced in Android Market search results even when the query cited the app by exact name: "Applications that have less than 50 downloads, unrelated titles and ZERO reviews are ousting my apps on the charts which is completely ridiculous!" Kof Software writes. "Has the search algorithm been changed or is this simply a glitch?" The thread has now generated more than 1,200 responses, with one Android developer stating that downloads dropped 80 percent over the last month. Another blames an Android Market bug for an app rating decline from an average of 4.35 stars to 4.05 stars.

On July 6, a Google employee with the username HeidiLC joined the Android Market Help forum discussion, stating "We're aware of this issue and have been investigating." As of Aug. 1, Google has nevertheless failed to resolve the issue--moreover, recent developer posts state that Android Market comments are now vanishing as well. The Register reports that Google has not yet responded to its request for comment.

Android Market boasts more than 250,000 applications, translating to roughly 6 billion downloads to date. However, mobile application analytics firm Flurry reported last month that the number of iPhone app project starts more than doubled the number of new Android app builds during the second quarter: Fifty-seven percent of new projects on the Flurry platform targeted the iPhone or iPod touch, up from 54 percent in the first quarter, and another 15 percent targeted Apple's iPad tablet, up from 10 percent a quarter earlier. That means only 28 percent of projects targeted Android, down from 36 percent in the first quarter--Android's second consecutive decline after peaking at 39 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010.

For more:
- read this Register article

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