Solving End User re-Download Woes

androidmarket.gifIt’s getting to the time when people with early Android devices are upgrading and wanting to install previously installed and purchased apps on their new phone. The Android Market T&Cs state that a purchased app will always be available to an end-user even if the developer has subsequently stopped selling the app. I have been getting some very unhappy end users who, having run the Android Market on their new device, can no longer see their purchased apps.

Sadly, when end users email Google they are currently being told to refer back to the developer. Unfortunately, the developer has no visibility of the download mechanism and can’t diagnose nor fix problems. Very recently I intervened in a support case for an end user (as a developer you can do so by emailing android-market-support@google.com with the end user’s case number in the subject line) and learnt that there can be problems with the Android Market app that prevent download of previously purchased apps. To fix this you need to have the end user temporarily uninstall Market updates.

1) Go to "Home" > "Menu" > "Settings" > "Applications" > "Manage applications"

2) Touch the "All" tab

3) Scroll down and select the Market app

4) Touch "Uninstall updates"

This will revert Android Market to the original version that came with the device. The Android Market should automatically self-update to the current version within a few days – there’s no way to permanently uninstall Market updates.