Google Android also includes “kill switch” for unwanted apps

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It seems that the Apple iPhone is not the only handset to feature include a remote kill switch. A small but revealing piece of the Android Market terms of service has revealed that the remote removal of an application may be possible.

“Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement . . . in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion.”

Hopefully this will be used for apps that may do some damage, or cause issues with the handset and not for apps that T-Mobile does not want.

But aside from just what may be killed, it will be a little more interesting to see just how quickly someone develops an app that will be able to kill or at least disable the kill switch. Similarly, the iPhone has such an app, it is part of Boss Prefs which is available through Cydia for jailbroken phones.

A nice part of the kill switch in Android is that it may possibly help to get rid of a malicious application because unlike the App Store, the Android Marketplace does not have the same scrutiny before the apps are listed. While I hate to agree with the kill switch, I think that at least in this case it may do more good than harm.

In regards to any paid apps that are killed, Google has stated that they will make “reasonable efforts to recover the purchase price of the product . . . from the original developer on your behalf.” Of course, as of now, all of the apps in the Android Marketplace will be listed for free, so that should be something to worry about down the line.

Read [Computer World]

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