Aug. 27th, 2011

oda: droid icon on blue-violet field (android)
For everyone who is voluntarily doing a takeout, but wants to keep their Android phone: talk to your app vendors first and see if you can have them switched to a new GMail account, or you will lose your paid-for apps forever. If you are in your grace period on a suspension, requesting a review can get you shut down long before your grace period ends.

It's not warned about anywhere on the data liberation page, but one item of data you cannot liberate is your ownership of any Android apps you've bought.

"Data liberation? What data liberation? Where? Oh.... you’ll graciously allow me to have content I actually created, but not the things I bought and paid for; silly me, here I thought you actually MEANT it. (You’d think I would have learned by now, eh?)" -- Bonnie L. Nadri

Google Checkout does not liberate personal info either.

At least, my name and address remain welded to Google Checkout, even if I delete the credit card. I can't do squat with those fields if there isn't a valid credit card attached. If I add the credit card it auths it then and there to make sure it all matches and won't let me change the address to something that doesn't match and then delete the card.

<extra sarcasm> The place where I most want to see flaky privacy behavior and only a partial removal of personal information is the one attached to not just my wallet name, but my wallet contents. </extra sarcasm>

Current status on my own Android apps:

App vendors have gotten back to me. One didn't get the possibility of losing access to the account so tried to be helpful by trying to tell me to use it as a secondary account. I think they will probably let me move the apps to another account if I lose access, though. But I am not sure if I can go Amazon with them; I need to check and see if they're in the Amazon store. (An app move might not work as well if I've already lost access.) Another vendor has offered me the choice of Amazon or a fresh Google account, which is a fair pick. I don't think there are any independently authed app stores, more's the pity.

Because of the lack of ability to move apps between accounts, this must be done ad hoc for each app vendor, and they are basically doing it out of their kindness of their hearts if they do it at all; nothing is making them do it other than good customer service and decency. So it's heartwarming to see them be accommodating here, and I want to recognize that they are going above and beyond. (In this case it's the makers of Ultimate Todo List and iSyncr.)

Todo:

Check purchased apps against Amazon store. Dither a while about which I want. I am going to have to do a full migration either way.

Pros of Amazon: Google doesn't get a cut. I won't get cut off from Amazon for using whatever name I feel like. They will probably get better in response to complaints.

Cons of Amazon: Reputed to treat devs worse than Google does. Requires network connection to use any Amazon apps at all (nng). Slower review process so it can take much longer for updates to trickle through. I am going to have to have a Google account for some functions anyhow. Store is limited in selection and hard to search and people game the reviews even more than Google Market. (Kind of a surprise because their physical stuff shop is fine.)

(Mirrored to Google+)
oda: droid icon on blue-violet field (android)
My husband has agreed to be a guinea pig!

What does this entail?

Well, he got a GMail account when we got our Android phones a few months ago. He's been using it just for GMail, Android Market, and Docs access. He has fewer apps than I do, and no Google+ posting history, so in short he has less to lose, though losing access to his Android Market purchase history can cost us some real world money. He is worried, having already grown fond of his phone, but resigned to his fate.

He is going to sign up for every Google service we can think of, and do some minimal amount of user activity where meaningful, to have a basic state of being an active Google user on all of them. We will document what that looks like.

Then he will downgrade his Google Profile and see what happens, and screenshot the results. Of particular interest, of course, is what happens to his phone.

This of course happens as we have time and energy, and he is undergoing a Work Crunchâ„¢ right now, so it will occur in the usual slothlike question. If anyone is faster than us and wants to try this themselves, please post your results! They might actually end up varying, based on prior evidence. Please don't try this if you've spent a lot of money on Android phone apps and weren't intending to leave anyhow, as it could possibly lose you access to your apps.

Since Google is giving inconsistent information about what exactly is attached to Profiles, let's do a black box test and find out. If anyone has experiences which differ, then we will know that it's probably another bug and can raise that issue with even more urgency -- and perhaps even hope for data recovery on any improperly affected users.

(Mirrored to Google+)

July 2012

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