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A couple of months ago, I wrote an article called “Android’s not as good” where I listed all my various problems with the Android platform as it was then. A lot of them are still true, although the music skipping’s gone away, but one in particular has been resolved, and it is this:

I did a factory reset of my phone, and now all the Marketplace items I bought before I did the reset are gone from my “Downloads” section, but it will let me download them again, happily adding them to the same google account I bought them from in the first place. This is shit.
When I finally get a reply about the above problem from the aforementioned support ticket, and ask when, roughly, it might be fixed I am told:
Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on the exact timing of the fix because of different variables affecting the roll out.

…which is shit.

And, indeed, it was shit. A couple of weeks ago, I got bored of waiting for the “rollout” of this “fix” and asked the exact question again, supplying receipt IDs and everything, and discovered something interesting. Going though the whole process again and explaining it all to a new representative, instead of “Our engineers are working on a fix” I got this instead a couple of days ago:

Thank you for your patience. We see that you have made these purchases
using your @aquarionics.com account.

Please use the same primary account on your device to access these missing

When I did the factory reset, I’d entered my Gmail account first, whereas previously I’d added my Aquarionics Google Apps account first. Unlike every other google app on the phone, the market only uses one Google account, the one you typed in first. This is your “Primary” account, a distinction not marked anywhere on the interface, and you cannot change what account the Market uses without a factory reset. I mean, it’s quite lucky I didn’t originally type in my Skimlinks account details when I first got the phone, or I’d have lost access to all my apps when I left that job.

This really sucks from a UI perspective, from a user flow perspective, and is generally a horrible and misguided way of doing anything. There’s no indication of what’s happened (Since you can’t get Checkout accounts in Google Apps yet, all my payments were still made from the GMail account, so all the receipts for the transactions are there), you can’t transfer apps between accounts, you can’t log in to more than one account, a user who does this is effectively screwed.

And that’s crap, and it’s even less than I’d expect from the Android UX, which is not a particularly high bar to have banged its shins on, but it’s not the thing that annoys me most. The thing that annoys me most is this:

Hello Nicholas,

Thanks for notifying us of this issue, which our engineering team will address as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact us again if you have additional questions. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

The Android Market Team

and, later:

Thanks for writing in.

Unfortunately, we are unable to comment on the exact timing of the fix because of different variables affecting the roll out.

Please rest assured we are working diligently to resolve this issue as soon as possible.


[REDACTED] The Android Market Team

That’s a lie. That’s all bullshit. There is no “issue” the fault, such as it is, is a UX/Metaphor Shear problem caused by a thing *I* did differently, as the second CS Rep managed to work out. It’s even partly my fault, as I didn’t even realise I’d reordered the accounts after the reset. A very small amount my fault.

But as a direct result of being told “We’re working on a fix” I believed them, and I went and bought more apps on the “new” account, even replacing some of the ones I’d bought before, so now I have a block of apps under two different accounts, which cannot be merged and cannot be accessed.

Which is shit.

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