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Android Market suffers download failures

Nov 10, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Google's Android Market is having major download and installation problems, leading to a growing protest from users. Meanwhile, Verizon announced tomorrow's release of Motorola's Citrus Android phone for $50, and Google released a beta version of its “YouTube Remote” Android app for the YouTube Leanback push-content service available on Google TV.

Google Android smartphone users may be thrilled about the prospect of the new Android 2.3 operating system build that is allegedly coming out this week, but there is a new nagging issue that has some fans frothing. Users of Android phones all over the world are unable to install or uninstall applications from the Android Market to their handsets.

This is obviously a huge problem for devices whose value can be measured by the applications people run on them. The Android Market currently hosts more than 100,000 free and paid applications. 

There have been more than 200 posts about this problem in a thread that began Oct. 25 on the Android Market Help Forum. Owners of devices ranging from the Motorola Droid X to the HTC Desire and HTC MyTouch handsets (pictured) have made their gripes known.

T-Mobile MyTouch owner ClaurenM wrote Nov. 4: "I get this in the notification and in the list of downloads (Market -> Downloads button). It hangs on 'Starting download. . .' no progress, then I get 'Download unsuccessful.' This is happening for updates and new app installations."

HTC Desire owner Deggers in the U.K. wrote Nov. 4: "I had an iPhone for 2 years and never experienced anything such as this. No announcements to customers on the marketplace website, no response on here. It's shameful! I have apps which now do, download. I also have apps which download but are still failing to move into install mode!"

Google isn't saying anything officially and has kept quiet on the forum despite pleas from users for help. However, a source familiar with Android Market operations said Google is aware of the issue and "working rapidly on a resolution."

Some believe the issue is related to Android software upgrades, claiming it is fixable by reverting to the factory version of the device, or the settings with which the handset was built and sent to market.

Users may try this by going on their phone to "settings," "applications," "manage applications," "market," then "uninstall updates." The device will revert to the factory version, and users should be able to download or uninstall apps.

Factory resets didn't help Motorola Droid X owner and IT manager Don Rennard, who told eWEEK he tried installing apps on two different Droid X phones using three different memory cards.

"All got stuck on Install for new apps or updates for existing apps," Rennard related. "Had worked fine for months, then suddenly not. Factory resets didn't help. Realized I had formatted all 3 cards in my Droid X. Reformatted card on my PC, reinserted in phone, works perfectly. Must be an issue with Froyo or Motorola formatting firmware."

Android Market problems are nothing new. Users have complained of issues ranging from applications that infringe copyright to limited availability of paid apps. Developers have also complained about not being able to sell apps via the Market in various countries. Google has taken steps to address the issues.

The inability to install or uninstall apps comes as Google is set to unveil its next OS build, Android 2.3, code-named Gingerbread. Kron0x, a member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), tweeted Nov. 7 that Nexus One owners should get ready for an over-the-air update "in the next few days." 

Verizon launches Mot's Citrus

In other recent Android news, Verizon Wireless announced that tomorrow it will start selling its Motorola Citrus Android 2.1 smartphone (pictured) for $50 after a $100 mail-in rebate. The holiday-priced device balances the $180 Motorola Droid Pro, which Verizon opened for orders this week, and is due in stores Nov. 18.

The Citrus features a three-inch QVGA display, a 2GB microSD card, plus Wi-Fi, aGPS, and Bluetooth. Other features are said to include a three-megapixel, fixed-focus, digital zoom camera, a 3.5mm audio port, and a USB 2.0 port.

YouTube Remote ships for Android control of Leanback

On Nov. 9, Google released a YouTube Remote app on Android Market that let U.S. users control the YouTube Leanback application from their Android smartphones. YouTube Leanback runs on desktop PCs, as well as Google TV, continuously airing content from YouTube so that users don't have to constantly search for it.

Remote users will be able to find and queue up videos to watch, then shuttle them to Leanback with a single tap of a button, says Google. They can also play, pause, skip forward and back, and control the sound volume on Leanback on their desktop or Google TV.

Clint Boulton is a writer for our sister publication eWEEK.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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