Android Users, Open Source, and the Expectation of Free AppsI wrote the following blurb in response to a thread on +Shen Ye's stream: https://plus.google.com/116988351660148062102/posts/Jp4RMUkfZsR
I'd love to hear your comments/feedback on this topic.
There seems to be a general belief in the Android community that apps and dev time should be free, because the operating system is open source, and anything not free is against the spirit of Android.
Thankfully this thought process is slowly changing, and users begin to truly understand how much work goes into developing these apps. I've spent the last 20 years of my life learning to code, and that knowledge was leveraged when I spent 12 hours a day, for the past 2 months, to write the Tether app.
I am in a wonderful position. Most other software engineers spend 8+ hours a day working, chasing someone else's dreams, in exchange for golden handcuffs.
Working on ClockworkMod and CyanogenMod is what I love to do. I work on a lot of free stuff. And I work on a some paid stuff. The paid stuff by ClockworkMod is what pays my salary and bills. The free stuff (recovery, CM, hacks, tools, etc) are fun projects I decided to work on all day, every day, because I have the financial freedom to do so. Being paid for what you love to do, and seeing users compliment your work, is unbelievably rewarding.
It truly is a symbiotic relationship. If I only worked on "free" software, I would need to find some other way to financially support myself. I'd probably end up working for some random corporation writing boring paid software for them, and would only have a few hours a left over every day to write free software for Android. At that point, maybe I'd rather spend that time with my family or friends instead.
On the other hand, I can spend some of my time writing some paid Android apps to go along with my open source and free contributions. If the Android community wants to support a paid app developer's endeavors by buying their apps, it's win/win.