Noteworthy Facts About Android App Piracy and How It Can Be Dealt With

Are you a gaming aficionado, and obsessed with gaming apps? Do you wish to download plenty of such apps for free? All you have to do is to Google your “app name” space “.apk”, and several pirated app websites will open their doors to you, enabling you to download your choice of gaming app for free.

The alarming rate at which pirated Android apps are being made available for public use, it’s not just the money that you are losing as a developer, but it also means that you’ll possibly lose valuable downloads and might even fail to get your app noticed – that can help your app get good ratings.


The purpose behind writing this post is to make you aware of some facts about Android app piracy and ways that might help protect your Android app from getting pirated.

Getting Started

Some of the sites that lets you download pirated versions of mobile apps are: and many more.

Opening these sites will enable you to download the content of an app you want to download. Interestingly enough, the majority of apps available on the pirated sites are Android apps. According to some online reports, it was concluded that the:

“Android app piracy rate amounts to 95 percent” (source: Business Insider)

Wondering why?

Well, as you may know Android is an open-source platform which means you can download and edit source code of any existing Android app for your own reference. As a novice, it’s pretty easy to succumb to the ease of using already available source code, which makes pirating apps a cakewalk for some developers.

Impact of Pirating Android Apps

Let us now look at the pitfalls that can be caused by a pirated Android app:

1. If pirated copies of Android apps will continue to prevail, everyone associated with an Android app, right from app developers, to app users and other stakeholders are bound to be affected by it. As a fact, they might even have to incur huge loss.

2. The rampant rate at which Android apps are getting pirated, no wonder Google Play Store will soon become a dead store. While developers will lose out a lot of money, the apps, on the other hand will fail to get the visibility it requires.

3. Needless to say that pirated apps risk injecting malware in users’ mobile devices. That’s because, installing an APK from any third-party source will make you lose the security layer of the app.

Ways to Tackle Android App Piracy

Below are a few key suggestions that will help you put a stop to app piracy:

1. Turn Your Pirated Users into Paid Ones

What if you could turn your pirated users into a paid one? This is exactly what the creator of the ‘Today Calendar App’ Jake did. He released an anti-pirate measure to harass pirated users. Jake added a random event to the calendar of all the users who downloaded his app. The event was a fake and backed by a pirated theme – that only affected the users who pirated the app and not the ones who paid for it. Following such anti-measure tactics will definitely help you get more paid users.

2. Adopt a Freemium Model Approach

Freemium is an excellent approach to encourage users to download your app from a trusted app, than visiting any pirated app. The model basically away your product for free, and you can later sell premium products to users once they get addicted or like using your app. Based on a survey conducted by App Annie, it was concluded that the Freemium model is ruling over other models. In fact, as per the latest statistics, 83 percent of the apps that are listed are employed under the Freemium business model. What’s more? The model has helped in fetching 92 percent of revenue generated by an app.

Since users will be able to download your Android app for free, they won’t bother getting it from any pirated site. So, adopting a freemium model might not help you make money instantly, but will definitely help you get exposure for your Android app on the Google Play Store.

3. Add Tampering Detection to Your Android App

There are many techniques that help add the functionality that let you detect if your Android app is tampered or not. Two of those techniques are:

• Make sure to sign your app model with either a private key or certificate, prior to the process when the app is made available to users to be downloaded to their device. If your app is tampered in any way, your signature will be broken.

• Almost every app boasts an identifier of the application that installed it. Just by carrying out a simple check will let your app ensure whether the installer ID is valid or not.


Are you worried about getting your Android app pirated? Well, then reading this post will provide you enough details that will guide you in reducing the chances of your app being pirated.

Victoria Brinsley is an app developer working with Appsted Ltd, the leading Android app development company which delivers most comprehensive mobile application solutions. She loves sharing latest information on mobile technologies like iOS, Android development processes.

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