MANY apps available from Google Play are not available in the Isle of Man, it has emerged.
Owners of Android devices (mobile phones and tablets) in the island are apparently hitting a brick wall when trying to download many free and paid for Google apps, which are available to everyone else in Britain and many countries worldwide.
When Manx consumers try to download some content they are getting a message which says: ‘Sorry! Devices on Google Play is not available in your country yet. We’re working to bring devices to more countries as quickly as possible.
‘Please check back again soon.’
It appears to be a problem which is not experienced by the island’s Apple users who have i-Pads and i-Phones.
Andrew Gold, a product design engineer from Ramsey, has been in touch with Google to complain that he can no longer download the full range of apps available for his phone and tablet, both of which he bought in the island..
He said: ‘I’ve used Android for two years now. I could get paid apps and the full range of free apps on my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone until two weeks ago. And on my Samsung Note tablet I can get the basic range of free apps but I could never get paid for apps.’
In response to his email to them, Google said Mr Gold was having the issue because his ‘device is located in or has a SIM card belonging to a non-sovereign geographic region or a country subdivision’. They said they are currently investigating the issue but that ‘at this time, there is no workaround available to be able to purchase apps in these territories’.
But Mr Gold said: ‘Their reply is almost a tough luck response. I think it’s terrible. I hate it. We are paying the same price as people across but we’re getting a reduced service. It seems a bit strange. I don’t know why we’re being downgraded. I’m unhappy and I replied on Friday saying it was not good enough.’
Other disgruntled Manx users have been discussing similar problems on manxforums.com
Webi Knight said it may depend on whether you have bought your equipment in the island or across. ‘I can buy paid apps on my Galaxy Nexus, but not on my Nexus 7. It doesn’t affect phones,’ he said, ‘Google identifies your location from the SIM first, so Android phones sold on the island are recognised by google as UK phones and you do have access to the store. Tablets like the N7 that don’t contain a sim fall back to geoip location tracking, which doesn’t show as UK, but IOM so is blocked. Obviously a pc doesn’t have a sim, so also shows as non-uk and you get blocked.’ And there have been complaints on http://productforums.google.com/forum/
Dannydjiom said: ‘I sell these products and it looks like it’s pointless selling them when they don’t work over here.. customers are really not happy.’
Bolbi said: ‘My daughter got a samsung for xmas, she can’t do anything on google play except get a load of **** free apps. Hopefully it will be sorted for the Isle of Man soon.’
IrishManx added: ‘Google have been aware of this issue with the Isle of Man for years and have yet to do anything about it. At the end of last year, the Department of Economic Development launched a new Isle of Man visitor mobile app, which is available to download free at both i-Tunes and Google Play. A Manx Gaelic language app was also created and is available to download at i-Tunes and Google Play. And the Isle of Man Branch of the British Computer Society (BCS) launched a competition for 11-21-year-olds to build an android-based mobile app. In addition to a £1,000 first prize, the top three entries will receive help with publishing and marketing their applications on Google Play.