I am a happy owner of Nexus One, though I have written about some quirks in the past. Now it is time to discuss one problem deeper: common software availability outside USA and couple other lucky countries. And the worst of it is that it affects software, that comes preinstalled in our phones.
For example, it affects Google Maps in Android phones. If you have tried updating this application from outside USA (and several lucky countries), you could not find it in the market. You get Google Maps with your phone, you get it updated during system updates. But you can not get an update through Android Market here – the application is unavailable.
And I do not know any good reason why Google does this. It is not payment collection issue: Google maps is free application. The navigation is one of the few services whose availability is problematic worldwide, so it could be disabled outside USA/UK, that would make more sense. Even then, some workarounds are posted. The issue is not the driver’s original country, but the maps and understanding the routing in the countries.
There are plenty of other services where country-based availability does not makes sense whatever sort. For example, Google Places, Google Buzz, which is available through web interface anyway. Any user could use it through web at limited functionality.
Sigh. I do not expect an explanation from Google about this. I guess we will have to wait and see if something changes, or other applications will take its place locally.