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Wealth-flaunting app arrives on Android phones

For $200, you can show you spent $200 on an otherwise feature-free Android program. Let's see if Google treats this differently than Apple did.

The Android Market now offers the $200 'I Am Richer' application.
The Android Market now offers the $200 'I Am Richer' application. Stephen Shankland/CNET Networks

An application that did nothing beyond showing a person was willing to spend gobs of money for it didn't last long on Apple's App Store, but now we'll begin to see if Google lives up to its more laissez-faire approach to its rival Android Market.

Apple banned Armin Heinrich's "I Am Rich", which cost $1,000 and only showed a red ruby, from its App Store last August. Now the conceptually similar "I Am Richer" has arrived on the Android Market from Mike DG.

Perhaps owners of T-Mobile's G1 phone are more cost-conscious, or the recession has hurt the market for inane software, or Android programmers are willing to offer greater value, though, because the new application offers basically the same feature set for only $200, a fifth the price of the app Apple banned.

"Prove your wealth to others by running this app and showing them the mesmerizing glowing crystal," the software's description says.

Google has some rules for Android Market--no malware is allowed, for example--but generally has a much more liberal attitude than Apple. While each application on the App Store requires Apple's approval, Google plans to let the world at large sort out Android applications through the mechanisms such as the rating system. Good applications will eventually sift their way to the top of the heap the way good YouTube videos do, Google argues.

Update 7:06 p.m. PST: The $200 price is as much as Google permits organizations to charge, the company said. And yes, Google appears perfectly happy to let people buy the application:

"We check applications for compliance with the Market Content Policies and Terms of Service (in order to remove malware, porn, spam, or profanity)," the company said in a statement.

(Via IDG News)