I’m not sure that an unlocker app will do what you are looking for. From what I can tell, the way most apps are pirated is the apk file is copied off the device after downloading. Obviously for markets with some sort of protection, they do some extra stuff to remove the protection. What is to stop them just copying the unlocker app and including it with the locked ones?
You might be able to build in a licensing system though - link it with your website and keep track of install keys or such. This would be quite an undertaking though and will probably cause more issues for your valid users than you’d like.
disclaimer: please read to the end to understand. I don’t condone piracy but the initial paragraphs may sound this way.
My personal view on this is to embrace the piracy rather than get so upset. Use it to your advantage. Let me put it this way: how many of those who pirated your app would have actually bought it? probably less than 5%. Maybe none. Those who pirate are doing it either because they can’t afford it (might be poor or might just be a kid with limited pocket money), or because they don’t want to spend money on it. A few will be because their device doesn’t support google play market and they can’t find your app legally. It’s not because it’s easier to pirate.
Is it easier to open google play market - find app - click ok twice to buy it and have it installed than go searching piracy forums/sites to find the app. So those who are going out of their way not to pay, are unlikely to pay anyway.
This might sound a little depressing or perhaps you don’t agree with me, it’s not something I can give figures or stats to back up (probably the biggest issue with piracy in general is the impossibility of getting actual figures).
But what about using the piracy sites to promote your app? The more people download it (even if it’s an illegal download), the more people know about it and tell their friends. The friends are a bit more likely to get the app from the market than piracy sites, and the next set of friends are even more likely to get it from the market.
Perhaps even make a 2nd version of your app that is ad based and stick that on the piracy forums and your non-ad based one on the markets. This way at the very least those who download from pirated sites won’t know there’s a difference, and even if someone else posts your main app, users seldom read and will most likely pull the ad-based one down.
I’ve been meaning to actually contact you since I read your blog entry about finding your app being pirated, to ask what the sites were so I can “publish” my app there for more exposure
I think the biggest issue is that there’s no full-proof DRM. There’s no stopping piracy. Even if all the websites were shut down it would be passed via messenger apps or flash drives or direct in email groups or via some other method. We either have to accept losses or find innovative ways to profit from it.