Google Apes iPhone, Adds Kill Switch To G1 Android Smartphone

Google has inserted a controversial feature that allows applications on Android Marketplace to be removed from a smartphone on demand, something that could come back and bite Google and its partners in the future.

The fineprints, unearthed by Nancy Gohring of Computerworld, points to the possibility that Google could if deemed necessary remove an application from the user phone.

It explicitly says "Google may discover a product that violates the developer distribution agreement ... in such an instance, Google retains the right to remotely remove those applications from your device at its sole discretion".

From Google's perspective, it does make sense to have a fully functional kill switch since, unlike Apple, Google does not vet applications that will be made available on Android marketplace.

And should an application be zapped by Google's switch of death, it will make it utmost to recover and give back the purchase price of the product.

How this will be done remains a mystery. It will be interesting to see what the first killed application will be and how Google will react to it especially as the company will use its own judgement.

Ultimately, the Kill switch, like the Atomic bomb, is a tool of last resort which will be used to protect the end users and prevent or limit damage in the case of some widespread attack.