This lack of good apps for this game may be astonishing at first. Magic is a popular game and Android is a popular platform. You should expect a few good mtg apps. WotC (Wizards of the coast, the makers of the game) is going to release an official app soon, but that has not been the case for the past years, so why there are no good free mtg apps?
Well, the fact is that there were good Android mtg apps, not to long ago M:tG Tracker was a free app and you could upgrade to the paid version. The app was as good as to get 3rd place on the Best Reference category of Best App Ever
And that was not the only one. There were a few more, like MtG Tutor with a lot of features including a very good advanced search or MtG Depot with a very nice interface. Also, on the paid side there was Deck Forge, which had a lot of features and, I’ll admit it, took the lead of innovation in many aspects before I did.
But all those apps are no longer there, and the reason is that WotC have sent copyright infringement notices to google, asking to remove them. Why now? The only reason I can think of is that they are going to release their own app and they want to wipe out competition.
Why making a better product if you can have “the only alternative”?
Let me clarify that.
Don’t take me wrong, there were material from WotC and is their right to claim the suspension of apps, but up to now this apps were made with good will, and were adding value to their product. Also, there was never the intention to talk, none of the developers of those apps were warned or given a chance to remove the copyrighted material from their apps.
Also, I’ve seen the screenshots and the app looks promising, so I don’t think they are going to do a bad product. But why should you risk your market share anyway? Maybe for the sake of more than 200.000 people that were using apps that are no longer available while the official alternative has not been released yet.
Make no mistake, WotC is not releasing the official app to help players, it is going to do it to make money. That is the only conclusion I can reach from their actions.
At this point: Why is M:tG Tracker (formerly pro version) still available?
When I got the free version suspended, I went through the app and I removed all the copyrighted material, the fonts, the mana icons, the tap icons, etc. with the hope that it will prevent that one from being suspended… it has worked so far.
I am trying to clarify what exactly can be put and what can not, and also asking for the procedure of licensing the material so I don’t have to worry about it in the future. While this is not settled, I can not afford to continue with the features I had in mind, risking that all that work may be trashed at anytime.
Thanks to all the users that have been supporting me and the other developers. If someone asks you “Why are no good mtg free apps for Android?” you can now tell them why.