App encryption was a much talked about feature when it was unveiled at Google I/O along with Jelly Bean. Considering how easy piracy is on Android (let’s not say it’s rampant, but it is an issue), something that prevented it is pretty necessary to please developers and attract more business to the Google Play Store. Google answered that prayer… but botched it pretty bad apparently.
It ended up breaking thousands of apps. When installed, the account data was stored in /mnt/asec. When the device was rebooted, it was wiped, meaning all paid encrypted apps ceased functioning. This caused a bunch of headaches for developers, so Google shut the service down for now.
The worst part is it seems that Google knew about this issue since mid-July. Also, the issue was reported multiple times on Google Code, yet it’s marked as medium priority and is slated for repair in a future release of Android. Not to be pessimistic, but it shows how much Google cares. It’s strange too, I understand them not caring about Android updates (they aren’t affected anyway), but not caring about the welfare of their content delivery system? It’s strange, to say the least. Let’s hope they up the priority and fix it soon.