The problem

People who run their cellphones on Google's Android operating system may have noticed an irritating fault when using the Android Market - they can't download any apps.

The downloads get stuck with the status "Starting Download..." and make no progress.

This problem doesn't affect everyone, but for those who do encounter it, it can be a nightmare. Afterall, why bother with Android if you can't get the apps or games you want on your phone or tablet?

The cause of the problem is unknown. Responses I've had indicate that the problem occurs across all makes and models, on all carriers and in all countries.

Various solutions have been proposed, and some of them do work. But they don't work for everyone, leaving many people with simply no way to get apps on their device (or at least, not without the inconvenience of downloading through a computer).

Reports of this bug on the internet go back to December 2009. Google has said very little, let alone done anything about it.