Saturday, August 30, 2008

Google Readies App Store-Like "Android Market"

As the gPhone or Android is Google's answer to Apple's iPhone, so is the Android Market the answer to Apple's App Store. Unlike the App Store, which did not debut until a year after the initial release of the iPhone, the Android Market will be ready, at least in beta form, when the first Android device ships (the HTC Dream).

Of course, Apple had no SDK for its iPhone until just recently, so that kind of explains things, doesn't it?

To qualify a product for the Market, a developer must complete three steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe the content and publish it.

As I said, however, the Android Market may only be in beta form at the launch of the first phones. As such, it may only support free applications.

In a blog post, Google's Eric Chu said:
Developers can expect the first handsets to be enabled with a beta version of Android Market. Some decisions are still being made, but at a minimum you can expect support for free (unpaid) applications. Soon after launch an update will be provided that supports download of paid content and more features such as versioning, multiple device profile support, analytics, etc.
Why call it a Market rather than a Store? Google actually gave a great deal of thought to that.
We chose the term "market" rather than "store" because we feel that developers should have an open and unobstructed environment to make their content available. Similar to YouTube, content can debut in the marketplace after only three simple steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it. We also intend to provide developers with a useful dashboard and analytics to help drive their business and ultimately improve their offerings.
This wasn't an unexpected move. At the Google I/O Conference in May, Google said that it would provide a central "repository" of Android applications.

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