Thursday, September 08, 2011

GetJar Gold opens with a slew of otherwise paid Android apps now free

One of the nice things about Android is that, unless a carrier choose to block it (we're talking about you, AT&T) end users can chooe to install apps from outside the official Android Market. This is called sideloading, and Amazon.com has done quite well with it. The Appstore has a free app daily, but rival sideloading market GetJar is about to go it one better, or actually, a slew of apps better, with GetJar Gold.

MacMall.com Hot New Apple ComputersWhile Amazon.com offers one free app a day, GetJar intends to have a group of free apps. Not only that, but once made free, the apps will stay free, forever (or at least, as long at GetJar is around).

GetJar Gold currently has 50 free titles, including such big names as Fruit Ninja THD, Age of Zombies, TuneIn Radio Pro, Solo, and Splashtop Remote Desktop. According to GetJar, new apps will be added weekly. In addition, the company says it's on the verge of closing a deal with what it calls a "big recognizable" name in the mobile app industry, but cannot disclose the details just yet. Naturally the name that crosses our minds is (hopefully) Angry Birds maker Rovio.

At the other app markets, like the App Store, Android Market, and Amazon Appstore, developers get a 70/30 split of revenue. In addition, you may recall that at that Amazon Appstore, when an app is made free for the day it means the developers get nothing for that day.

GetJar, on the other hand, pays developers for the applications on a per install basis, It generates revenue by offering other developers sponsored listings within GetJar Gold.

If you look in the GetJar Gold listings, you'll see some apps that are labeled "Sponsored." That doesn't mean they have ads. Instead, it means that like AdSense Ads, that app's placement in the listings was raised by paying a sponsorship fee. Sponsored apps are clearly labeled and highlighted using a different color.

In fact, GetJar Gold has been running in beta testing for the past month. With it's public launch, however, both the Amazon Appstore and the Android Market need to be watching over their shoulders. GetJar would love to get into the iOS market, to, but that will never happen (unless it decides to go for apps that work on jailbroken devices).

That said, in the press release announcing GetJar Gold, Ilja Laurs, CEO and Founder of GetJar, poked at Apple, saying, “We are able to develop programs like GetJar Gold because of our open and free business model. We regret that at this time we cannot extend our program to iPhone users, as Apple runs a closed ecosystem that does not allow for competing app distributors like GetJar. Unfortunately, iPhone users will have to continue paying for the very same apps that their Android counterparts enjoy for free.”



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