Google reveals open Android Market, rivals iPhone's App Store

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Google on Thursday afternoon provided first details of a marketplace for phones based on its Android mobile platform -- including word that its store won't be as tightly monitored as the Apple-run shop for iPhones.



While Google will host the new store, now called Android Market, the company stresses that its role is only to act as a central point of distribution rather than to filter content. The decision on policy is said to have even influenced the formal name for the service.



"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," Google's Eric Chu says.



To that end, Google likens its system to YouTube, where the only requirements are to register as a distributor and to provide a description for the app on the store. The search engine pioneer doesn't say what if any policing it will provide for rogue apps, but explains that the Market will have a feedback and rating system as with its well-known video site.



The store will have a monitoring tool to provide feedback on apps after they're released, the company adds, and will flag an app's features to warn users in advance when they might pose a security risk.







Although Google had already tipped its hand as to its likely direction two months ago in a presentation, the now official status of Android Market puts Google in the unusual position of both challenging and supporting Apple's iPhone software efforts at the same time.



The search firm's resources form the basis of iPhone's Google Maps and Safari search but now indirectly undercut the App Store, whose operating principle is fundamentally different from that in Android's Market. Apple is the sole judge of whether apps will be posted to its service and has already made it a point to pull apps it or its partners consider objectionable, including the recently pulled violent comic Murderdrome, the cosmetic I Am Rich app, and the tethering utility NetShare.



Android will also allow installing apps outside of the Market for most users, while Apple only allows such exceptions for development, education, or enterprise customers.



Google's effort will take some time to appear in users' hands. The first Android phone isn't expected until the fall, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company also cautions that the Market will ship as a beta and that only free apps will be available at first, with a paying system and other aspects only due afterwards.



Nonetheless, Market even in its rough state has the potential to create a greater conflict of interest between Apple and Google; the latter's chief executive, Eric Schmidt, has already had to occasionally leave Apple board meetings when the discussion switched to a handful of iPhone-related topics.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    An app store with no phone yet... hmmmmmm
  • Reply 2 of 49
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    An app store with no phone yet... hmmmmmm



    Is there something wrong with working on a software/app platform before actual hardware is released?



    I mean, you DO want it to be functional when the hardware launches, right?
  • Reply 3 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Is there something wrong with working on a software/app platform before actual hardware is released?



    I mean, you DO want it to be functional when the hardware launches, right?



    Nothing wrong with it. Just seems like putting the cart before the horse.



    And I don't see how well it will work in any case. One platform sure. But what type of hardware should developers be developing for? QWERTY? Touch? Phone pad? Seems like a developer's nightmare not knowing what kind of device you are writing code for.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member
    Quote:

    its store won't be as tightly monitored as the Apple-run shop for iPhones.



    Awesome, now we can see even more crapware in the Android Market than there is in the App Store. I can't wait to be able to download 200 flashlight apps to my android phone too!
  • Reply 5 of 49
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Is there something wrong with working on a software/app platform before actual hardware is released?



    I mean, you DO want it to be functional when the hardware launches, right?



    Well, I want to have my hardware before the software!!



    The point is they should focus on releasing at least one Android based phone first and see how the market will respond. My guess is that they are not getting the amount of attention they anticipated from hardware manufacturers. I love Google but come on.... they have been blowing dust for a year now!!!
  • Reply 6 of 49
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by .:R2theT View Post


    And I don't see how well it will work in any case. One platform sure. But what type of hardware should developers be developing for? QWERTY? Touch? Phone pad? Seems like a developer's nightmare not knowing what kind of device you are writing code for.



    That's why they're Google and you're...you j/k



    In all honesty, there are plenty of mobile phone OS's out there programmed to work with number pads, on-screen displays, and keyboards. Same goes for applications that are designed to work on these operating systems. Input all has to go through a certain API or common interface, so I don't see why this should be a concern?



    Anyway, kudos to Google. I'm glad to see them working to develop a way to distribute apps to customers.
  • Reply 7 of 49
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Well, I want to have my hardware before the software!!



    The point is they should focus on releasing at least one Android based phone first and see how the market will respond. My guess is that they are not getting the amount of attention they anticipated from hardware manufacturers. I love Google but come on.... they have been blowing dust for a year now!!!



    So they should take Apple's approach? That doesn't work for every company -- every company is different.



    How about having a functional platform ready when the phone launches for applications? I mean, if it can be ready when the first Android phone launches, then what is the big deal?
  • Reply 8 of 49
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    So they should take Apple's approach? That doesn't work for every company -- every company is different.



    How about having a functional platform ready when the phone launches for applications? I mean, if it can be ready when the first Android phone launches, then what is the big deal?



    The big deal is that Google will turn into another MS times two if they keep doing this.
  • Reply 9 of 49
    macinthe408macinthe408 Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:

    Market will ship as a beta



    Is this doublespeak for precluding them from providing any semblance of support? And we all know how long Google apps remain beta. *cough* GMail *cough*
  • Reply 10 of 49
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Good to see Google is making progress, and excellent that they aren't going down the bullshit path Apple took with arbitrary "community standards".



    I'd still like to hear that Android apps can be loaded directly on the phone, without Android Market registration and tracking.
  • Reply 11 of 49
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    And so begins the era of viruses and malware on the Android platform...no thank you. I'll pass on the crapware.



    It nice to have no barriers but it is also nice to have someone watching out for you. The balance between the two is a fine art.
  • Reply 12 of 49
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    Is this doublespeak for precluding them from providing any semblance of support? And we all know how long Google apps remain beta. *cough* GMail *cough*



    I have been using GMail in IMAP mode as a consolidator for several accounts, including business accounts, syncing it with Outlook and Blackberry (sorry, no iphone user yet...). It may be in Beta, but it works flawlessly.
  • Reply 13 of 49
    I wonder if free only will stifle early development.



    I mean lots of people like to release software for free and all, some great stuff if free and open source, but there are also a lot of people who will want to be paid for their efforts too
  • Reply 14 of 49
    ivladivlad Posts: 737member
    im so sad to see this. this is not revolutionary. just another iphone follow up, even with all that open software. How will Google make their ringtones with no rights from records companies.
  • Reply 15 of 49
    The Android Market has potential, much more than the Zune Marketplace (or whatever it was called) had.



    I don't see this as an iPhone follow up, or what-have-you; there are only two ways Google could really go with app distribution: centralized or decentralized. They went with a mix. Seems like it could work.



    EDIT:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    im so sad to see this. this is not revolutionary. just another iphone follow up, even with all that open software. How will Google make their ringtones with no rights from records companies.



    Not every product or service can, or should, be revolutionary. Revolutions are good every now and again, but products should evolve more than... revolve. That sounds weird, but you know what I mean!
  • Reply 16 of 49
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    Simply, eww.
  • Reply 18 of 49
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    I would much rather have the Apple approach where some level of quality control and monitoring of applications is done before people can start to download them.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    princeprince Posts: 88member
    It’s great news that Google is planning to deliver a market for mobile software with its own centralized “Android Market.” It should give Apple’s iPhone Apps Store competitive pressure to continue to innovate, and provide a safety net for smartphone users if Apple fails to deliver progress fast enough. If Apple and Google both fail, users will be stuck with the failed third party software models related to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile and Nokia’s Symbian. Those high stakes make it all the more disappointing to find that the Android Market fails to answer the tough issues correctly.
  • Reply 20 of 49
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prince View Post


    Those high stakes make it all the more disappointing to find that the Android Market fails to answer the tough issues correctly.



    That article is a horrible failure. Let me sum up its key points:



    - the significant upsides Android has over Apple's closed system do not matter because carriers in the US will disable them

    (Sucks for Americans I guess? This is only a local problem.)

    - unless you have an iron grip on your users and developers, and ban general purpose computing, the system cannot possibly be secure

    (The writer just had a stroke and forgot all about the existence of non-Windows operating systems, like OS X.)

    - unregulated market is too expensive to do business in

    (The writer knows fuck all about economics.)
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