Verizon gets out of the Android and BlackBerry app business

Summary:Ever wonder why the phone carriers spent so much time on their own software apps and stores? So did Verizon, and, after due consideration, they're dropping out of the Android and BlackBerry app business.

Droid 4
Coming soon: Verizon Android and RIM smartphones without crapware.

I use a Verizon Android smartphone, the Droid 4, but I've never used any of Verizon's built-in Android applications or gone to its app. store. It turns out I wasn't the only one. By January 2013. Verizon won't just be removing its apps from the market, it will start deleting its Verizon specific apps from your Android or Blackberry smartphone.

Why? Verizon isn't saying in detail. but there's no secret here. People dislike carrier-specific software. Android users in particular have never had much love for the bloatware that carriers routinely load on smartphones. Worse still, a lot of the bloatware came with security holes.

Despite this, for years, the carriers, including Verizon, resisted selling smartphones with stock Android. Verizon may not be ready to load pure Android with no Verizon specific changes on their smartphones, but the company wasn't making any friends, nor profits, with their pre-loaded apps.

Officially, Verizon's excuse for this change is "There’s now a whole new tech landscape in which both consumers and developers can interact like never before. We’re evolving our strategy to further simplify today’s experience and meet the needs of tomorrow."

Therefore, "in January of 2013, Verizon will start the process of removing the Verizon Apps application from ALL compatible Android and Research in Motion devices. We anticipate completing this process by March 27, 2013. But, no need to fear. Most apps existing on Verizon Apps are already available on multiple app storefronts, such as Google PLAY, Amazon and BlackBerry App World.  Business applications submitted to Verizon’s Private Applications Store for Business will continue to be available for purchase and download to enterprise customers."

If you've developed an app. just for Verizon--you poor devil--you'll still have access to app metrics & reporting and get paid for your programs. By March 2013, all those programs, and your payments, will be history.

As for users, Verizon will start removing its programs from your smartphone in January and the last of the V Cast, VZ, and other Verizon specific applications will have vanished by March. I suspect that most users will never even notice that they're gone.

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Topics: Android, BlackBerry, Linux, Mobile OS, Mobility, Smartphones, Software, Software Development, Verizon

About

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system; 300bps was a fast Internet connection; WordStar was the state of the art word processor; and we liked it.His work has been published in everything from highly technical publications... Full Bio

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