Google announced yesterday that it would be adding a marketplace for third-party developers who wanted to leverage the Apps API and create applications to extend the functionality of Google Apps. While Google is hard at work on improving the fidelity of Docs and the richness of its internal features, the idea that we could purchase additional applications Apple/Android App Store-style is attractive.
Clarification from Google, February 2nd, 2010: A Google spokesperson contacted me this afternoon and pointed out
"Just saw your article 'An App Store for Google Edu Apps, too?' and wanted to clarify that we did not announce anything yesterday....The Google Solutions Marketplace makes it easy for our customers to connect with an ecosystem of products and professional services. We're constantly working with our partners to deliver more solutions to businesses, but we have nothing to announce at this time."
Fair enough and sorry to readers for any confusion. My points about compelling potential educational applications based on Wall Street Journal reports of a possible upcoming expanded Apps store remain applicable. Read on for my thoughts.
While the Apps are targeting businesses and Google Apps Premiere customers, most Premiere features trickle down to (or are built in immediately) to Google's Apps for Education. As Sam Diaz reports,
Like Apple’s App store and Salesforce’s App Exchange, the Google store would feature apps built by outside developers to integrate with Google’s services. Eventually, the company would allow customers to but these apps through the online store. The WSJ report said the company is expected to announce its new store as soon as March.
Imagine your SIS driving logins to your Apps domain or gradebook features integrating with the layout capabilities of Google sites? While I utterly value the "free-factor" of Edu Apps, these are features I'd be happy to pay for in the form of a third-party app.
What if students could complete assignments in Docs and then submit them directly to a school's Moodle server? Or easily publish content created in Docs as articles in the CMS of your school's choice?
There are a lot of possibilities here in a Google Apps marketplace, some of which relate directly to education. What would you be willing to pay for to extend the functionality of Google Apps for Education?