The first Android-powered phone will launch in Japan on July 10th. New Japanese customers will have immediate access to free applications in the Android Market, with paid apps following sometime later. That's according to a notice sent from Google's Eric Chu to Android app developers late Wednesday. Bulgaria and Romania are on the target list after Japan, first with phones and free apps and then with paid apps.
In other news, Google says that the over the air roll-out of Android 1.5 (Cupcake) is "nearly complete". And of course, all new phones come with 1.5 already installed. That means that Android developers can take advantage of 1.5 features such as Home screen app widgets without worrying about trying to support older versions.
(And in other, other news, I just put the finishing touches on an update of Hello, Android that features a new appendix on how to write app widgets in Cupcake. The update will be free to all owners of the PDF, mobi, or epub versions, and cheap for owners of the dead tree version.)
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Continue reading: Full text of the notice from Eric Chu >
From: Google Android Market Support
To: Android Market Developers
Date: Thu, Jul 2, 2009 at 9:12 PM
Subject: A Message from Android Market
I'm writing to let you know that we have added checkboxes in the Android Market publisher website at http://market.android.com/publish to target free apps for Bulgaria and Romania. Please note that these markets do not yet have Android devices but we expect them to become available soon.
Also, the first Android-powered phone will launch in Japan on July 10th (local time), after which free apps will be visible to users in that market. The publisher website allows you to upload Japanese language titles and descriptions for Japanese users. As a reminder, you can target Japan or any other countries by selecting the individual checkboxes or by choosing "All Current and Future Locations," which will make your free apps appear to users in all countries where free apps are available.
Finally, I want to let you know that the deployment of Android 1.5 is nearly complete. For the purposes of your app upgrade plans, nearly all devices are now running this latest version of the Android platform.
Thanks, and we look forward to continue working with you on Android Market.
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