Here they come: Google ads are headed for smartphones.

Google has announced the beta of Adsense for Mobile Applications, a program that will give advertisers a new way to reach potential customers while they're on-the-go and an opportunity for developers to earn revenue on their applications via text or image ads. In a blog post, the company wrote:

AdSense for Mobile Applications allows developers to earn revenue by displaying text and image ads in their iPhone and Android applications. For our beta launch, we've created a site where developers can learn more about the AdSense for mobile applications program, see answers to frequently asked questions and sign up to participate in our beta. Advertisers can also learn about the benefits of advertising in mobile applications.

If advertising is what it takes to keep some applications free, then so be it. It's sure to generate interest and application developers who are looking to expand their creativity now will have a financial incentive to bring an app to life - and to market.

My son, who has an iPod Touch, can download free games to his heart's content - and he has. But he's only purchased a few of those games, just the ones that kept his attention when they were free. Some of those other games just didn't make the cut so it's a good thing he didn't waste a buck or two on it.