Google released early details yesterday about their plans for Android Market, an online bazaar for programs that run on Android phones. Essentially an Android version of the iPhone's popular App Store, it offers three key advantages over Apple's offering:
- It will follow the YouTube model of instant gratification: just upload and publish. Your content will appear immediately in the Market. By contrast Apple requires each iPhone app to be vetted and approved. Android's multi-level security model will help protect your handset from malicious or just plain broken programs.
- It will provide developers with a dashboard and analytics to "help drive their business and ultimately improve their offerings". All iPhone devs get right now is a daily count of downloads.
- If you don't like it, you don't have to use it! Unlike the iPhone, if someone comes up with a better store interface with their own catalog they are free to do so. Of course the Google one will be pre-installed on phones, which gives it an immediate advantage. But in theory a 3rd party store could work out their own deal with carriers and have theirs bundled too.
Initially all content in the Market will be free, but the next phase will include paid apps, probably purchased through Google Checkout. Google hasn't said what their "cut" of the price for non-free programs will be, but it will most likely be less than the 30% Apple takes from App Store sales.
You can find high resolution screenshots of Android Market after the break...
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