Tag Archives: Android Market

Upcoming Android Market redesign hints at Web interface and Internet Tablets

17 Nov

The folks at Android Police have word that Google is making some big design changes in the Android Market. These changes will in all probability be implemented in time for Gingerbread roll-out. According to the above screenshot, app developers have to provide higher resolution logos/app icons as well as an option to include a YouTube promo/demo video! this could point to two things – a web-based Android Market interface and Internet Tablets with higher resolution displays. Whatever it is, we cannot wait any longer.

SOURCE: Android Police

Paid apps come to Android Market in India

1 Oct

Google today announced that it will make paid apps in the Android Market available to more countries, including India over the next two weeks. Google has also increased the number of countries from where developers can submit paid apps to the Android Market.

Android Market users from 32 countries will be able to buy apps, with the addition of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Sweden and Taiwan. Support for paid application sales is now expanded to developers in 29 countries, with today’s additions of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

We will keep our eyes peeled to see when paid apps arrive to Android Market in India and how one can buy apps.

SOURCE: Android Developers Blog

Android Market close to getting operator-based billing

26 Jul

It seems that Android Market might finally get carrier billing as an option to support paid-for apps. Google has changed a couple of terms and conditions in the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement to provide new payment options to developers. One of the terms (Section 13.1) adds ‘authorised carriers’ as an indemnified party.

Till now, users can only buy paid-for apps from Android Market using Google Checkout, a service that is not available in many countries, including India. Having an option to pay for those apps along with your monthly subscription bill would be the ideal thing.

However, it won’t be easy for Google to implement carrier billing in a country like India, where carriers do not sell phones. Moreover, most carriers have their own application stores where they get as high as 70 per cent of the revenues generated and pass on just 30 per cent to the developer. Hence, they might not have any incentive to provide the billing infrastructure for someone else’s app store and just get 20 per cent of the revenue.

Nokia is a good example of how Indian carriers are averse to becoming just a billing gateway for others in the ecosystem. Nokia enjoys over 50 per cent market share in India and yet, it could not secure a carrier billing partnership with any carrier in the country for its Ovi Store.

Google needs to become a bit more flexible when it comes to paid applications and should enable users to pay for them via credit cards, just like other players in the business. Yes, it won’t bring in as many users as carrier-based billing, yet it would at least ensure that people get an option to buy Android apps rather than having to wait till Google launches Checkout in their country.

Image Courtesy: Android Developers Blog

Android App Inventor lets 'you' make your own apps!

12 Jul

Google has released a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) app maker tool for Android that would enable just about anyone (they really mean ANYONE) to create apps for Android. App Inventor allows users to visually add elements that they want in their app and the software takes care of the rest for them. So even if you have no programming skills, you can still create your own app. (Check out the video at the end of this post)

While it certainly sounds interesting, we wonder what will happen to the already cr-app crowded Android Market when just about everyone and their grannies start creating apps. Yup, Google might be able to overtake Apple in numbers of apps but it surely will be one ugly application store. Probably, rather than letting just about anyone to upload their apps to Android Market, it would be wise for Google to hold a competition and allow the top 10 (or even 100) apps to its application store.

Certainly, that ain’t going to happen considering how Google is championing the open source cause (don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it). But Google certainly needs to start policing Android Market or it won’t be long before the number of available apps lose their relevance once the place start stinking of cr-apps and consumers start looking elsewhere.

Google uses remote kill switch to wipe off an app from Android phones

25 Jun

Man that’s a hell lot of stuff Google is doing. First, Google’s Andy Rubin aka the Droid-Man, announced that they are activating about 160,000 Android devices a day or roughly two devices every second. Then they made the code for Android 2.2 (Froyo) open source, which means that we will finally see the latest Android OS being delivered to Android devices. Yup, the Nexus One over-the-air update has already begun.

However, the biggest use from Googleplex has been their use of a remote kill switch to wipe off an application from Android phones.

“Recently, we became aware of two free applications built by a security researcher for research purposes. These applications intentionally misrepresented their purpose in order to encourage user downloads, but they were not designed to be used maliciously, and did not have permission to access private data — or system resources beyond permission.INTERNET. As the applications were practically useless, most users uninstalled the applications shortly after downloading them. After the researcher voluntarily removed these applications from Android Market, we decided, per the Android Market Terms of Service, to exercise our remote application removal feature on the remaining installed copies to complete the cleanup.”

Now why would Google make such a big fuss about an app that did nothing and probably was not installed in more than a few dozen phones? I think it has more to do with Google telling users that Android is a safe platform and Google has control over the Android Market since critics have been raising questions about how secure Android is considering that virtually anyone can easily get their app on the Market and hence, into the phones of millions of unsuspecting Android users.

“The remote application removal feature is one of many security controls Android possesses to help protect users from malicious applications. In case of an emergency, a dangerous application could be removed from active circulation in a rapid and scalable manner to prevent further exposure to users. While we hope to not have to use it, we know that we have the capability to take swift action on behalf of users’ safety when needed.”

Instead of demonstrating how Google can remotely wipe some nondescript app (notice that Google has not revealed any details of the ‘researcher’ in question or even the name of the app), it would serve both Google and users of Android phones if Google spent more time ensuring that only genuine apps pass through into the market and cr-apps or malware stays out. Yes, Android is supposed to be an open world, but I don’t things users will mind if the streets are kept clean.

Android to become an audiophile pretty soon, to compete with iTunes and Apple

21 May

Last evening’s Google I/O keynotes threw in a few pleasant surprises. Yeah, we knew what was coming up (Froyo, what else?) and also some of the new features that the new OS will bring to the table, but Google did a pretty cool job of hiding some super cool stuff. And one of them was how Android will handle music and specifically, take on Apple in the near future.

The first surprise was the inclusion of a music section in Android Market. Or in other words, a music store within Android’s application store. What’s more, users will be able to search and download songs from their desktops and those songs will automatically get downloaded on the user’s Android phone(s).

But for us, the bigger surprise was an application that would allow users to have all DRM-free songs stored on their PC available on their Android phones remotely. This has been made posssible by Google’s acquisition of a company called Simplify Media. We are not sure whether it stores all the songs in the cloud and downloads them on demand on the phone or whether the PC needs to remain functioning and connected to the Internet all the time.

Both these features are not yet available and Google says that these will be made available soon.

Android users, including us, have often cribbed about the pathetic music player onboard. Probably, this could very well be what the doctor ordered and could make Apple do some tweaking with its iTunes software on which it relies not only for music but even apps.