Government // Enterprise Architecture
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2/13/2009
03:28 PM
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Android Market Gets Paid Apps

Consumers will be using Google Checkout to pay for apps, and the move could compel high-profile developers to create content for the Android platform.

Developers can now submit priced applications to Google that will be sold in the Android Market next week.

When the T-Mobile G1 was introduced late last year, one of the most compelling features was the ability to add applications to enhance the smartphone. Google set very few restrictions of what type of applications could be made, which paved the way for things that weren't possible on the iPhone's platform due to Apple not allowing apps that duplicate existing functionality. For example, there are no alternative media players in the App Store, but there are multiple options for media playback in the Android Market.

But the App Store has been incredibly successful with consumers, and developers are taking notice. The App Store has more than 15,000 programs in it, roughly three times the number in Google's store. One of the major reasons is that developers have a way to get paid, as the App Store is tied into the large iTunes payment system.

The iTunes ecosystem may be Apple's greatest advantage in the mobile application battle, as it already had a sizable audience of users with registered credit cards. Google will be using its Google Checkout for payments, but this service has yet to gain mass appeal. Research In Motion has chosen PayPal as its payment service for its upcoming Application Storefront for BlackBerry smartphones.

The move should bring a deluge of new apps to Google's mobile platform, as many developers have been waiting for a way to get compensated for their products. Electronic Arts already sells Android games like "Tetris" on its Web site and at Handango, but being in the Android Market would assure higher visibility.

Developers in the U.S and U.K. markets can submit priced apps now, and Google said developers in Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain will have the ability later in the quarter.

The increased adoption of smartphones can boost employees' productivity, but it can also lead to headaches for IT department. InformationWeek has published a report on the best practices for managing a fleet of smartphones, and the report can be downloaded here (registration required).

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