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Google: Android Market Will Be More Open Than iPhone Apps Store

During the course of an interview, Google Android pioneer Andy Rubin made sure to say that the Android Market will be a whole different ballgame compared with the iPhone Apps Store. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
During the course of an interview, Google Android pioneer Andy Rubin made sure to say that the Android Market will be a whole different ballgame compared with the iPhone Apps Store. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?Even though Apple released iPhone developers from its overly strict nondisclosure agreement, there is still a lot of grumbling going on in Apple's orchard. The approval process remains a mystery, with Apple approving and disapproving of applications seemingly at whim. Apple may have "opened up" the iPhone, but it is still maintaining strict control of the ecosystem surrounding its darling device.

Google, says Andy Rubin, will not play things that way. BusinessWeek interviewed him recently and reports that "Google won't impose many of the restrictions Apple developers have been grumbling about. Unlike iPhone aficionados, developers using Android Market will, for example, be able to allow consumers to try their applications for free before they buy them. This may seem like a small thing, but developers name lack of free trial as one of the biggest reasons behind their lukewarm App Store sales."

Sampling products before you buy them is by no means a revolutionary idea. Many of the network operators' content can be previewed or sampled before users commit to purchasing it or subscribing to certain services. That Apple does not allow iPhone users to sample applications before they buy them is odd, especially considering that Apple allows iTunes users the ability to sample 30-second snippets of songs before buying them. Why doesn't Apple allow apps to be sampled?

The Android Market is following the model set by the existing content delivery platforms of the major network operators, and that is a good thing. There are definitely a few applications that I paid for for my iPhone that I am less than thrilled with. Sampling them, even for a few moments, would have been enough to allow me to make a more informed purchasing decision and possibly even save some money.

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer