Android’s Developer Blog has announced the Android Market… Google’s answer to the iTunes App Store. The best news: unlike the App Store, it’s an open content distribution system. A developer on Android need expect no inexplicable refusals to host their product.
Developers will be able to make their content available on an open service hosted by Google that features a feedback and rating system similar to YouTube. We chose the term “market” rather than “store” because we feel that developers should have an open and unobstructed environment to make their content available. Similar to YouTube, content can debut in the marketplace after only three simple steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it. We also intend to provide developers with a useful dashboard and analytics to help drive their business and ultimately improve their offerings…
Developers can expect the first handsets to be enabled with a beta version of Android Market. Some decisions are still being made, but at a minimum you can expect support for free (unpaid) applications. Soon after launch an update will be provided that supports download of paid content and more features such as versioning, multiple device profile support, analytics, etc.
Interesting, but one wonders if Google is setting themselves up for a logistical nightmare here: if developers can put through malicious code with no fail check, Google might spend more time pulling down apps than it would actually take to approve them individually and put them up.
I really like the screenshots of the interface though, especially the summary of exactly what functions of Android each App accesses.