updated 11:45 am EDT, Fri May 30, 2008
Android App Store
Phones running Google's Android operating system may have a dedicated app store, team lead Andy Rubin has mentioned at the company's I/O Conference. The official doesn't directly claim the existence of the option but says that it would be a "great benefit" for Android users to have a controlled marketplace for downloading apps, as the service would provide a trusted location as well as a place where developers could guarantee exposure for their software.
"We wouldn't have done our job if we didn't provide something that helps developers get distribution," Rubin says.
The latest Android build, demonstrated at the conference, reveals a previously unseen Market icon that would take owners to the store. Neither Rubin nor others have shown the service in action or provided additional details.
The addition would make Google one of the few phone operating system creators to offer its own app store and would primarily be challenged by the App Store currently in development for the second-generation iPhone firmware, which follows the same policy. However, unlike Apple's closed solution, Google's free and open-source development platform will theoretically allow developers to write and offer programs for any Android phone without requiring explicit approval as well as royalties associated with paid apps.
The first Android phones are planned to launch in late 2008 and may start with the HTC Dream, a touchscreen and QWERTY keyboard combination device.