Will The Android Market Be More Appealing To Developers Than The App Store?

from the let-freedom-ring dept

In the past month, it has become clear that Apple, through their App Store, is going to exercise a lot of control over the programs that iPhone users download. The list of removed App Store downloads include Tetris clones, harmless but expensive novelties, movie listings and useful wireless applications. Although many have sung the praises of the new system, this trend of contingent generativity - Jonathan Zittrain's term for intermediaries exerting control over new creativity - has some worrying implications. An ecosystem with perfect enforceability of rules will come to preempt the creativity which comes from the edge (and even piracy). If developers worry that their applications will be shut down by an overzealous enforcement organization (there is no evidence Apple is pulling applications after anything more than a third-party complaint), then innovation will stagnate.

Google seems to understand this. In announcing their competing service, the Android Market, the Android team notes "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." Application creators will be as free to post information as videographers are to post to YouTube. Although the lack of review before posting doesn't mean Google will not remove applications if complaints are made, their ethic of freedom suggests they see mobile applications in the same light as the Internet: creators will build unanticipated, useful applications if given the chance to experiment freely.


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  1.  
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    koresho, Sep 2nd, 2008 @ 7:58pm

    this is just shown over and over...

    As Apple continues to annoy customers with their lock down policies and high prices, overhyping new products and underdelivering in true functionality... Their cult-like following is coming to an end.
    I talk to more and more people that are tired of Apple's snobbery and elitist attitude, and as we see more and more people shown that Macs aren't the only cool computer out there we have more people able to make informed decisions- not decisions based on hype.

     

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  2.  
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    wasnt me!, Sep 2nd, 2008 @ 8:21pm

    we will have to see what kind of phones carry the android OS.

    also Iphone is some sort of status symbol.

     

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  3.  
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    Seth Brundle, Sep 2nd, 2008 @ 9:34pm

    The Apple App Store is anti-net neutrality FULLY realized, and I cant believe more people arent up in arms about it.

    In order for a developer to install an app - even on his own iPhone - he needs to digitally sign his code and register his iPhone as a development device - there is no other option for distribution or sales available to him except the app store.

    The App Store then not only taxes every app sold, but also has to approve each one individually. They then know who wrote every app, and also know every single person who downloaded it.

    They are the gatekeeper, the walled garden, whatever you want to call it - the App Store is all of our net neutrality fears come true.

    Even the wireless providers don't tax apps and track application developers and users!

     

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  4.  
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    Josh, Sep 2nd, 2008 @ 10:39pm

    Exactly why I don't develop for the iPhone

    As a creative type who knows his way around a compiler, I simply can't put my efforts into something where my innovation can be stifled on someone's whim. Hopefully Google will get it right.

     

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  5.  
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    IanK, Sep 2nd, 2008 @ 11:11pm

    I can't wait to get an Android phone. I'm not going to get a Windows based one, and Apple's App Store is starting to aggravate me. iPhones are the best phones out there right now, but once the market for these touchphones matures, iPhones won't offer the uniqueness or advantages in ease-of-use anymore. Sure, Apple tends to get user interfaces right, and creates things that are not only useful, but easily usable. However, there's no way I'd get an iPhone if Android was a close 2nd best.

     

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  6.  
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    Yosi, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 12:21am

    Openess is overrated

    Yes, Apple store is "closed". It's closed in exactly same way as any other (software or hardware) store is "closed" - owner choose what goods to offer.
    The whole buzz around Android is extremely overrated. Want openness to develop/distribute - there's tiny company called "Nokia". Symbian allow to install unsigned application while user is warned over potential risk.
    There's about 1M Nokia devices sold EVERY DAY. iPhone is irrelevant for all except (maybe) US market.

     

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  7.  
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    dave, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 12:26am

    the iphone tax?

    First, Google hasn't announced any kind of payment information about the Android 'market'.

    Second, obviously, nobody here has tried to list a Java app or a Windows Mobile app with one of the cell phone companies or the couple of third-party stores. If they did, they would know that they would be luck if the 'tax' was ONLY 50%. Some of them are over 60% [as in, 60% for them, 40% for you, the developer]. And you think they let you list an app for $1.00? Only if they keep $0.99.

    And don't forget, your support costs will be higher for Android, because you can't count on a specific input method, or screen size, or even if specific libraries are available on the phone your customer has.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 6:48am

    Apple - Schmapple

    I am proud to say that the last apple product I owned was the Apple II-C.

    Why on earth would I buy an over-priced, overly-restrictive product from an ultra-elitist organization.

    Keep your stupid little toys Apple!

     

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  9.  
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    Mark Murphy, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 7:45am

    Re: the iphone tax?

    And don't forget, your support costs will be higher for Android, because you can't count on a specific input method, or screen size, or even if specific libraries are available on the phone your customer has.

    "Libraries" will not be a problem, any more than there is a problem with "libraries" on iPhone given the possibility that not everyone upgrades at the same time. In Android, libraries are either in the OS, or bundled with your application, so there are no additional variables to worry about.

    With regards to input method or screen size, that problem holds true for each and every smartphone platform except iPhone, because each and every other smartphone platform actually supports more than one phone. This issue, therefore, is not unique to Android.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 4:49pm

    I can't get too worked up about iPhone app restrictions because it is a proprietary phone. People seem to hold Apple to a different standard than other phone manufacturers. Do you have an absolute right to install whatever you want on your Nokia ? You either take what the vendor gives you or look elsewhere. I use the iphone because it it the first phone I have ever owned that had new major functionality appear over time, and a lot of it is very useful.

    The article mentions the "movie listing" app that was removed. I presume this is referring to Boxoffice, which is still there, just under a new name "Now Playing". It's a great app.

     

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  11.  
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    TD, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 9:05am

    protecting buyers

    Google may end up selling some broken and infected Apps in its "marketplace". This is what Apple wants to avoid.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Re: protecting buyers

    not really, otherwise they wouldn't get rid of harmless apps. we have already heard multiple reports of apps that have been taken down even though they did everything they promised.

     

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