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.

Filed Under: android, app store, mobile, mobile platforms, openness
Companies: apple, google


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  1. identicon
    Yosi, 3 Sep 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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