Fri, 11 Jun 2010 23:52:40 +1000
By: gosh'at'DigitalFriend.org (Steve Goschnick)
[Pre-Script: What follows is one of my comments to the Google Android Developer Group, on the 11th of June 2010, about the dire need for a new App Store for the Android, because at that time, Google's 'Android Market' had not only not added any new countries to their seller-country list for over 8 months at that stage, but had also not answered any questions about that lack of progress, nor given any information about Google's future direction/plans of their Android Market. All they clearly divulged about their intentions on app stores at the May 2010 Google I/O conference, was the they had a Web App Store in the works, and that they encouraged developers to place advertisements within their Android apps (in-app ads) – as they saw advertising as the manner in which small developers could gain monetary value from their development efforts.]
(App Stores are) a win-win-win situation - software publishers/Internet industry/ users.
Before the Internet I used to publish software (applications) for a living (for over an 8 year period). In 1994/95 the www killed all that - the early-adopters who used to be the buyers of software from those publishers other than the Microsofts and Adobes of the world, all went to the big free download on the web.
Most people I know who contribute to free open source projects have other jobs that pay their wages - e.g. academia. The App Store is the first mechanism since 1994 that gives something back to software developers, while also giving customers software for a few bucks -versus the ridiculous price of games on the consoles our kids pay or pirate - while also keeping the Internet healthy with activity and innovation.
Apple has effectively tapped the great untapped resource that is indie software developers and publishers (independent of the large software publishers), who don't have some other source of income or some other activity they'd rather be doing. So yes, (the iTunes/App Store concept is) a large part of the reason Apple have shot to the top in market cap. And I whole-heartedly wish Android provided a similar future avenue - if not via Google, then via some other worthy advocate for innovation and progress.
[ Postscript: On the 30th Sep 2010 Android Market finally expanded the number of countries an app developer can 'sell' from, up from the 9 country limit imposed one year earlier, to 29 countries; and allowing people to buy them in 32 countries, up from the 13 country limit put in place 1 year earlier. This marked the first time any countries in the southern hemisphere could sell apps in Android Market, namely: Argentina, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand were added.
On the 2nd Feb 2011 the Android Market was enhanced to allow several new options regarding billing 1. Made available on the Web - i.e. not just in the mobile device - including purchasing in the browser. 2. Allow app sellers to specify set prices in multiple currencies - rather than have currency conversions from one set price. 3. Allows in-app billing - tools and services to follow announcement..]