Google’s Android getting ready to ring up customers


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Get ready to download.

After hiccups and delays, Android, the Google-supported mobile phone initiative, is finally starting to gain steam. The company today announced Android Market, which it hopes will be to mobile phones what Apple’s App Store is to the iPhone and iPod.

According to news reports, T-Mobile will be the first carrier to offer a phone with Google’s Android software sometime before Christmas. Android Market will make it easy for users to find, buy, download and install various third-party applications (dubbed ‘content’ to encompass other software such as ringtones or music), according to the blog post from the Android team.


There are some differences with Apple, the post noted. Android is using the term ‘market’ instead of ‘store.’ And, with Google opting for an open service it says will spur innovation, there will be no approval process for applications, in contrast to Apple’s policy of putting software developers through the geek equivalent of ‘Survivor.’ (Apple also has booted programs from the App Store with no explanation). In fact, it will take just three steps for a developer to register as a merchant, upload and describe the software and then publish it. Google didn’t disclose pricing for the applications or how much of a commission it plans to take.

The service will feature a feedback and rating system similar to YouTube so that developers can get a sense of how their applications are doing.

-- Jessica Guynn