Google takes on App Store with Android Market

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Google announced the pending launch of the Android Market, an App Store-like open content distribution system for consumers to find, purchase, download and install various types of content to the devices powered by the web services giant's fledgling Android mobile operating system. According to Google, Android Market will feature feedback and ratings systems similar to its YouTube user-generated video service: "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," writes Google's Eric Chu on the Android Developers Blog in a subtle-as-a-sledgehammer jab at rival Apple. "Similar to YouTube, content can debut in the marketplace after only three simple steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it. We also intend to provide developers with a useful dashboard and analytics to help drive their business and ultimately improve their offerings."

Chu adds that developers can expect the first Android handsets (presumably led by the HTC Dream, expected from T-Mobile USA this fall) to arrive enabled with a beta version of Android Market. Google is still finalizing some of the details, but according to Chu developers can at the very least count on support for free applications--a subsequent update will support premium content and features like versioning, multiple device profile support and analytics.

For more on Android Market:
- read this Android Developers Blog entry

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