With more than 130,000 available applications and 1.6 billion downloads so far, the Android Market for smartphones and tablets is still a fraction of the size of the Apple
In an email sent to Android developers over the weekend (of which I am one), the Android Market team announced that the market is getting support for paid applications in more countries. Currently, only 14 countries are allowed to download paid apps for Android because they support the Google Checkout payment system. And if you thought that was restrictive, consider that only nine nations are allowed to upload and sell applications in the Market.
Apple is running circles around Android when it comes to having the best user experience in the app store. Expanding the support for applications purchased up front rather than being supported by mobile advertising should make Android a bigger force to be reckoned with over time, as some developers gain access to the paid app strategy while others suddenly see the point of publishing apps this way with a larger installed user base.
Ready availability of high-quality apps is arguably the top reason smartphones are selling like hotcakes and why Android phones and iPhones with huge stores are pulling away from Research In Motion's
It's a long overdue move for Android, but there is still much to be done. Android fan site AndroidGuys ponders whether Amazon.com
Will a wider distribution of paid apps give Android a jolt of caffeine, or would a new Market altogether be a better investment for Google? My vote is for a better Market, but share yours in the comments below. Loudly, please.
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