Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Android Apps: Free Today. But For How Much Longer?

As you know by now, Google is taking apps for sale on the Android Marketplace.

For months since October, G1's T-Mobile debut, we have had a free run in the marketplace while Google works through the kinks of Android's OS.  I'm sure by now, no one is surprised G1 users paid to be beta users.

However, as iPhone's iTunes app store took off during this time with 600 million downloads and 15,000 apps, we G1 users have had to virtually the same apps to download over and over again.  But don't get me wrong.  I appreciate the fact that all the apps were free and that even some were quite good.

Off the top, I can say that I would have thrown my G1 out the window to be crushed by some truck if not for excellent apps like Twidroid (twitter app), DoggCatch (podcast downloader and search engine), Streamfurious, textonphone (ebook reader), just to name a few.

However, once the market is truly opened for commerce, how many of these excellent apps are going to remain free?  Like Google, some of these developers also used us as beta testers for months.  Is the payback for our inputs these months the honor of paying for these apps?

On the other hand, I welcome the arrival of the wealth of paid apps.  This is not a slight against current free app developers but I sure would like to see some of those apps that iPhone and iPod Touch users have access to for close to a year now.

I mean, seriously, the fact that Pac-Man is the top download in the games section really speaks volume about the state of the Android Marketplace.

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