Colin Gillis Comments: Google Ups Ante In Apps Battle With Apple - New York Post Online
Google is getting serious about its Android apps marketplace.
The search giant, which in the last six months has captured a bigger share of the smartphone market than Apple, now wants a bigger piece of the apps pie. Google refashioned its Android apps store to give developers a better shot at making a profit.
Toward that end, Google made it possible for in-app payments -- that is, allowing customers to purchase virtual goods, services and content directly through their apps. In-app payments are already available on Apple devices and that feature is one reason why developers would rather work with Apple.
Google also solved a pricing problem by allowing developers to set prices in multiple currencies.
"In order to have a healthy ecosystem you have to have happy developers, and happy developers are ones that are getting paid," said Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Partners.
The new market is more user-friendly, as well. It's easier to search and navigate, it offers suggestions about popular apps, shows developers' multiple offerings, and allows consumers to share links to apps via social networks such as Twitter.
Google rolled out the Android Market facelift on the same day it showed off its latest Android software, Honeycomb, which is the first operating system designed for tablet computers.
A number of manufacturers are set to launch tablets that use Honeycomb, setting up a showdown between Apple's iPad and the Android tablets, much the same way Android smartphones and iPhones have vied for dominance.
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