Skip to main content

Google “not happy” with Android Market, lays out 2011 roadmap

google-eric-chu-profile-picGoogle has a bad case of App Store envy. At the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco yesterday afternoon, Google’s Eric Chu was confronted by a mobile game developer and acknowledged that Google is “not happy” with the number of paid apps being downloaded on the Android Market. Chu, the Android platform group manager, told the developer that Google is working on ways to improve the market in 2011 by improving recommendations and merchandising. One idea is to list top apps/games by their usage as well as downloads.

Here is Chu’s roadmap for Android in 2011, reported by Forbes:

  • Carrier billing: Google began allowing carrier billing in December on AT&T and will add more carriers soon. This means that users can charge Market purchases directly to their cellphone bills.
  • Address book: Chu said that Google will make it easy for developers to access the Android address book to allow users to share apps and games with one another.
  • In-app payments: Android will finally allow developers to charge users for goods or services from inside apps or games. This means that anyone downloading a free “lite” version of a game can now purchase the full version from inside the game.
  • Better discovery: In addition to eliminating pirated or bad apps, Google is working to improve app discovery in the Market.
  • HTML5: Android will support HTML5 for Web app development.

Carrier billing…not the best idea

Carrier billing is a good idea, but it could turn sour quick. It would mean that purchases made on the Android market would show up on your phone bill instead of your credit card as it currently does through Google Checkout.

Before the iPhone App Store, most in-phone purchases were made using carrier billing. The process is sometimes simpler, but it can lead to a myriad of headaches.In the past, game and app developers would routinely charge recurring monthly fees of $1.99 – $3.99 to users for access to apps that should not require such a subscription. This model was built on the idea that users don’t check their phone bills enough to notice the extra charges. Getting carrier-based charges removed also means a call to AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile customer service, which is never fun and always time consuming. Hopefully Google will limit some of these problems and concerns with carrier billing, as it would be a simpler option for some.

Competition

When asked about competition to the Android Market, like Amazon’s upcoming app store, Chu claimed Google has no issue with options, but elevated the Android Market above stores like Amazon and the iPhone App Store, which choose their content more selectively. “Competition is always good,” he said. At the same time, Google will continue to invest in the Android Market to make sure that there’s a place “developers can always count on to make their apps available under clear rules without business restrictions.”

Jeffrey Van Camp
Former Digital Trends Contributor
As DT's Deputy Editor, Jeff helps oversee editorial operations at Digital Trends. Previously, he ran the site's…
We just learned a lot about the iPhone 17. Here’s what you need to know
The back of a Natural Titanium iPhone 15 Pro Max.

We’ve just gotten one of our biggest leaks yet about next year’s iPhone 17 lineup. Even though the iPhone 16 hasn’t launched yet, leaker Ice Universe posted a slew of information on Weibo laying out the anticipated iPhone 17 models and some of their key specs, display size, and price points.

For the upcoming lineup, you’re looking at the following five devices:

Read more
Best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 preorder deals — last chance!
The open and closed Samsung Galaxy Z Fold6.

If you want to get the latest Samsung folding phone, you better secure your preorder today. That's because preorders for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 end soon, on Tuesday, July 23, at midnight. While you could wait until the official release date of July 24th, you may encounter shortages. (Note: There's a mysterious 'Get it by July 24' message on the Samsung preorder page, with the emphasis on the word "by" being ours.) You'll also miss out on great preorder deals where you can get extra storage with no additional costs. But should you preorder your Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 from Samsung or elsewhere? As it turns out, it depends a lot on your carrier (or intended carrier) and your current status with that carrier. Here, we examine the best deals for each carrier, though you should note that switching from an unlocked to carrier-specific deal is as easy as pressing a button. In other words, the unlocked deal is universal and might be a great place to start learning about Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 deals.
The best unlocked Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 preorder deal
To get a fresh, unlocked Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6, your best bet is to go directly to the manufacturer. Right now they advertise that you can get the phone with as much as $1,500 in savings. The first way you're saving is by getting an effective doubling of your storage space for free. That means the 512GB version costs as much as the (now unavailable) 256GB version and the 1TB version costs as much as the 512GB version will cost. That's a savings of $120 and $240, respectively. Then, there are enhanced trade-in values. For example, your old Pixel 6 Pro (Samsung accepts Samsung, Apple, Google, and "other" phones with the first three categories giving the best returns) would typically only fetch you an $80 discount. Today, that same phone gets you $500. Trade-in credit is capped to $1,200.

The best Verizon Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 preorder deal
If you're looking for the best deal on a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 6 and want it tied to Verizon, the best deal is still via Samsung at this time. The reason is because Verizon caps out their trade-in to $800 in credit. You can get $1,500 total off at Samsung and still have your phone tied to Verizon with no extra efforts if you select Verizon as your carrier. Or, simply tap the button below to have this option already selected.

Read more
Best Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 preorder deals — last chance!
Two Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 smartphones next to each other.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 has officially landed. Well, almost. You can preorder the phone today, at least. In fact, it's your last chance to grab these preorder deals, because the phone launches on Wednesday, July 24. Here, we'll go through each major carrier and the unlocked version of the phone, picking the best deal for each one.
The best unlocked Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 preorder deal
To get a fresh, unlocked Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 your best bet is to go directly to the manufacturer. Typically, the 512GB version of the phone would cost $1,220 but now you can get it for as low as $400. Part of this is because the 512GB version of the phone now costs the same as the smaller 256GB phone, a double storage savings bonus of $120. Then, there are enhanced trade-in values. For example, your old Pixel 6 Pro (Samsung accepts Samsung, Apple, Google, and "other" phones with the first three categories giving the best returns) would typically only fetch you an $80 discount. Today, that same phone gets you $300. Trade-in credit is capped to $650.

The best Verizon Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 preorder deal
If you're looking for the best deal on a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 6 and want it tied to Verizon, you have two options. The first is simple and for current Verizon customers, where you get the same deal outlined above. Just go to the and all of the same trade-ins will apply.

Read more