Google announced plans to open the Android Market as its way to distribute applications for Android handsets that are rumored to be released next month. Rather than Apple’s review process required to upload applications, developers can upload their work and make it available for use and ratings by Android users.
The approach Google is taking is to enable the community to police itself through a ratings system rather than reviewing applications individually. If an application does not function properly, users will be able to rate and comment on the application’s listing in the Android Market which will cause other users to avoid installing it. The Android Developers blog likened the process to uploading a YouTube video.
The name “market” was chosen specifically to sound more democratic than an online “store.” This is one way that Google is trying to cater to their developer community, who reacted to Google’s Android Developer Challenge by creating 1,788 applications before the phone was ever released. Of these numerous submissions only 50 were awarded prizes.
Google has announced that it will release a Beta version of the Android Market that will come installed on the first handsets that will be released. The announcement also stated that the Android Market Beta will only support free applications, though they expect to offer paid services down the line. There is no word on when developers will be able to start submitting applications for listing.
This comes on the heels of rumors that T-Mobile could be holding a presale event for the first Android phone called the HTC Dream as early as September. Analysts predict that the wait for the device could actual continue until Thanksgiving, but there has been no official word on the release date as of yet.
Screenshots below detail the categories and commenting interface for the handset application. There will also be a search feature that will allow users to find specific applications more quickly. Android Market will also allow users to see what resources any given application will use and to manage all the applications that they have downloaded.