Back when I was a kid, I used to love to watch the WWE Royal Rumble, with every major player in the group going at each other. It seems that we may have the same sort of situation shaping up in the Android app world, as another independent app store has popped up, this time in the form of the AndSpot Market. With their tagline reading, “Welcome to the alternative Android Marketplace,” it is obvious they are trying to position themselves as a better alternative to the somewhat convoluted official Market Google runs for Android users now. In an article over at Wired, Co-Founder Ash Kheramand says,
“Google’s Android Market is slow and not as user friendly as it can be, you don’t leave the Market thinking ‘this is great.’ Instead you are thinking, this is slow, clunky, and if you are a developer, ‘my app is not getting much exposure.'”
I hate to say it, but I have to agree with him, the Market is a tough place to operate right now for devs and users, which does not encourage growth at all. The Android Army has long been clamoring for some sweeping changes to how the Market is maintained and searched. We saw some good things on the way with the Froyo and Gingerbread announcements, but in the mean time we are seeing sites like AndSpot pop up to fill the void and take on the challenge of creating a well-oiled marketplace for Android.
AndSpot is not the first independent marketplace to be released. Android users also can go to sites like SlideME, and AndAppStore, and use services like AppBrain that integrate with the official Market.
The good news to be taken from all of this is that while there may be issues with the official Market, we are not locked into it like our Apple counterparts; we can install apps from outside sources. Again, the power of the Android’s openness shines in the darkness like a beacon of hope!
Users can sign up for a private beta at AndSpot, though you have to agreed to an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) and then wait for a acceptance email. When I tried to sign up it told me that due to overwhelming response, it may be awhile. Go check it out for yourself.