Market Index: Getting Your Android App Out There

Well, the G1 is just about upon us. Some of you already have it, courtesy of early UPS deliveries. Still others are planning on venturing to a 3G T-Mobile store tomorrow and wrenching a G1 out of the hands of terrified employees.

The next question is: where do you get the apps?

Reports have been swirling over the Android Market’s contents for the G1 launch. Some say it has around 50 apps, possibly the ADC 50 themselves. Some say there’s more like 13 apps. Some say it’s 13 apps plus MySpace.

The key for developers, though, is that the Android Market, as of 8:20am Eastern on the 21st, is not open for ordinary folk to upload their apps to. It also reportedly has two key limitations: the “kill switch” (for removing rogue programs) and lack of support for paid apps at the outset.

So…what’s a developer to do? Besides writing blog posts?

There are other markets available. While none will have an icon straight on the G1 home page, they will all be easy enough to access (e.g., through the Browser activity), and will be happy to distribute your apps for you, even ones you wish to charge for.

The two markets with confirmed app distribution are AndAppStore and SlideME. They each have a few dozen applications in their catalogs at present, with more being added continuously. You can even sign up for feeds from AndAppStore, or follow them on Twitter, to find out new items available in the catalog.

The venerable Handango has announced an Android store, though it is not linked to from the home page at this time. New Zealand-based Voeveo has hinted at interest in Android, and there are probably other markets that I haven’t heard of yet (chime in if you know of any!).

You can also distribute your applications from your own Web site. If you serve it up using the MIME type of application/, it will launch the install process when a G1 user clicks on the link (though, notably, this does not work in the SDK’s emulator). Of course, it’s up to you to determine who can see that link — anyone? Only those that join your site? Only those that pay you via a briefcase full of small, unmarked bills?

In the coming days and weeks, the Android Market will hopefully open its doors and will let us all evaluate it as a distribution channel. Savvy developers, though, should not limit themselves to a single channel.

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    The Handango store will be live on the 22nd as I understand it.

    Apps it already has that we know of:

    — MONOPOLY: Here & Now and Tetris(R) by EA Mobile(TM)
    — The Weather Channel for Android by the Weather Channel, Inc.
    — Voice on the Go (use your voice to listen to, compose, reply, forward,
    and delete your email) by Voice on the Go, Inc.
    — ShopSavvy (scan a product’s barcode with your phone’s camera and view
    all the best prices online and at nearby, local stores) by Big in
    Japan, Inc.
    — EzQuote (essential financial portfolio tracking software) by iambic
    — GoogHelper (utility to quickly launch Internet searches using sites
    such as Google, Yahoo!Finance, Amazon, Wikipedia and more) by iambic
    — Tipper (indispensable split tip calculator that saves time when it
    comes to paying the bill) by iambic
    — FitSync (log workouts, track your progress, compare and share with a
    worldwide community) by FitSync Corp
    — Par 72 Golf II (a realistic 3D golf game with three 18 hole courses)
    by RESETgame
    — Vegas Pool Sharks (a 3D pool game played against four predatory casino
    hustlers with increasing skill levels) by RESETgame
    — Accutracking (lets you see real-time locations, speed, and headings of
    your family members or cars/vehicles) by AccuTracking, Inc.
    — FotMob (Live coverage of most major European football leagues) by
    Score Service

  2. The problem with Handango is they take a seriously large cut of any proceeds (in the worst case you could be looking at 50% to them and 30% more in US Tax withholdings).

    They may have some greate titles with big publishers who can negociate better rates, but I don’t think they’re ever going to give a good deal to smaller development houses or individual developers.

  3. Well, the world is bigger than that. AndroidNieuws.NL (The Netherlands) is working hard to have an (free) Android Appstore as well. All applications out there today should be on this week, and from then on it’s the android community and its developers that will add to it (too).

    Check out: , section ‘Applicaties’, which obviously is dutch for Applications ;)

  4. Al Sutton: You’re right about Handango and a lot of the other sites taking a huge cut of sales. We set up voeveo to be a more viable platform for the smaller independent sellers – free to signup and use, you retain ownership of all your apps, plus you set your own pricing and take 70% of every sale.
    We’re also open to suggestions from you guys on how to improve Android support.

    There is more info about selling Android apps on voeveo here.

    PS. Apologies for the shameless plug ;-).

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