Google’s Andy Rubin on Android Market
Andy Rubin, who heads up Google’s Android efforts, spoke to me yesterday about his vision for the Android Market. In particular, we talked about how the market will be different from Apple’s iTunes App Store and some other efforts, which also peddle software for cell phones.
Rubin’s message: Google won’t impose many of the restrictions Apple developers have been grumbling about. Unlike iPhone aficionados, developers using Android Market will, for example, be able to allow consumers to try their applications for free before they buy them. This may seem like a small thing, but developers name lack of free trial as one of the biggest reasons behind their lukewarm App Store sales.
Android Market also won’t place limits on how much bandwidth a given application may use up. T-Mobile G1 phone launch partner, T-Mobile USA, just announced that it will ask developers whose free apps take up more than 15 Megabytes of bandwidth per user per month to pay it a $2 monthly fee. Since G1 users will be downloading apps from the Android Market, which offers no such restrictions, that policy, it seems to me, may be difficult to enforce.
As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised if some Apple developers migrate over. Android Market could end up being a bigger hotbed of innovation than even the App Store. “We want the next killer application to be written for cell phones, not the Internet,” Rubin said.