The OHA -- the Google-led group of companies responsible for the Android OS -- has unveiled plans for an online store to help users find, purchase, download, and install various types of content on their Android-powered devices.
This will be a service on the smartphones themselves hosted by Google.
Comparisons with Apple's App Store for iPhones are inevitable, but there will significant differences between the two.
The OHA says it chose the term "market" rather than "store" because developers will have an open and unobstructed environment to make their content available, whether they want to sell or give it away.
The model they are using is YouTube, and like that online video sharing site developers will be able to post content in the Android marketplace after only three steps: register, upload and describe the content, and publish it.
This is virtually the antithesis of the iPhone App Store. Apple carefully vets all developers and third-party software before anything is available to users.
Beta Coming Soon
The OHA says the first handsets will have a beta version of Android Market. At a minimum this will support free applications.
The group promises that soon after launch an update will be released that supports paid content and more features such as versioning, multiple device profile support, analytics, etc.
Additional information is available on the official Android Developers Blog.
More About Android
Android will be based on the open-source operating system Linux and offer robust multitasking.
Along with the OS will be a suite of mobile applications. The OHA will strongly encourage third-party development, as evidenced by the Android Marketplace.
The initial smartphones running this operating system are scheduled for release later this year. The first of these will be from HTC and T-Mobile USA, but this will be followed up by devices from a variety of companies and wireless carriers.
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