Earlier this month, Verizon began accepting Android applications into its V CAST App store. This may come as no surprise as many Android handsets already include a tab for Verizon V CAST Apps within the Android Market. This new version takes the V CAST app store one step further by creating a stand-alone store that will separate the Verizon-only apps from Google’s popular app store.
The V CAST App store is the dedicated home for Verizon-sanctioned apps and is now available on Verizon’s BlackBerry handsets. It will debut soon on Verizon-branded Android 2.2 handsets including the DROID, DROID 2, DROID X or and Incredible. Handsets running version 2.1 or earlier will not support the V CAST App store.
Unlike the Android Market which is open to all apps without approval, the V CAST App store includes a two-step approval process that requires a developer to submit an application concept for approval and then a binary for testing. Verizon is promoting its V CAST app store by pointing out how easy and wonderful it is:
- It’s Free – No Testing Fees
- It’s Fast – Our Goal is to place your application in the App Store within 14 days of Submission
- Abbreviated Click-Thru Agreement
- Carrier Billing – Your applications are billed directly to the Customer’s Bill; No credit cards, PayPal, etc.
- 70/30 Revenue Share – 70% Developer / 30% Verizon
- Hands-on, Experienced Content Programming Team – Get the visibility you deserve, not just a quality-crushing algorithm!
- Content Programming and Store continuity across multiple platforms (BlackBerry & Android)
- Integration with Network API’s! Messaging & aGPS
- Detailed submission guides online and forums monitored by our support staff
- Subscription Billing – Coming Soon!
Despite its many positives, the V CAST app store is a walled garden and Verizon will tightly control the content within catalog. Some people will like the control, some people will despise the control; while the majority just won’t care.
With its myriad of devices, Android is going mainstream and now more than ever, the average wireless customer is ditching their enV3 for a DROID of some flavor. Unlike the serious Android fans and techies who may loathe the V CAST app store, the bulk of these new users will use the V CAST app store merely because it is there. Some may even prefer it over the Android Market for all the reasons mentioned above.
While many bemoan Android’s gradual shift from an open environment to a closed, carrier-driven environment, it is the price of success. More and more customers want inexpensive Android handsets and carriers are more than willing to oblige as long as they can interject their own utilities, app stores, and branding. Until Google puts its foot down and just says no to carrier customizations, then we can expect this trend to continue; like it or not.
[Via Android and me]