Verizon has introduced a plethora of new application programming interfaces for developers which should make it easier for content creators to create apps for Big Red. Is this a precursor to the Verizon app store for Android?
At its developer conference today, the nation’s largest carrier introduced a messaging API which enables app creators to make apps which take advantage of text and multimedia messages. This will also include “link-to-buy” functionality, which should make app makers happy.
There are also a pair of location APIs which will give developers tools to figure out where the user is. It will come in two flavors, as one will give you location up to two miles and the other gives more granularity of positioning.
This is an interesting feature but it could lead to some lock-in problems. The Pre Plus on Verizon had some issues with aGPS because it was required to work with Big Red’s VZ Navigator software, which costs about $10 per month. A potential concern is that Verizon could try and overlook the free Google Navigation on its Android devices in favor of its own APIs and direction services.
This would go absolutely nowhere on its face but if Verizon introduces its own Android app store, as expected, then developers would be put into a tough position. On the one hand, a V Cast App Store for Android would likely get more visibility and tons of app downloads but a lock-in to VZ Navigator for location-driven services would be a major pain in the you know what.
I have a line in to Big Red in order to clarify these issues and what, exactly, are the advantages for developers to use these new APIs. I’ll update this post when I get a response.
Any developers out there? What do you think of the new Verizon APIs?