We’ve heard it before, but now the WSJ is reporting that "This week Google will start allowing developers to charge for software sold through the Android Market, according to people familiar with the matter." Previous reports claimed that a pay App Market was in the works for Q1 of 09, but Google has been hard at work over the past few weeks, rolling out new mobile services just in time for the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. Earlier this year they also introduced localized versions of the Android Market so that developers could target their work to specific areas. I guess all we can tell you for now is to keep an eye on the Android Market. I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who are addicted to checking the market a few times a day.
At the moment, Google and T-mobile are busy rolling out their latest OTA firmware update to the G1. But hidden inside that update is Google’s latest add-on to their Google Maps Application: Google Latitude. This new app works with Google Maps and allows users to share their location and message other people from their contact list. The application is very similar to the Loopt application on the G1 and the iPhone, but allows anyone to access it through their web browser as well through their igoogle.com page if they already have a Google account. The advantage that Google has over Loopt is that they are pushing this new app out to all T-Mobile G1 phones and most likely will include it an all future building of the Android OS. Google Latitude will also be rolling out to the iPhone, Windows Mobile, and most likely any other Mobile OS that already has Google Maps support. We’re still waiting on our OTA firmware update for our G1, but we’ll be sure to post our impressions once we get out hands on Google Latitude. Until then… you can always download Loopt.
Make sure you check out the official Google Latitude page.
In an effort to add a little more value to its email client, late last year, Gmail Tasks was rolled out in Google Labs. Google’s latest Labs project allowed users to create, manage, and edit lists of tasks in a similar fashion to Outlook and Lotus Notes. At the moment, Gmail Tasks is not a native application for Android, but merely a web interface that allows you to access all your tasks you have created, add new ones or delete tasks you have already completed. Since gmail Tasks is still in the Google Labs, you will need to enable it on your Gmail account through your computers web browser before you will be able to access it through your Android handset. Just head on over to gmail.com/tasks to get all the details and activate the service and then go to the same address on your phone.
Within the next few days, T-Mobile G1 users will be able to download Skype’s new app for the Android platform. Skype Lite will allow users to chat with their contacts and will also be able to make Skype calls without using the data connection for low fees. This app will be a "must have" for current Skype desktop users to stay in touch with peopel on the go. Skype is expected to have app the app in the Android Market within the next few day.
Google’s Android Market team wanted to finish off the year by reminding developers that the "apps for pay" market will still be launching in Q1 of 2009. An e-mail was sent out to the registered developers of the Android Market, stating that the service will soon be going live. Due to payment support systems for multiple countries, staggered roll-out will go to (1) United States and UK; (2) Germany, Austria and Netherlands; (3) France, Italy and Spain with additional countries to be announced at the end of Q1 09. The e-mail also lets developers know that they will now be able to tailor their apps for different markets. When launching an app, developers will chose which countries it will launch in. This should help keep the market clean for users. There have already bee a handful of apps that are country of language specific that should not be visible to the entire market.
If you want to read the entire e-mail, be sure to hit the read more link. Thanks to TalkAndroid for the news.
As usual, I was doing my daily digging, trying to find some new news on Android and HTC when I came a cross some astounding news. Loopt is now available for Android and is in the Android Market. I quickly opened up the market to find the app, but there was nothign there. The latest app to show up was "My Med Box" which has been up since last night. This has happened before where there is news on a new app, but the app has simply not materialized yet. I tried going to Loopt.com on my work computer, but of course our firewall has blocked it since it’s considered a Social Network. So I typed in Loopt.com on my G1, hoping for a better result. Jackpot! The Loops website redirected me to a page for my G1 and had a link to download the App from the market. I clicked the link and the downloaded started and installed.
I’ve checked the market a few more times this past hour, but nothign there yet. It seems the only way to get loopt on your G1 at the moment is to click the link from www.loopt.com on your G1. Good luck!
UPDATE: If you’re reading this from your G1, you can just click here to download Loopt onto your G1.
Since today is the official launch of the T-Mobile G1 (the first phone to run on Google’s new Android OS), it only seems appropriate that Google has released some details on the official application store for Android. Developers posting their apps up on the Android Marketplace will be able to start charging for their work soon. It turns out, Google has revenue sharing scheme just like Apple. Developers will have to fork over a one time fee of $25 which allows them to post, manage, and update their apps of the Android Marketplace. Then, all revenue that they take in will be split 70/30. For those of you who are thinking "Man, Google just for a bit greedy" think again. The 30% will actually be going to the service providers as a "Thank you" from Google for using Android powered phones. The 30% should be more than enough to cover any additional data charges that T-Mobile or any other carrier will incur from all those data intensive programs that have started popping up on the marketplace today.
Now…. back to my G1.