Google wants Android users to buy more apps and apparently knows it lags behind competitor, Apple and its iOS. Android platform group manager Eric Chu said Tuesday that Google was "not happy" there wasn't an app-buying frenzy going on. There are reasons why there isn't.
Chu acknowledged that Google is "not happy" with the number of apps being downloaded through the Android Market. He said Google is looking at several ways to improve the market in 2011, including more accurate recommendations and better merchandising -- for instance, listing top apps based on actual usage.
Another problem with the Android Market is its poor billing system that causes problems when paying developers. Chu promised at the Inside Mobile Conference in San Francisco Tuesday that Google will be creating a better payment tool than the problematic PayPal interface.
Chu said that Google will be working with carriers to integrate billing, so app charges will now appear on a phone bill. Previously, Android tested the system in December with AT&T and it seemed successful . "As we add additional forms of payment, developers don't have to do anything," Chu said.
Will quickly-paid developers be enough to goose Android app sales? I'm thinking there needs to be more of an Android MarketPlace with more photos, descriptions and demos. Currently, Android only offers a refund on an app within 15 minutes. Instead, they could offer a 10- to 15-minute demo which would be a game-changer in the app market -- of course, that would mean that an app would have to be entertaining for more than 15 minutes. After glancing through the Android Market, some apps may not make that cut.