In a recent email to developers, it looks like Verizon is intent on becoming frenemies with Google. Having just launched the Samsung Fascinate with Bing as the default search engine with plans to make Bing the default on all devices, they have now decided to launch their own app store. They already had a V CAST Apps tab in the Android Market app, but this new store will be a complete replacement.
Verizon Wireless has opened Android submissions for V CAST Apps! We are preparing to launch V CAST Apps across our industry-leading lineup of Android handsets, and we want to give you the opportunity to get in on the ground floor.
Many of the hottest Android phones out there come from Verizon. You would think that Google and Verizon would be partners, but it looks like Verizon is looking to take Android and step out on their own. This is one of the scariest issues with Android being an open platform.
First, you have carriers putting skins on top of Android like HTC Sense and MotoBlur. These delay upgrades to the underlying operating system and fragment the user experience. Then, the carriers start bundling their own useless bloatware with their phones. You can't even uninstall these apps. Now, we see Verizon taking an open system and turning it into their very own Apple-like app store.
Verizon even takes shots directly at Google in their message to developers:
Get the visibility you deserve, not just a quality-crushing algorithm!
As you know, merchandising your Android app through other channels can be a challenge - Your applications are billed directly to the Customerâs Bill; No credit cards, PayPal, etc.
It's well known that the process for buying apps is a little convoluted. It's also known that finding apps in the Android Marketplace can be a challenge. It remains to be seen what this move really means. Is Verizon really going to create their own separate ecosystem for their customers or are they simply the testing grounds for a more advanced and useful Android Marketplace? Have Verizon and Google drifted apart, or is this part of a greater plan to advance Android?