Eric Chu, Google's Mobile Platform Manager, sat down with developers at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. He shared some of Google's 2011 Roadmap regarding the Android Market. From what he said, paid purchases in the Android Market are not going as well as Google wants, and they intend to make some changes. He didn't go into great detail; however, he did share the following:
- In-app payments system: Mr. Chu indicated that an Android in-app payments system will debut in Q1 2011.
- Improve user discovery of apps in Market: He also said they have a growing human team weeding out apps in violation of the Android Market’s TOS, and that they will continue to tune the Market ranking algorithm making it smoother for users to find the best apps in the Market.
- Carrier billing: Google expects to implement more carrier billing arrangements, like the one it launched with AT&T. In that system, users can bill apps directly to their phone bill. Mr. Chu said, " ...that working with carriers to set up billing was both expensive and time-consuming, but a very valuable feature to users, and one that could help increase the spending on Android apps."
- Getting social: Mr. Chu talked about the Android address book, being “the best social graph” because it's open to developers, and that it combines user contacts from many sources, in addition to Google’s address books.
- HTML5: Chu indicated that Google was “betting on” the new Web standard, HTML5, as a way to create apps.
Chu also shared that the in-app payment system was meant to be implemented last quarter, but " ...developers were busy with their Christmas applications. So we couldn’t get enough feedback.” Ultimately, all this shifting is designed to promote more paid apps being downloaded, and will improve the Market for Google and, importantly, for developers.
Source: Android.net via Forbes