Android and Me

V CAST App Store to compete with official Android Market?

4 years ago 54

Verizon Wireless loves apps. In fact, Verizon loves them sooo much that they decided to create their own official app store, named V CAST Apps. Many users with Android phones on Verizon might already notice a V CAST Apps tab under the official Android Market, but we are told the new V CAST Apps will be its own full-blown app store.

On September 1st Verizon opened submissions for Android apps into their V CAST App Store. Entry into the store is completely free, but unlike the official Android Market (where anything goes) each app will go through a detailed evaluation and approval process prior to launch.

No information was provided on the launch window for the app store, but Verizon is hosting their developers conference on Sept. 21-22 so we should have more details soon.

Initially the V CAST App Store will only be available on Verizon devices running Android 2.2 which includes the Incredible, Droid 1, Droid 2, and Droid X. Additional versions of the Android OS might eventually be supported, but for now 2.2 is the standard.

We are a little bit confused by this news because Google has played favorites with Verizon, and I can’t imagine that Google welcomes a competing app store to the official Android Market. In an email inviting developers to submit their apps, Verizon said that, “merchandising your Android app through other channels can be a challenge” and they want to make a difference with their V CAST App Store.

Google has been trying pretty hard to steer us away from Android fragmentation, but maybe V CAST Apps will somehow play a role in the new online Android Market which we saw previewed at Google I/O. I have a hard time imagining an Android phone on Verizon without the official market, but carriers love to flex their power and shape Android in their own image, so anything is possible at this point.

What are your thoughts on a Verizon-powered V CAST App Store? We haven’t seen Google innovate very fast with the official Android Market, so maybe a little competition will help accelerate their plans.

Reasons why Verizon thinks you should submit your Android applications to the V CAST App Store:

  • It’s Free – No Testing Fees
  • It’s Fast – Our Goal is to place your application in the App Store within 14 days of Submission
  • Abbreviated Click-Thru Agreement
  • Carrier Billing – Your applications are billed directly to the Customer’s Bill; No credit cards, PayPal, etc.
  • 70/30 Revenue Share – 70% Developer / 30% Verizon
  • Hands-on, Experienced Content Programming Team – Get the visibility you deserve, not just a quality-crushing algorithm!
  • Content Programming and Store continuity across multiple platforms (BlackBerry & Android)
  • Integration with Network API’s! Messaging & aGPS
  • Detailed submission guides online and forums monitored by our support staff
  • Subscription Billing – Coming Soon!
Show Press Release

Dear Developer,

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.

As you know, merchandising your Android app through other channels can be a challenge, this is how V CAST Apps can make a difference to you:

Why submit your Android applications to the V CAST App Store?

It’s Free – No Testing Fees
It’s Fast – Our Goal is to place your application in the App Store within 14 days of Submission
Abbreviated Click-Thru Agreement
Carrier Billing – Your applications are billed directly to the Customer’s Bill; No credit cards, PayPal, etc.
70/30 Revenue Share – 70% Developer / 30% Verizon
Hands-on, Experienced Content Programming Team – Get the visibility you deserve, not just a quality-crushing algorithm!
Content Programming and Store continuity across multiple platforms (BlackBerry & Android)
Integration with Network API’s! Messaging & aGPS
Detailed submission guides online and forums monitored by our support staff
Subscription Billing – Coming Soon!

If you have not done so already, please go to http://developer.verizon.com/ today and register now in order to receive updates.

Once registered, you can start submitting your applications today!

We currently utilize a (2) step process for ingesting developer content:

Step #1 Application Concept Submission:

An application concept is simply a high-level description of your application so that Verizon may approve the content for sale within our catalog. Certain information, such as developer contact info and screenshots are for our review purposes only and will not be published to the end-user. You will have the opportunity, during the binary submission phase, to submit end-user screenshots, generic contact information and pricing. Application concepts must be approved before you can submit your binaries. Additionally, you will be notified at each step of the review process, giving you full visibility into our approval system. If you have already submitted a concept for the same application for BlackBerry, please resubmit another concept for Android to ensure expedient approval.

Click here for more information.

Step #2 Binary Submission:

Once an application concept has been moved to the “Approved” status, you can submit your binaries for your Android app. We perform basic testing at this time, and once approved we publish to our catalog.

Binary submission will open for Incredible, Droid 1 and Droid X on September 1st.

V CAST Apps will be deployed on Android OS 2.2 (FroYo) only for now, so please ensure your binaries are compatible. We will not be rolling V CAST Apps out to earlier versions of the Android OS. When additional OS’s are supported, you will have the option to submit by both device and OS, but for now 2.2 is the standard.

Questions:

If you have any questions, that have not been answered or published in our Dev. Center, please go to our forums http://developer.verizon.com/forum/forums/list.page. Our forums have 100′s of posts from developers that are actively monitored by our support staff.

As we are heads-down preparing for Android launch, we apologize if you have already received this or a similar communication. We look forward to your participation in the Verizon Developer Community!

All the best,

V CAST Apps Team
Verizon Wireless

[Thank you Justin for the tip]