Sep 13 AT 4:09 PM Taylor Wimberly 54 Comments

V CAST App Store to compete with official Android Market?

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]

Source: Verizon

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website Chancy

    V-Cast App store? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…..I’m sorry, it’s just…AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. This is laughable to say the least. Not only that but once I heard they would have “App Nazis” police it, we can expect something similar to Apple App Store…but of lower quality. Nice try though, Big V.

    • http://Website motz

      I think it would be in the best interest of both parties (G and Red V) to just collaborate on the Apps, than kill each other. To think, that what could they accomplish is somewhat big. Especially, now that Android is going honeycomb already.

  • http://Website Matt

    I always loved the way apple did there app store kinda. Verizon should allow anything that does not harm the users phone. Also have the renturn policy that the Android market has rather have my phone be safe and if its caused by an app then it would be verizons fault. Would be cool if they had inventor support.

    Everthink this maybe a way for developers from other countries to be able to put up paid apps since Android Market doesn’t allow it.

  • http://Website Tom

    I just tried registering, but I guess they don’t want individual developers as they want you to have a 24/7 support hotline.

    Good luck.

  • http://Website John

    Sorry I think this is wrong, it means that it becomes an us and them scenario, I live in the UK and it would mean some apps I want I might never ever see because they are only available on Verizon, even if I roamed whilst in the USA I couldn’t get them, sorry, we need unity not more divisions if Android are going to be as good as the almighty Apple

    • Tes

      Sorry to break it to you, but that’s already the case: Skype for Android is only available on Verizon and in the UK on 3 Mobile. No one else gets to use it.

  • http://zalzalaweb.com/jens anakin78z

    Assuming these devices will still have the Android Market, why on earth would a developer want to deal with another distributer?

    • http://Website EKim

      Because the Verizon I know will mangle Android’s existence into the convoluted red crap that once was on all Verizon dumb phones and REPLACE Android Market with the VCast Market like it did Google Search with Bing on the Samsung Fascinate. They are realizing that they gave up too much control(revenue) to Android and now they want it back.

  • http://Website adryan

    I hope google doesnt resent what verizon is doing but hope they realize that this Vcast is a joke and isnt going to make it very far. It is a ridiculous move on verizon to stab google in the back like this. But again this Vcast market wont really go anywhere so google should not be worried.

    • http://Website EKim

      What would happen if Verizon decides to abuse the “openness” of Android and remove the Android Market from all Verizon phones and only allow the VCast Market?

  • Originalme8

    I probably will never use it, but Android is about options. As long as they don’t take away the Android Market I don’t see a problem with another option.

  • Prince77

    I’m sorry, but what sense does this make? The only reason they have customers is because of the phones. Their plans are crappy, and they don’t have unlimited web. So the people really going to be getting screwed.

    • http://Website dnar56

      The only reason they have customers is their service. Up until the droid EVERY phone they had sucked. Android turned around their phone line up. You get nickeled and dimed everywhere (almost as much as AT&T) but at least the still offer unl web.

      • Prince77

        They don’t offer unlimited web. They have their web on a tiered plan.

        • http://Website Tim

          VZW does in fact have unlimited data plans:

          http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/plansingleline.jsp

          • Prince77

            Okay, my bad, but look how much it is. With Sprint, I get unlimited talk (All cell phones, regardless of carrier) ,text and web for 69.99 450 mins for land line calls and with all taxes and other fees my bill is 85 dollars. You paying Verizon 90 dollars just for talk and text then another 30 for unlimited web.

    • http://Website Mikedminor

      My family plan is fine and all of us have unlimited web access.

      • http://www.gadgetoxic.com android 2.2

        It gets better day by day for all verzion lovers

    • http://Website qtj

      Ummm..they do have unlimited web. Both phones on my plan have unlimited web, text, everything. I think you just picked a crappy plan.

  • http://Website NakedRedApe

    Dear Verizon,

    Suck it. You are a dumb data and (for now) voice pipe. You bring nothing useful to the industry other than towers and spectrum; both of which I will gladly pay you to let me use.

    True, all cellular carriers are desperately trying to be something more than they are, you are the worst. Rather than accept the fact that you could and should compete on the quality of your data and voice service alone, you try to “differentiate” with your special apps, custom UIs and pre-installed crap-ware.

    All of this makes you come off as a cornered animal reacting desperately to a changing industry. This is becoming an industry where your services are commodities. There is nothing you can do to stop it. You either suck it up and learn to operate with smaller margins or you resort to half-assed, pathetic tactics where you come off looking like buffoons. Until you stop doing the latter, I will never pay you another dime.

    All the best,
    A Developer

    • http://Website NakedRedApe
    • http://Website sp

      Harsh words. However, I agree. Those are the facts indeed. Customers and prospects do not make the decision of which carrier to go with based on ‘app-stores’ and ‘me-too software products’. Signal strength, data speed and device compatibility are the most important to the vast majority. The other random efforts by the carriers are simply hits to the company’s capex/opex which take away from the core-business focus. A coalition of app-stores from all the worldwide carriers is an act of denial and an effort to show fake-relevance to gov’t organizations that award spectrum and access. What would the carrier business look like if it was run by a competitive software company I wonder…

  • Nicko01

    Sure, Verizon, good luck with that.

  • http://Website adfsf

    L O L

  • qst4

    This is pretty crazy. First they launch an Android phone with exclusive Bing search, now this. Really Verizon? I really want to see what a Verizon Iphone looks like.

    • http://Website Rob

      LOL…. This is why there is and never will be a Verizon iPhone. Apple will never let the be more than a data pipe and Verizon will never agree to this.

  • http://Website chad

    I don’t like what Verizon is doing, because they are creating a monopoly as a cell phone carrier. They have certain apps that are only available through them, such as the nfl app, and they get the best phones.

    With less competition, Verizon will be able to charge customers way too much money.

    This Vcast store will give Verizon even more apps that are only available through Verizon.

  • Dct496179

    Iam not sure why your article makes the Verizon App store sound new because I have had my Droid s since it was released and the Verizon tab has been there ever since I had 1.6 OS, when the phone was shipped to me. Granted the Apps that are available has grown, Verizon has always had the tab.

    • http://Website Chad

      What you’re thinking of is Verizon’s “reccomended” apps.

      The vcast store is different, and Verizon just launched it.

  • http://Website Drew

    Geez, I feel like Verizon is trying to make Android synonymous with their name, and I hate it.

    • http://Website matt L

      kinda like saying you don’t have an android unless you have verzion…….which ain’t tru

  • http://www.twitter.com/DrJeckyl Dr.Jeckyl

    With this move it only solidifies my belief that VZW is trying to make Android their own. What I mean is they took an the source code, modified it with their skins/apps, replaced Google with Bing and now they want their own market. I think there is something going on in the background between Google and Verizon that is way beyond Net Neutrality.

    At least I hope Verizon said thank you to Google for getting them this far.

  • http://Website R

    This makes me regret leaving Verizon. Okay maybe not but I don’t see anything wrong with Verizon wanting to police the apps available to their customers. The Android Market has gotten so infested with crap that IMO something needs to be done. Besides, if you are on Verizon and don’t want to use the VCAST app store then don’t! From what I understand, it’s not going to be mandatory.

    As for Verizon having exclusivity to some apps, if they are willing to pay for that right, then good for them. Maybe other carriers should fork over some cash and do the same.

  • http://plankhead.com Zacqary Adam Green

    Is there any Verizon customer on the face of this earth who does not have a completely indifferent or negative opinion of anything branded as “V CAST”? Does anybody without a financial interest in it actually like V CAST? Anyone? At all?

    I’m genuinely curious, because I don’t know, in all honesty, whether such a person actually exists.

    • http://Website Calvin

      All V-Cast has ever meant to me is “Don’t use it so I don’t accidentally spend money…” I love Verizon’s service and phones, but V-Cast is a plague upon their users.

  • http://Website bubba

    There is to much money being left on the table for Verizon to ignore beefing up their own Vcast store front. 30% is a lot of money potentially in the end. And if there customers are going to buy, big red surely is thinking they just as well should buy (have to buy) thru our store. *cough Apple cough*.

    so, I see a asnine move like AT&T did… on at least one Android phone… taking the ability our of their phone offerings and only have vcast.

    Public, how’s theat choke hold around your heck feeling about now? Hang on, they’ll tighten it up for you. Sorry, fiduciary responsibility… don’t blame “us” (red), or what ever other creative monopolistic angle they want to polish the floors up with so we go sliding and fall down…. unable to get away.

  • http://Website Dre

    Well VZW has to start opposing Google and Android if they want that Iphone, so I’m not all that shocked they’d try to get a head start on making Jobs happy.

    • http://Website r00fus

      How would adding vCast do anything to make SJ happy?
      It’s another App Store, that’s all it is.
      The fact that it exists makes me think it’s LESS likely that iPhone comes to Verizon.
      Why would Verizon spend so much on an app store they don’t push everywhere on their network?

      This is bad news, but especially if it takes off (which it won’t).
      AAPL stockholders are probably smiling a little, but other than that it’s just a sign of confrontation coming.

    • http://www.gadgetoxic.com new iPhone

      Its steve’s plan :P
      but things are going the way its good for Apple
      along with this also the Android developers will be benefited .

  • http://Website DW

    I kind of like the option of a vetted store IN ADDITION TO the regular Android Market — that would really be the best of both worlds: the security of the iPhone app store and the freedom of the Android Market. Unfortunately, I really don’t trust Verizon not to:

    1) Fill it with crap like the bloatware they put on their Android phones that can’t be deleted or set not to autoload, such as CityID (worthless), Skype (a crippled version that doesn’t work over WiFi) and Amazon MP3 (fine, but give me the option of removing or disabling it if I don’t want it)

    2) Eventually block access to the Android Market and force users to deal with VCast instead (as they’ve done on the new Samsung that forces you to use the Bing instead of the Google search widget)

    Verizon ought give us the option to use the stock, “clean” Android operating system along with Verizon’s “enhanced” versions, and let us choose for outselves — or at least give us the option of deleting or disabling preinstalled apps.

    • http://Website Matthew

      I agree wholeheartedly. Verizon is not who I would trust with this, but having a vetted App store or certified Apps that are not trojan or malware is something that would improve the Android ecosystem, especially in competition with the iPhone econsystem. But it cannot become exclusive.

  • http://Website FelisLachesis

    The one thing about some of the VCast apps, is that they say they are free, but then cost $XX a month to use it on the cellphone, charges sent to your bill. Things like Visual Voice Mail, NFL Mobile, and their Navigation services. There’s probably more things that do this that I’m not sure of.

    Visual Voice Mail costs like $3 a month and sucks, and Google Voice, which is free, is much better. Their Navigation is about $10, and may do some things better than the Google Navigation system; in my eyes, though, it’s not worth the $10. NFL Mobile requires VCast, which is $10 a month, and I just don’t care about the NFL that much to pay for it.

    Personally, I used to love Verizon, but now, they’re getting too big for their own good. Maybe when my current contract runs out, the Nexus G3 will be out, and I might goto Sprint.

  • http://Website Jimmy

    Not happy with this at all… Verizon keeps pushing stuff I don’t want or need to my phone. The store just seems to be one more of these apps.

    Waiting for 2.2 on my Ally before I root it to get rid of the crap…

  • http://Website Chris M

    As long this new app store doesn’t replace the Android Market I am cool with it. In fact if it can offer a more streamlined checkout system similar to the iPhone app store where I can use a linked account (CC, Mobile Phone bill, or pre-paid account) and not have to enter all my billing info with every purchase I make I would probably use it as my first choice.

  • http://Website James Katt

    The egg is on Google’s face.

    Remember that Google’s real customers are the carriers.

    And now the carriers are running away with the ball.

    Verizon is:
    1. replacing the Android Market with the VCast Store. This way, Verizon gets MORE CASH and CONTROL over their cell phones.
    2. replacing Google Search with Bing – hardwired since Microsoft paid Version for it.

    This will leave Google in the cold.

    But Verizon is always ravenous for CASH. And it looks out for itself.

    Android is “open” but only to the carriers. They hardwire whatever they want on their cell phones.

  • http://Website Yuusharo

    @James Katt

    Come on, seriously? Do you honestly feel that Verizon would intentionally screw over its rather large Android base by no longer offering “with Google” devices? Microsoft has come forward already to clarify that the Bing/Verizon agreement is not exclusive. There are some Bing phones, and some Google phones. And Verizon has not said they are “replacing” the Market with V Cast.

    “Open” is freedom, and freedom is a two-way street. Open allows use as consumers a choice of hardware, software and carriers that suite our needs, and it also allows manufacturers and providers to do whatever is in their best interest to make money. They are corporations – that’s their job.

    Open also comes with choice. I can choose to buy a phone that has Bing instead of Google, or I can choose to find something else. Say I own a Droid X, but I want Yahoo search instead of Google. There’s no way I can change it away from Google, so why isn’t anyone crying fowl about that?

    If I want a Google phone, I’ll buy a Google phone. Bing? I’ll buy Microsoft. Apple? I’ll buy Apple. I’ll buy whatever device I want that gives me the experience I’m looking for, and so should you.

  • http://www.pc.geowp.com nick

    graat!!!

  • http://www.payingptcsites.info best ptc sites

    Though Verizon is trying hard but its will be also frustrating for users who wish to switch to Sprint or At&t over time due to issues
    They cannot get back their apps from V cast store then

  • http://v-castapps. Thomas L. Rutledge

    I would like to have the v-cast apps. on my phone but am having problems with it right now. i have a LG revolution from Verizon and had the v-cast apps. but then ran into a problem with my phone so i went to my Verizon store and they restarted my phone. after that when i try to go into v-cast apps., it says that i need an update but when i try to update it doesn’t work. can you help me get v-cast apps. back on my phone. my phone number is 440-413-3527. My g-mail is tomrutledge69@gmail.com thankyou and have a nice day.

  • http://אופציות-בינאריות.net בורסה

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation however I to find this matter to be actually one thing that I think I would never understand. It sort of feels too complex and extremely huge for me. I’m having a look ahead to your next post, I?ll attempt to get the cling of it!

  • ethan

    Terrible!!! i cant get my favorite apps from v cast. i loved playing games with my old droid but i cant get alot of the game files or games i used to. i cant find the gamboy emulater and that is aweful. why remove market??? i think it worked fine. now im stuck with this bs store that has nothing to offer me.

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  • Stacy

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