V Cast Apps may have been one of the worst attempts at an app store we’ve seen, but Verizon is not giving up. Verizon’s first attempt resulted in an app store that was very difficult to work with (slow and buggy) and had a lack-luster app selection. As a matter of fact the app store never even worked with my HTC Thunderbolt, so it’s been some months since I’ve even been able to access it at all.
In an attempt to improve its chances of success, Verizon just announced that it will be re-launching its app store under the name Verizon Apps. The name is much better/simpler than V Cast Apps, but Big Red will need more than a good name. We still don’t know what the changes to the app store itself will be, but Verizon will need to have something up its sleeve to grab customers’ attention.
There are many reasons Verizon’s third-party app store was never successful (aside from the fact that it was not well designed). The main reason is the official Android Market. The Android Market is clean, simple and fast. It’s the most trust-worthy and is available for every Android device out there. Not only that, but it has the best selection of apps for Android; almost every existing Android app is available. (There are some third-party app store exclusives).
There are some success stories other than the Android Market, though. Take the Amazon App Store, GetJar and AppBrain for example. The most successful of the three has been the Amazon App Store, although it’s mostly used for the free app of the day. These app stores can–and have to–resort to great deals or usability advantages, whereas V Cast Apps has neither.
The only advantage we can see in Verizon Apps is carrier billing, something other major carriers are now offering in the Android Market. Why are Verizon customers not getting that treatment? Probably to push people into using their third-party app store.
Please understand that it’s not our intention to bash Verizon Apps (or V Cast Apps); this is simply the truth. Verizon’s first attempt was not worth the bloatware space, and Verizon Apps needs to throw a good curve ball in order to move away from its bad reputation. V Cast Apps was simply a bad product. If the company wants to make us eat these words, it’ll need to invest the work and time to improve the service at hand.
And it does seem Big Red might be really trying to make things better. The company has invested in an office in San Francisco. Developers are invited to come to Verizon’s premises and develop their apps, as well as test them on the carrier’s devices.
Verizon Apps has not been released, and we have to hold judgement until it comes around. Verizon Apps needs to offer game-changing services in order to grow. Until then, the Android Market (which will continue to come pre-installed on every Android device) is still your best friend.
Stay tuned to see what Verizon Apps will have to offer. The app store should come pre-installed on future devices. Current devices will probably get it via an OTA update. For now, tell us what you think! Are you guys waiting to see what Verizon Apps has in store? Do any of our readers use V Cast Apps? If so, why do you use it over the Android market? What do you guys think Verizon could do to succeed in the app store business?