Google has opened up about its plans for Android content – only don’t call it an app store

Google is to offer an applications “market” for its Android open mobile platform but has sought to distance itself from Apple’s iPhone app store.

Eric Chu, a member of the Android team, said on his Android Developers’ Blog that they would be offering “an open content distribution system that will help end users find, purchase, download and install various types of content on their Android-powered devices”.

Stressing that it was to be the Android Market, he added: “We chose the term ‘market’ rather than ‘store’ because we feel that developers should have an open and unobstructed environment to make their content available.”

Describing the Market, Chu drew camparisions with YouTube. “Content can debut in the marketplace after only three simple steps: register as a merchant, upload and describe your content and publish it,” he said.

“We also intend to provide developers with a useful dashboard and analytics to help drive their business and ultimately improve their offerings.”

Earlier this month, Google announced that it was expanding the Android team, with openings for designers, engineers, and developers.

Due out in the US this fall, the first Android handsets are to offer a beta version of the new Market.

“At a minimum you can expect support for free (unpaid) applications, “ said Chu. “Soon after launch an update will be provided that supports download of paid content and more features such as versioning, multiple device profile support, analytics, etc.”

Chu promised to share more details in the coming months as they become available.

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