Now that the Android Market has officially openend up to accept paid apps from both U.S. and U.K. developers, the race is on to see which developer can finally knock The Weather Channel out of its #1 spot. Since its launch on October 22, The Weather Channel, an app that offers hourly, 36-hour, and 10-day forecasts, as well as video forecast updates for your location, has dominated the Android Market. (See Most Popular Android Applications For November 2008 and Popular Android Apps and Games For December 2008.)
Given the gold that's been found in the iPhone App store, the rush to find gold in Android's Market shouldn't be far behind. For instance, consider Ethan Nicholas, the developer of iShoot, who quit his job when his app became #1 in the App Store. It was reported that he earned $600,000 in just one month. Or even consider nine-year-old Lim Deng Wen, whose Doodle Kids, an app that lets kids use the iPhone like Etch-A-Sketch, tracing their fingers across the screen to draw and then shaking the phone to erase. His app was downloaded 4,000 times in just two weeks and he's already working on his second, Invader Wars.
That the Android Market hasn't been as robust as the App store or grown as quickly, is perhaps merely a condition of developers having been unable to charge for their work. In fact, many members of the New York Android Developers Meetup cited this as a factor their slowness to launch their own apps. And now that they'll be able to charge for applications, the race has only really just begun.
Following is a letter recently sent to Android developers from the Market, announcing the acceptance of paid apps:
I'm writing to let you know about a couple of updates to Android Market.
I'm pleased to announce that Android Market is now accepting priced applications from US and UK developers. Developers from these countries can go to the publisher website at http://market.android.com/publish to upload their application(s) along with end user pricing for the apps. Initially, priced applications will be available to end users in the US starting mid next week. We will add end user support for additional
countries in the coming months.
We will also enable developers in Germany, Austria, Netherlands, France, and Spain to offer priced applications later this quarter. By the end of Q1 2009, we will announce support for developers in additional countries. You can find more information about priced applications in Android Market at http://market.android.com/support/
Google Checkout will serve as the payment and billing mechanism for Android Market. Developers who do not already have a Google Checkout merchant account can easily sign up for one via the publisher website.
Furthermore, I would like to let you know that Android Market for free applications will become available to users in Australia starting February 15th Pacific Time and in Singapore in the coming weeks. You can now make your applications available in these countries via the publisher website at http://market.android.com/publish.
Finally, if you would like to receive development and marketing information, please go to your profile page at http://market.android.com/publish/editProfile and select the "Contact me occasionally about development and Market opportunities" checkbox.
We look forward to seeing your applications on Android Market.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043