Verizon V CAST app store to compete against Google

The telcom giant is accepting submissions for its Android app store.

Verizon has been accepting submissions for its forthcoming V CAST Android app store, which is rumored to be unveiled at the VCD Conference on September 21. The V CAST app store was originally said to be an extension of the official Android app marketplace, but according to the blog Android and Me, the shop will be totally independent of Google.

"V CAST Apps is now accepting applications for Android. If you're one of the thousands of Android developers worldwide, this is your opportunity to share your applications with America's largest wireless network," Verizon wrote on its developer's page.

The V CAST app store -- which currently only sells BlackBerry apps -- will work on all Verizon phones running Android 2.2, such as the Incredible, Droid 1, Droid 2, and Droid X.

The app approval process will also take a different approach: instead of being open to any developer and having very few restrictions, Verizon's store will have an approval process similar to Apple's, which could, in turn, improve the quality of available goods. Low-quality downloads have been an issue for Google recently, especially after it launched the App Inventor, which allows anyone to create their own app. It's predicted that the App Inventor could flood Android's fledgling store with hundreds of lame apps that'll only confuse and irritate users.

Android and Me lists some other benefits to collaborating with the V CAST app store: Verizon will release your approved app within 14 days, give developers a 70 per cent cut of profits, and allow a customer's purchase to be added directly to their monthly bill.

While Verizon and Google have shared an illustrious partnership thus far, siding with each other on the net neutrality issue, the wireless carrier has also been distancing itself from Google. Verizon recently ditched Google as the default search engine on some of its phones, siding instead with Microsoft's Bing -- a sign that the two companies' relationship may be deteriorating.

Will the V CAST app store be a successful alternative to the Android marketplace? Or will this be an embarrassing failure for the nation's largest wireless carrier -- a lesson that one shouldn't mess with Google?

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Brennon Slattery

PC World (US online)
Topics: telecommunication, verizon, mobile, Verizon Wireless
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