Discoverability Trumps Search on Android

5:35 PM -- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is all about search, but its Android Market refresh focused on content discoverability -- a smart move for the Wild, Wild West of app stores.

Android has been playing catchup to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s App Store since its inception, and its Market was in dire need of a makeover.

Google gives a tour of the updated app store in the following video, which shows the cleaner user interface, quicker purchase process and promo pages to highlight top content, including downloadable movies and books. Google also made several changes to its app details page in order to help developers "convert visitors to customers."

Google's motivation was to make things easier for consumers, but it was also about making the app store more appealing to developers. Apps makers are embracing Android because they can't ignore its growth and traction with handset makers, carriers and consumers. But a chief complaint has been how to get noticed in the store and, then, how to monetize their wares. (See In-App Billing Makes Android More Appealing and Vodafone Sets Up Stall in Android Market .)

It can be impossible to stand out in an app store if you're anyone but Angry Birds, but Google's updates should help developers, consumers and itself.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

thepriebe 12/5/2012 | 4:59:18 PM
re: Discoverability Trumps Search on Android

The concept of in-app billing is a must have for Android. As a junior Android developer I'm looking forward to this feature. One of the features that doesn't look very appealing is Android's pursuit to mimic Apple in many aspects, specifically their tracking of information and their 30% royalty. Google is a super power in many aspects (search engine, email, and now mobiles); I would expect them to compete with Apple by offering a lower fee in the marketplace. Google should surpass Apple in mobile and tablet sales if they took a more competative approach, though if they copy Apple I don't see them catching up anytime soon.

alandal 12/5/2012 | 4:59:16 PM
re: Discoverability Trumps Search on Android

thepriebe, you seem on something ... besides lowing the fee, what else are you thinking that Google could do? But don't have to spell all if not being confortable ...

thepriebe 12/5/2012 | 4:59:13 PM
re: Discoverability Trumps Search on Android

For starters, Apple has an edge over the Android tablets currently because of a couple reasons. One, Apple made it to market faster than Google. Secondly, Apple has a lower cost tablet that they manufactur themselves. Google doesn't have much say over the price because they have to work with major manufacturers like Acer, Motorola, and Samsung for the hardware to run on. Google needs to come out with a low cost, comparible tablet as most tablets they distribute on are between $100 - $200 more than a base model iPad. In my personal bias I have to admit that I prefer Android must more iOS. Objective C is a terrible language, while Java continues to establish itself as the foundation for software development. For this reason alone I would choose Android over Apple. A benefit to the Google tablets that will help project them forward is their resistance to have a goofy 30-pin proprietary connector that prevents people from truly utilizing their iPads. With Android tablets you can typically throw an SD card or a USB drive on them.

alandal 12/5/2012 | 4:59:06 PM
re: Discoverability Trumps Search on Android

Interesting points thepriebe.

1) Apple has been in "consumer electronics" market in 20 plus years. iPhone is built on their many years GUI+App development; Android is like 4-5 years in total. So who is faster?

2) Apple only introduced 4 or 5 types of handsets, Android has at least 2 dozens from different handset makers. So who had more devices?

3) Apple is in the business making money off the actual handset hardware.  But it is not to say they are not building a walled garden for all mobile internet, iCould being a leading indicator.

4) Google has NO interests in building and making money of hardware. They'd rather give them away to kick start Android based handsets.  There are hardware manufacturers out there are willing to be just hardware production providers. All Google is interested in long term is to drive all mobile traffic to their ad-supported services. From the end user to their services, anything between is just dumb pipe to Google. Sorry VzW, AT&T, MOT, HTC, et al. They have their own "garden", but just way bigger and doing-less-evil that Apple's.





thepriebe 12/5/2012 | 4:59:03 PM
re: Discoverability Trumps Search on Android

1) Apple is generally quicker to market since they've re-entered the retail world with their MP3 players. They've done nothing impressive prior to that. Apple mostly gains revenue from introducing the latest and greatest, even though shortly someone else (Google) creates the same idea only better.

2) Android has more devices, but in general they're more expensive. This is probably because they're better devices in general (as I stated before with having the option of using an SD card).

3) Very true, they take a 30% royalty for their apps, but also from hardware manufacturers because of their 30-pin proprietary connection. This makes Apple useless to me, though most of the world disagrees with me on that.

4) I agree. Google has always been about software. They obviously want to compete with Apple though, and Apple specializes in both hardware and software. I think if Google branched out they would be successful in the hardware world. In general I like everything Google does from a product perspective. 

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