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Verizon Launching VCAST Android App Store

Another Android app store? Is that something we really need?  Verizon sure seems to think so with the announcement of a new V CAST app store which will feature Android apps that actually have to meet approval before being published.  Interesting right?  We have yet to hear a possible launch date for this new venture of Big Red’s, but we do know they are actively seeking developers to join their party.  Oh, they also have a major developers conference coming on the 21st which should be their best opportunity to try to win over interested parties.

If you were wondering, this isn’t the “Verizon” tab you currently have in your Android Market.  This would be a full blown and separate market strictly set up for Verizon and will at launch, only be available to phones running Android 2.2.  So yeah, that’s the Droid family of phones and no one else for the foreseeable future.

So what would be the appeal for developers to jump ship and join a carrier market?  Some of the offerings:

It’s Free – No Testing Fees
It’s Fast – Our Goal is to place your application in the App Store within 14 days of Submission
Abbreviated Click-Thru Agreement
Carrier Billing – Your applications are billed directly to the Customer’s Bill; No credit cards, PayPal, etc.
70/30 Revenue Share – 70% Developer / 30% Verizon
Hands-on, Experienced Content Programming Team
Subscription Billing – Coming Soon!

It’s pretty obvious that the number one option on that list should be highlighted as “Carrier Billing.”  Doesn’t get any easier than that for someone to purchase an app from you does it?  It’s like the “Bill Me Later” button.  Oh and the 70% revenue is about as big as you’ll find anywhere.  An Android app store run more closely to Apple’s standards could filter out the garbage and also help highlight developers apps which so far the Android Market fails pretty miserably at.  Overall the idea isn’t a complete waste of time, but I keep going back to “Do we really need another market?”

Thoughts anyone?  Getting good or bad vibes about this?

Via:  Android and Me, Verizon

  • Rickdalemichaels

    “I have been using the VCAST Android APP Store on My DROID X from Verizon Wireless for a while now! The VCAST Android App strore from Verizon doesn’t have any where near the selection of apps that the Android Market from Google has, but i’m sure that as time goes on, the number of apps on the Verizon Android VCAST App Store will grow or atleast I hope so!

    Three reasons why I like the “CARRIER BILLING” option:

    1. No need to worry about giving out/sharing your credit card numbers
    2. If you don’t have enough funds on your credit card, but still want to buy an app, you can
    3. It’s very fast & easy to use the carrier billing option

    Well, since Verizon has their own Android App Market i doesn’t look like that “BILLING CARRIER” option will be available on the Android Market for Verizon Wireless, but maybe in the future that will change!

    Rick D.

  • Tom

    So long as they use both markets… I see no harm in this.

    If they do do something crazy that alienates android customers I will jump ship to another carrier, as painful as it will be to lose verizon service. Well, either that or jump onto wm7 if it's as good as people say it will be. For some reason I don't foresee that happening.

  • As a Verizon customer, I have no intention at all of ever using this and pray that it dies a slow painful death.

  • As a Verizon customer, I have no intention at all of ever using this and pray that it dies a slow painful death.

  • Michael

    V Cast is a big joke!!!!!! Stop trying to make money off of this poor app and stick with what you're good at VZ!!!

  • Mymuzik73

    The only problem with this now Verizon can tax and add additional fees on to the price of the app that you will not see until you get your bill.

  • Wmsco51

    Well back in voyager days they would charge 1.99 to10.00 dollars a mth for a app. An I didn't and wont pay monthly fee for a app. I buy it one time only that's it!!! Verizon didn't get that ideal……..so we will see. Think about it if you had to pay …99 cent for every app.you have that would be 150.00 for me plus my phone bill each month.

  • Sherri

    I just received an email from Verizon telling me a software update is available. Never used Vcast, don't plan on starting.

  • r0landct

    I think we may be jumping the gun, I believe part of the reason for this is Verizon wants to start selling Android tab(lets) now and Android Market will not work with tablets correctly (plenty of articles on it yesterday) until Android 3/3.5 is released. So if Verizon actually wants someone to buy a tab(blet) they need apps and if Google won't deliver it until after the holidays, then Verizon needs to make it happen now.
    So while I am sure they have some evil plan to lock every Android user into slavery, they also may just want to deliver good apps to Android devices easily as that's what needs to get done in order for them to stop watching ATT roll in the $$$ on iPads and get in ont he action sooner than later.

  • CKGator

    Remember, this is the same company that forced Bing on an Android phone…

  • Jaymck

    Not a hig deal on the surface, I just hope they don't end up blocking off the Android app market!

    • BoxcuttaStyle

      I know for a fact nothing will be affected with the Google/Android Market. Just take my word for it folks, the google/android market isn't going anywhere…..

    • Msneider

      Exactly. AT&T blocked non-Market apps (“slideloading”) on the Aria. No reason Verizon couldn't one day decide to block non-Vcast Store apps.

  • trbasil

    “Subscription Billing – Coming Soon!”

    This is the line that bothers me the most. Why charge once for an app when they can charge a monthly reoccurring fee. This has been Verizon's M.O. for a long time, I'm just worried that some of the devs will start thinking like that and only submit to the Verizon app store where they can charge a monthly fee.

    • Jewell69

      +1. Subscription billing for apps is evil. Look at their current Vcast stuff for the LG non-smartphones – why would I want to pay a monthly fee for Sudoku, for cripe's sake?

    • r0landct

      They do that now for apps for the “multimedia phones” you can but the app for $5 or rent is for $1.50 a month as an example (I pulled the numbers out of my a$$) but you get the point. So there may be some usefulness, depending on what it is. Something with new content delivered to the app monthly? That doesn't sound so evil…

  • Greg668771

    See… the one that got me was the subscription billing thing… This is another cash grab by big red, and that is all it is. I am very uneasy about this one…

  • VCast? More like “LameCast.” *ba-doom-chk!*

  • Drox2k

    I'm thinking that the Android app market has a whole butt-load of free and useful apps. Question is will the VCast app market have as many free apps. It's a no brainer when choosing between downloading free apps or being billed to download apps

  • Shawn

    Buy apps from verizon market sure no need who wants some paid version apks

  • I would hope that they offer more than paid apps, but anything to filter out the 30000 soundboards I get when open the “entertainment” app section of the Android Market

    • Raegmarie12205

      glad to know someone else feels my pain

  • hhmmmmm Android Market does have some free apps that are useful and as of rite now, it sounds like in V-cast app, you would have to pay for all apps…as long as both Android Market and V-cast when its ready to lauch are available…no big deal..but then again…well see

  • Gary A

    If Verizon is going to try to force this on us as the only market through which we can get apps, then I think it will be a very bad thing indeed (no freebies? censored apps? no competition with Verizon bloatware?)

    If they just position is as an “alternative” (or even a “preferred”) market for users who prefer carrier billing, then it will likely be a good thing — especially if they also do some quality checks to prevent Trojan apps.

    It's not clear from anything I've read so far which of these Verizon intends for their marketplace — so for now, mark me as “uneasy” (“I've got a bad feeling about this”).

  • OK everyone calm down!! The android market WILL still be available, in addition to the Vcast app market. Don't freak out. Personally, I do not see how people could get upset at this because it doesnt take any features or apps away, it just makes it easier for some developers to become more recognized.

  • Could be interesting. As long as they don't try to do something stupid and get rid of the Android Market or apps from “unknown sources” then I think this is a great idea.

  • aaronvail

    I really hate this.. why does verizon have to do that! its lame.. I don't like this one bit!

  • John

    I've got some ideas for apps to submit. How about “Free WiFi Hot Spot”? Maybe “Bloatware App Remover”? And of course the latest craze, “Use Google Search, not Bing”.

  • lmao.. they will have everything that you have to pay for. and not only that they will charge your phone for it. so that means probably bye bye. to the android market!!1 lol

  • villian1998

    So all the apps in the Verizon market will cost money and Verizon will block us from the android market, that's if I'm reading between the lines correctly.

    • Raegmarie12205

      do you really think verizion is going to block us out of the Android market completely? i dont think so, personally i welcome the idea because of how many crappy, useless app there are on the market

      • Jeff

        Yes, I think they will try to do it gradually over time…

  • PizzaGuyInErie

    Great idea. As a .NET, i*hone and Android developer, I welcome this. There are more junk apps on the Market than professional, useful apps. It gives Android, and their apps a bad name because of programmers who are not professional and create bad code. And on top of that add carrier billing? I may stop i*hone dev all together and finally dump my Macbook!

    • niteperson

      I'm with you on this. I'm sick of having to wade through all the garbage out there just to find the diamond in the rough. And personally I don't find AppBrain to be much help. I'm willing to pay for quality apps that make my life easier and, as an ex-software developer, I want hard work rewarded.

  • Am0795

    Thats awesome. Like their regular app store for the feature and media phones have great games with actually better graphics so this would be awesome!

  • Another attempt at Verizon circumventing what should be free stuff from Google and charging for it. Hooray. I can't wait until google offers their own free white-space internet access and google voice calling and texting over it to really make verizon the AOL of wireless. All I need is a “dumb-pipe” wireless internet provider not an “enhanced experience” full of your cash-grab crapware.

  • Don G.

    This is the same company that includes unremovable bloatware on its phones. Unless/until I can remove the bloatware (without rooting!), why would I trust them to vet other apps?

    Zero interest. If they leave the existing Marketplace alone, choice is good in principle — but personally, I'm not choosing to go there.

  • And … where is Google's take in all this? Are they getting the end-run here by a carrier operating a disconnected App Store from Google Marketplace? Will this carry non Marketplace apps? Lots of questions here. Will future phones be exclusive to Verizon's App Store and not be able to access the Marketplace (ala BING!'s difficult-default on mid-range Android phones)?

    • Google really doesn't care about the app market. They are an add agency. Andoid is just a means to an end.

  • SP

    I wonder if Google thought about this before. Anyone can open Android App Market and make money. I am sure this will be open to all Tablets also so no need of Android Market anymore…

    I like it, advantages of Open System

  • Dan D

    Months ago, people were saying that if Apple sold cars you'd have to jailbreak it to get out of it. Well if Verizon sold cars they would have a Shell guy you couldn't remove from your front seat, telling you to get gas at shell, and everytime you do Verizon would make money off it. they justify this by saying that not everyone knows how to find quality apps, but that never stopped the IPhone from doing so well.

  • Darkseider

    Meh… no biggie. The only thing is the convenience of carrier billing. Problem is that there will be a much smaller selection of apps and possibly some exclusive apps. It's nice to have choices though. As for the fears of no Android Market or no sideloading apps I wouldn't go jumping the gun there. AT&T is already feeling the repercussions of that dumb ass decision and there are internal talks underway to abolish that policy as we speak.

  • Why do I have to pay for VCAST on top of a $45 data plan?

    • You mean $30. If you are paying $45 for data on your Android phone then you are paying too much.

      • $45 for data with corporate email.

        • CivilDroid

          I have corporate email with a $30 plan. you're paying more than you need too.

  • There basically already is the vcast app store. Its the little tab on the far right of the market. It will just soon be a stand alone store. I think its great. The android market will still exsist just minus the 1000 themes for panda home or 2000 hot chicks of the day apps. Your average user gets little out of the android market because they don't follow the websites or appbrain. For them they will have more of what they are looking for more easily accessible. Remember hard core android dweebs, like ourselves, are a minority. Good move by Verizon.

    • Dan D

      And then Verizon will block the Android Market, just like they did with Google Search on the Fascinate.

      • And then aliens will come and kill us all!! but seriously, how can you deduce that from what you just said.

        • Dan D

          Just saying, they started pushing their app center on the Blackberries and not shipping them with App World. Who's to say they wouldn't do the same thing with Android?

  • Jdstell

    Bad vibes for sure. First it's this, a Verizon apps store. Next Verizon shuts off access to the Android Apps store and stops including the Android Market app with their new phones… I don't trust cell phone carriers at all.

    • Steve H

      If you dont trust cell phone carriers, then do you use a cup and string? Smoke signals?

    • you don't trust them yet you give them your name, address and social security number? curious…

  • Oh boy!

  • Rain_king46

    I really hope that Verizon doesnt try to use this to go the route of AT&T and somehow block us from side loading apps and try and force us to download EVERYTHING through their store…

    • Timoh

      This is definitely the plan. You'd be foolish to think otherwise.

      • Android is an open source operation system. It will be impossible for them to completely lock out non vcast market apps.

        • Timoh

          No it wont. They can write the OS any way they want to and lock it down. Encrypted bootloader is a perfect example of how Motorola and Verizon feel about open source.

          • lol ok

          • Zero

            Verizon don’t write the OS. The Locked Bootloader is Motorola that choose to do that. Not Verizon.

          • Anonymous

            Did you read my post? I said Verizon and Motorola. You think Verizon is indifferent to a OS being locked down or not? I can’t believe anyone would even argue against that. Verizon is one of the most greedy companies out there. If they didn’t have great coverage I would have gone with Sprint.

            They absolutely want to monopolize on what applications are sold to Verizon customers, are you kidding?!

  • Michael_NM

    Vcrapst! 'nough said.

  • xFenixKnightx

    Aye aye aye, no me gusta.

    • No comprende mi amigo. El soyo loco!

      • Anonymous

        Huevos Rancheros to you too, buddy!

  • Well I don't think it's a bad idea…

  • This is just toooo bad

  • tbaybe

    like we will wanna pay for Verizon apps?