Google's Android platform manager Eric Chu knows that though the number of Android smartphone users may be rising quickly, the number of purchases of paid apps in the Android Market isn't doing nearly as well. In fact, Google is downright "not happy" about the purchases of paid apps, said Chu during a question-and-answer session with anxious app developers at the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco on Tuesday.
Chu described the steps Google will take:
- In-app payments system will debut this quarter. Apple did this for iPhone apps about a year ago, where app users can make purchases within an app, in addition to paying for apps themselves. This helped developers on Apple's mobile platform to grow revenues by taking advantage of the exploding virtual goods mobile market.
- Carrier billing: In Dec, Google launched carrier billing with AT, expect Google to institute more such billing arrangements with carriers around the world, Chu said.
- Improve user discovery of apps in Market: Chu said there is a human team in charge of weeding out apps that violate Android Market's terms of service. It sounds like Google is continuing to invest in that team. He also said that Google will be continuing to tune the Market ranking algorithm to make it easier for users to discover the best apps in the Market.
- Getting social: Chu said that to make Market and Android apps more social, Google would be utilizing "the best social graph" -- the Android address book. The address book is open to developers. The advantage of using the address book for developers, Chu said, is that it aggregates user contacts from multiple sources, not just Google's own address books.
- HTML5: Chu said that for Android apps, Google was "betting on" the new Web standard, HTML5, as a way to create apps.
[tags]in-app payments,carrier billing[/tags]