Google plans to hire dozens of software developers to create applications for smartphones and other mobile devices, people familiar with the matter said, a new strategy aimed partly at helping Google counter Apple in one of high tech's hottest sectors," reports the WSJ.
The new app-development efforts will be scattered across Google's offices world-wide, the people familiar with the matter said. The company, they said, will bankroll small groups of engineers to create a range of apps, from the kinds of games made famous by Rovio Mobile Ltd.'s Angry Birds to services that're based on a user's location, like the popular app from Foursquare Labs Inc. that lets users "check in" with friends at, say, a store or park.
The new apps will be available only to those using the company's open source mobile operating system, Android, as part of a push to increase both quality and quantity of the apps available on Android Market, which rivals app stores such as App Store and the up-and-coming Microsoft Marketplace.
Apple, which has developed a handful of apps along with other software that comes on its devices, takes a 30% cut of app-store revenue. So does Google. Apps developed by Google's new lab are expected to be free and might have ads that would generate revenue, the people familiar with the matter said.
Google has been pitching its apps lab as an opportunity for recruits to have a high degree of autonomy while enjoying the benefits of a large company--including a salary and advice from seasoned professionals, the people familiar with the matter said.