Ahead of the launch of handsets based on Google's Android mobile operating system, the company Thursday released a few early details of its plans to launch a service that will let Android developers distribute applications to the masses.
Android Market will be an open content distribution system for users that want to purchase, download and install content for Android devices, said Eric Chu, a group marketing manager with Google's Android group, in a blog post on the Android developers' blog. Developers will be able to distribute their applications via the service, which also allows users to provide feedback and ratings via a YouTube-like system, Chu said.
"The concept is simple: leverage Google's expertise in infrastructure, search and relevance to connect users with content created by developers like you," Chu said in the blog post.
A beta version of Android Market will be included on the first Android-based handsets, he said. At minimum, the beta will support the distribution of free applications, with an update planned soon thereafter that will support paid content and other advanced features, he said.
To roll out content via Android Market, developers will need to register as a merchant, upload and describe their application, and then publish it. Developers will also have access to a dashboard and analytics, Chu said.
Apple in July launched App Store, an online outlet for customers to purchase and download applications for the Apple iPhone. A month after its launch, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said users had downloaded 60 million applications from the store.