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  1.    #1  
    Verizon App Store Force-Feeding Is Near. You Can Barf, But You’ll Have To Swallow It

    It begins.



    We’ve known for a couple of months now that Verizon was working on their own VCAST Apps app store for their Android customers. This is troubling for a number of reasons — namely that it completely fragments the “open” ecosystem of Android. But the worst part about it was the suggestion that it was going to be shoved in users faces whether they asked for it or not. And that certainly appears to be the case — it starts happening next week.

    As Engadget has dug up from Verizon’s site, a software update next week coming to the Droid Incredible phone will bring V CAST Apps along with it. Here’s the blurb:

    “Verizon Wireless will begin pushing a software update to the DROID Incredible next week. The update includes software enhancements that will pre-install V CAST Apps on the phone. We said earlier this year that we’d be expanding V CAST Apps to the Android platform, and the DROID Incredible is the first Android phone with the store. Developers continue to submit apps, and as a reminder, V CAST Apps allows carrier billing, so customers who purchase applications through our store will see those charges on their monthly bill. For more information about the update customers can go to www.verizonwireless.com/droidincrediblesupport.”

    Yep, pre-installed. And something tells me you won’t be able to uninstall it either. You know, just like those lame apps Verizon already shoves in your face if you are nice enough to buy their Android devices (the other carriers do this too because they can). This is about “choice“, except when there is no choice.

    To be fair, the update, which is still Android 2.2, does bring a number of other actually useful features, like 720p video recording. But they come at a price.

    Just remember Android fans, if you download any VCAST app, you better make sure you really like Verizon because it’s not going to work on any other Android phones. “Open“.

    Verizon App Store Force-Feeding Is Near. You Can Barf, But You’ll Have To Swallow It
  2. #2  
    preinstalled like vz navigator. People don't need to ise them. Those apps are even preinstalled on my wife's env touch, which isn't a smartphone.

    I don't think there is a story here unless they restrict users from the android store or play games with developers that submit apps to the verizon store.
  3. #3  
    It will become a problem when Verizon starts paying developers for exclusivity (which, to some extent, they already did with Skype earlier in the year). There are already Windows Phone 7 games that are only available on AT&T.

    Say what you will about Apple but they had the foresight to only allow one app store, giving you the same consistent experience regardless of where you are in the world and which network you're on.
  4. reidme's Avatar
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    #4  
    No one is forced to use them. It makes sense for Vcast apps to be in a separate store because they only work on Verizon phones. Sprint phones have proprietary apps too, like Sprint Nav and Sprint TV.

    Android has much bigger fragmentation issues than this with the various OS versions floating around that get updated not just carrier by carrier, but also phone by phone. Not to mention all the variations in hardware configurations devs have to deal with. WebOS devs will have to start dealing with this too once HP comes out with a stable of webOS devices.
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Cantaffordit View Post
    preinstalled like vz navigator. People don't need to ise them. Those apps are even preinstalled on my wife's env touch, which isn't a smartphone.

    I don't think there is a story here unless they restrict users from the android store or play games with developers that submit apps to the verizon store.
    the problem is , as the last few sentences say... if you by from the verizon app store instead of android market, you lose the ability to transfer that app to another android device on a different carrier
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by reidme View Post
    No one is forced to use them. It makes sense for Vcast apps to be in a separate store because they only work on Verizon phones. Sprint phones have proprietary apps too, like Sprint Nav and Sprint TV.

    Android has much bigger fragmentation issues than this with the various OS versions floating around that get updated not just carrier by carrier, but also phone by phone. Not to mention all the variations in hardware configurations devs have to deal with. WebOS devs will have to start dealing with this too once HP comes out with a stable of webOS devices.
    the vcast app store is for all apps.. not just vcast tv apps
  7. #7  
    So it's a way to hook you to Verizon Android phones, instead of going to another carrier. It's taking what is supposed to be an open ecosystem and locking it down, just like Verizon always does.
  8. reidme's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by nappy View Post
    Say what you will about Apple but they had the foresight to only allow one app store, giving you the same consistent experience regardless of where you are in the world and which network you're on.
    Apple has also stubbornly refused to change the form-factor of the iPhone significantly, which has been a boon to developers. Even when they went to the retina display it was exactly twice the resolution in both directions which allows old apps to run pixel-doubled. It really reminds me of the old Palm where they made hardware changes very incrementally to try to maintain backwards compatibility. However, Apple has standardized on a form factor I don't like. I much prefer the Pre's form factor (and OS!)
  9. reidme's Avatar
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    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by sketch42 View Post
    the vcast app store is for all apps.. not just vcast tv apps
    But you still don't have to use it. If you want portability then buy from the Android app store, I'm sure it isn't going away.

    Non-issue for me regardless. There are many other reasons I'm not interested in Android.
  10.    #10  
    the point is i think most people new to smartphones and android, will see the familiar vcast store and gravitate there instead of market..

    google really needs to revise the open source licence of android
  11. #11  
    Am I missing something here?

    Today Verizon will use VCAST to send and update it's bloatware.

    Eventually, users will be able to download apps from VCAST, Android Market or better still AppBrain?

    I prefer AppBrain because it lets me select apps and wallpaper and such to install on my PC that will go to my phone. Plus it is searchable online, etc. AppBrain is the first app that everyone at Android Central tells you to get.

    If the user doesn't do their homework they may end up buying the wrong thing form the wrong vendor?

    That holds true for everything in life.

    So assuming that at some point in time:
    1. Developer X offers an app on VCAST and the Android Market at the same time
    2. This app will be a paid app
    3. User Y does no homework to find out to not buy on VCAST
    4. User Y buys it from VCAST instead of the Android Market
    5. User Y does not archive their apps to their SD card
    6. User Y then switches carriers
    7. The VCAST apps do not transfer like the Android Market apps do
    8. User Y posts how big bad world is to blame because the User bought the wrong thing and didn't back it up to the SD card.

    In the words of The Eagles: Get Over It
    ...
    I turn on the tube and what do I see
    A whole lotta people cryin’ ’don’t blame me’
    ...
    You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
    Got your mind in the gutter, bringin’ everybody down
    Complain about the present and blame it on the past
    I’d like to find your inner child and kick it’s little ___

    Get over it
    Get over it
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 11/04/2010 at 05:36 PM.
  12. #12  
    I think this is a non-issue. If you buy stuff from the Vcast store instead of the android marketplace, you can't transfer them to a non verizon android device. Solution: don't buy apps from verizon. Obviously they want to give you a reason to continue to buy Verizon handsets. You can't blame carriers for trying to create differentiation within the android space. How do you compete with 100 identical phones? By not being identical.
  13. #13  
    This does more than I think people realize.

    This gives verizon a revenue stream by putting them in the billing department. While in some ways this is good for the developers as they should theoretically be able to hit a wider audience, it also means they can take a piece of the pie.

    This also means that verizon no longer 'needs' the app store. There is nothing that will prevent them from locking out the appstore on future updates/devices.

    This however has been predicted for a while. I expect we will see each carrier with their own app stores for the platforms they can do it for. We will likely even see hardware manufacturers start offing appstores in the near future.

    Opensource is great, until people start taking advantage of the fact that its open.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by sketch42 View Post
    the problem is , as the last few sentences say... if you by from the verizon app store instead of android market, you lose the ability to transfer that app to another android device on a different carrier
    you are right, but the user also pays on their phone bill instead of being billed through google to a credit card.

    I'm not defending vzw, I just don't think it's a big deal. If I ever have an android phone, I certainly wuldnt use the vzw store.
  15. reidme's Avatar
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    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by sketch42 View Post
    the point is i think most people new to smartphones and android, will see the familiar vcast store and gravitate there instead of market..

    google really needs to revise the open source licence of android
    I think you are probably right on both points, although if Vcast is that familiar then Verizon already has their hooks into them, and Android... well that's a mess even Google can't clean up. I must admit that's partially jealousy on my part though, because even some of Android's smaller fragments are bigger than webOS. It reminds me of the old Windows Mobile. It wasn't my cup of tea and it was so fragmented, but it still dominated the market.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    Eventually, users will be able to download apps from VCAST, Android Market or better still AppBrain?
    But what do you do when Verizon throws some moneyhats over to, say, Rovio for the exclusive rights to Angry Birds 2 on the VCAST store?

    I don't think the consumer ever wins when carriers gain even more control over their handsets.
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    Am I missing something here?

    Today Verizon will use VCAST to send and update it's bloatware.

    Eventually, users will be able to download apps from VCAST, Android Market or better still AppBrain?

    I prefer AppBrain because it lets me select apps and wallpaper and such to install on my PC that will go to my phone. Plus it is searchable online, etc. AppBrain is the first app that everyone at Android Central tells you to get.

    If the user doesn't do their homework they may end up buying the wrong thing form the wrong vendor?

    That holds true for everything in life.

    So assuming that at some point in time:
    1. Developer X offers an app on VCAST and the Android Market at the same time
    2. This app will be a paid app
    3. User Y does no homework to find out to not buy on VCAST
    4. User Y buys it from VCAST instead of the Android Market
    5. User Y does not archive their apps to their SD card
    6. User Y then switches carriers
    7. The VCAST apps do not transfer like the Android Market apps do
    8. User Y posts how big bad world is to blame because the User bought the wrong thing and didn't back it up to the SD card.

    In the words of The Eagles: Get Over It
    ...
    I turn on the tube and what do I see
    A whole lotta people cryin’ ’don’t blame me’
    ...
    You wave it like a flag, you wear it like a crown
    Got your mind in the gutter, bringin’ everybody down
    Complain about the present and blame it on the past
    I’d like to find your inner child and kick it’s little ___

    Get over it
    Get over it
    the problem is, that you have no clue how many consumers actually do little or no research. They are NOT tech savy, Do NOT join forums, do NOT serach online for answers etc..

    i have many customers over the past 8 years that after advising them time and time again that they MUST back up their device on a constant basis, or they have the potential to lose it all, answer me that they dont know how, or they didnt know that there was a way to do that, or what cd in the box?? i didnt get a cd?!?!

    you believe that the world out there is like the world in here on these message boards... the avg joe consumer is NOT like us.. and will never learn.

    even after they lose their info, more than once, they still refuse to backup for the reasons above. soi DOUBT that they will look into the app store... theyll "trust" verzon not to screw them ..
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by sketch42 View Post
    the problem is, that you have no clue how many consumers actually do little or no research. They are NOT tech savy, Do NOT join forums, do NOT serach online for answers etc..
    Honestly, I don't think anyone should have to read the fine print on this. Android is Android. It's not unreasonable to expect that an Android app I purchase on one handset should be transferable to my next Android handset regardless of which storefront I buy it from.
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by sketch42 View Post
    the problem is, that you have no clue...
    Well thanks, I guess.

    Sketch, The Eagles song Get Over It is about the fact that the world is filled with people who don't want to take the time to be helped. They won't help themselves and then complain when when they fail.

    I am not expressing sympathy for them.

    I am saying, Get Over It.

    If they download from Amazon instead of getting it free from YouTube, they will pay a stupid tax. If they pay an extra $100 a month for their family to have iPhones, that is their decision too.

    If they want to click the VCAST icon instead of the Market icon, they can pay that stupid tax as well.

    I am not expressing sympathy for them.
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 11/04/2010 at 07:41 PM.
  20. #20  
    Android does not need carrier app stores. It did fine without. What's next, a forced carrier update to block the Android store? I don't want a carrier pushing anything other than a baseband update to increase signal performance. I just want to rent your network, not your apps.
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