Google are doing a fair impression of Skynet in their attempts to dominate all forms of electronic lift. Chrome is cutting into the suddenly-slow Firefox, the OS is eying the up-to-now unimaginably secure Microsoft market, and Android really really wants to knock Apple off the “trendy tech” top spot. But they’re going to have to make it worth people’s while to help them.
Larva labs have some of the top selling Android apps out there, “RetroDefense” and “Battle For Mars.” They’ve combined fast-paced tower defense and turn-based games with the entire “owns a smartphone and gets bored easily” market – if they can’t make money, no one can. And they can’t. The titles are averaging sixty dollars a day despite top ten store sales rankings. They’re the best sellers in the entire new market but I can’t help thinking they’d have been better off washing windows.
They list a load of problems with the Android app market here, most notable being Google’s insistence on using Google Checkout. It’s okay to insist on your own service after you’ve already won, but that’s assuming users will do what you tell them while the battle’s still raging? Just ask Sony how the Memory Stick Duo worked out for them. And the Minidisc. And UMD.
Android has access to the most devoted and active audience online, early-adopters and open-sourcers, every one. All they have to do is make it possible for those ultra-keen developers to actually develop without ending up on the street.