Feeds

Handango cashes in on Android

Making moolah out of mobile development

New hybrid storage solutions

Selling mobile applications can be profitable, but the Android Marketplace is only dealing in freebies at launch - so Handango is offering a more familiar route to market that could be essential for the future of Google's platform.

Mobile-phone-super-OS Android should realise its first physical embodiment towards the end of this month, with T-Mobile (temporarily) claiming that pre-orders of the G1 handset have already sold out and Google parading the Android Marketplace as the one-stop shop for (free) applications.

But not all developers will be happy to give their creations away, so the news that mobile software retailer Handango will be listing Android applications is a welcome alternative which demonstrates the advantages of an open platform - particularly for ISVs with the quaint idea of making money from their efforts.

Google is hoping there'll be a range of Android handsets over the next few years, driven by the breadth of applications available on the platform. This premise comes from the desktop world, where we all use Windows because it runs the software we want - try changing and you find that the driver for your Twiddler won't work, or your Wavefinder is now reduced to being a designer lamp. Desktop operating systems are bought on the basis of the available applications, and the Open Handset Alliance (nominal owner of Android) is betting that mobile phones are headed the same way.

Handango is certainly the largest dealer in smartphone applications, a business in which it has enjoyed a duopoly with Motricity, with both companies hosting application services for network operators as well as their own portals.

Handango regularly reports that the best-selling lists for smartphones comprise enhancements, rather than applications, as smartphone users like to customise their experience to suit their personal style. Examples include replacement home screens, better email clients and additional synchronisation capabilities.

Apple has, of course, closed the door on such enhancements completely, refusing to list them in their application store with claims that duplicating functionality confuses users. The boys from Cupertino obviously have little respect for their customers.

Nokia takes the opposite approach: when the competition demonstrated threaded messaging, Nokia Labs banged out a patch to add the functionality to S60 phones within weeks. The most popular applications for S60 are almost all enhancements - not applications as Apple understands them - but essential to the success of the Symbian platform, and Android.

That's not to say that money can't be made from iPhone applications - one developer has reportedly made $250,000 in a couple of months from his puzzle game Trism, but trivial games won't sell the platform. Android is going to need enhancements as well as apps if the strategy is going to bear any fruit.

Many of these will be created, and given away, by developers working in their spare time, but everyone has bills to pay and quality software does cost money. Handango will take about a 40 per cent cut from sales, but it does offer an alternative channel and one over which Google has no control. This epitomises the difference between Android and the iPhone, though over the next couple of years it will be up to the developers to make that difference count to normal punters. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.