Android Market
Android Market is an online software store developed by Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 for Android OS devices. Its gateway is an application program ("app") called "Market", preinstalled on most Android devices, allows users to browse and download mobile apps
Mobile apps
Mobile apps, also called mobile applications, are software applications, usually designed to run on smartphones and tablet computers. They are available through application distribution platforms which are typically operated by the owner of the mobile operating system, such as the App Store,...

 published by third-party developers. Users can also search for and read detailed information about apps on the Android Market website.


Google announced the Android Market on August 28, 2008, and made it available to users on 22 October 2008. They introduced support for paid applications on 13 February 2009 for US and UK developers, with additional support for 29 countries on 30 September 2010.

Feature updates

In December 2010 Google added content filtering to Android Market and reduced the purchase refund window from 24–48 hours to 15 minutes.

In February 2011 Google introduced a web client that provides access to Android Market via PC. Apps requested through the Android Market web page are downloaded and installed on a registered Android device.

In May 2011 Google added new app lists to Android Market, including "Top Grossing" apps, "Top Developers", "Trending" apps, and "Editors Recommendations". Google's Eric Chu said the goal of this change was to expose users to as many apps as possible.

In July 2011 Google introduced a redesigned interface with a focus on featured content, more search filters, and (in the US) book sales and movie rentals. In September 2011 the Motorola XOOM
Motorola Xoom
The Motorola Xoom is an Android-based tablet computer by Motorola, introduced at CES 2011 on January 5, 2011. It was the first tablet to be sold with Android 3.0 Honeycomb. The Verizon branded Xoom was the first tablet to run Android 3.1 Honeycomb, however the 3.1 update has not yet been provided...

Tablet computer
A tablet computer, or simply tablet, is a complete mobile computer, larger than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant, integrated into a flat touch screen and primarily operated by touching the screen...

 received an update that brought the redesigned Android Market to a Honeycomb-powered device.

Applications and downloads

On 17 March 2009, about 2,300 applications were available in the Android Market, according to T-Mobile
T-Mobile International AG is a German-based holding company for Deutsche Telekom AG's various mobile communications subsidiaries outside Germany. Based in Bonn, Germany, its subsidiaries operate GSM and UMTS-based cellular networks in Europe, the United States, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands...

 chief technical officer
Chief technical officer
A chief technology officer is an executive-level position in a company or other entity whose occupant is focused on scientific and technological issues within an organization....

 Cole Brodman. On 10 May 2011, during the Google I/O
Google I/O
Google I/O is an annual two-day developer-focused conference held by Google in San Francisco, California. Google I/O features highly technical, in-depth sessions focused on building web, mobile, and enterprise applications with Google and open web technologies such as Android, Chrome, Chrome OS,...

, Google announced that Android Market listed 200,000 apps, and had clocked 4.5 billion apps installed.
Date Applications Downloads to date
March 2009 2,300
December 2009 20,000
August 2010 80,000 1 billion
May 2011 200,000 3 billion
July 2011 250,000 6 billion
November 2011 370,000 7 billion

Comparisons to competitors

Android Market features 67% of free apps – the highest percentage of any major app store – compared to 37% for Apple App Store.
App Store Percent Free Applications
Android Market 67%
Windows Phone Marketplace 52%
Samsung Apps 39%
Apple App Store 37%
BlackBerry App World 26%
Nokia Ovi Store 26%

On 21 May 2011, Google announced that the number of apps on Android Market increased by 28,000 in April 2011, making a total of 200,000 apps; by contrast, in April 2011 the listings on Apple App Store grew by 11,000 new apps, a total of 381,062 apps. Distimo and Germany-based research2guidance forecast that the number of apps on Android Market would surpass Apple by the third quarter of 2011, with some 425,000 apps.

App use and pricing structure

Availability for users

Android Market filters the list of applications to those compatible with the user's device. In addition, users may face further restrictions to choice of apps where developers have tied-in their applications to particular carriers or countries for business reasons.
Carriers can also ban certain applications, for example tethering apps.

As of May 2011, users in 131 countries can purchase paid applications from Android Market. Some carriers offer direct carrier billing for Android Market app purchases. There is no requirement that Android applications be acquired from Android Market. Users may download Android applications from a developer's website or through a third party alternative to Android Market.

Availability for developers

The Android Market application is not open source
Open source
The term open source describes practices in production and development that promote access to the end product's source materials. Some consider open source a philosophy, others consider it a pragmatic methodology...

. Only Android devices that comply with Google's compatibility requirements may install and access Google's closed-source Android Market app, subject to entering into a licensing agreement with Google.

Developers in 29 countries may sell applications on the Android Market. Application developers receive 70% of the application price, with the remaining 30% distributed among carriers and payment processors. Google itself does not take a percentage. Revenue earned from the Android Market is paid to developers via Google Checkout
Google Checkout
Google Checkout is an online payment processing service provided by Google aimed at simplifying the process of paying for online purchases. Users store their credit or debit card and shipping information in their Google Account, so that they can purchase at participating stores by clicking an...

 merchant accounts, or via Google AdSense
Google AdSense which is a program run by Google Inc. allows publishers in the Google Network of content sites to automatically serve text, image, video, and rich media adverts that are targeted to site content and audience. These adverts are administered, sorted, and maintained by Google, and they...

 accounts in some countries.

Banned applications

On 31 March 2009, Google removed all tethering applications from Android Market because they supposedly violated terms of service of certain carriers. Google later restored tethering applications to Android Market, except those for the T-Mobile USA
T-Mobile USA
T-Mobile USA, Inc. is an American mobile-network operator, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, that provides wireless voice, messaging and data services in the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The company is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. market with 33.73...

 network, which was specifically the subject of the violation:
As of 20 May 2010, PDAnet, Easy Tether and Proxoid were all available in the U.S. market for T-mobile users. On 5 April 2011, Google withdrew the Grooveshark
Grooveshark is an international online music search engine, music streaming service and music recommendation web software application, allowing users to search for, stream, and upload music that can be played immediately or added to a playlist...

 app from Android Market due to unspecified policy violations. However, the app is still available for direct download via Grooveshark's website for those users who have enabled non-market application downloads.

In the first quarter of 2011, at the request of the carrier, Android Market began blocking Easy Tether, and other tethering applications that do not require root access, from download to Verizon Wireless Android phones.

On 27 May 2011, Google banned SpoofApp, a Caller ID spoofing application typically used for prank calling which had been available in Android Market since 18 December 2008. On 29 May 2011, Google banned the account of the developer of several video game emulators, including Nesoid, Snesoid, and N64oid, but did not specify a reason for the ban.

Implementation details

Android Market applications are self-contained Android Package files
APK (file format)
Android application package file is the file format used to distribute and install application software and middleware onto the Google's Android operating system. To make an APK file, a program for Android is first compiled, and then all of its parts are packaged into one file...

. The Android Market does not install applications; it asks the devices's PackageManagerService to install them. The package manager is visible if the user downloads an APK
APK (file format)
Android application package file is the file format used to distribute and install application software and middleware onto the Google's Android operating system. To make an APK file, a program for Android is first compiled, and then all of its parts are packaged into one file...

 file direct to their device. Applications are installed to the phone's internal storage, and under certain conditions may be installed to the devices's external storage card.

Application security

Android devices can run applications written by third-party developers and distributed through Android Market and third-party application stores. Once enrolled, developers may publish their applications immediately.

Before installing an application, Android Market displays all required permissions. A game may need to enable vibration, for example, but should not need to read messages or access the phonebook. After reviewing these permissions, the user can decide whether to install the application.

Possible app permissions include functionality like:
  • Accessing the Internet
  • Making phone calls
  • Sending SMS messages
  • Reading from and writing to the installed memory card
  • Accessing a user's address book data

Security software companies have been developing applications to ensure the security of Android devices. SMobile Systems, one such manufacturer, claims that 20% of apps in Android Market request permissions that could be used for malicious purposes, and 5% of apps can make phone calls without the user's intervention. This is not a claim that the apps are actually malicious, but rather highlight the potential for malicious activity.

Security issues

In early March 2011, DroidDream, a trojan
Trojan horse (computing)
A Trojan horse, or Trojan, is software that appears to perform a desirable function for the user prior to run or install, but steals information or harms the system. The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Greek mythology.-Malware:A destructive program that masquerades as a benign...

A rootkit is software that enables continued privileged access to a computer while actively hiding its presence from administrators by subverting standard operating system functionality or other applications...

 exploit, was released to the Android Market in the form of several free applications that were, in many cases, pirated versions of existing priced apps. This exploit allowed hackers to steal information such as IMEI and IMSI numbers, phone model, user ID, and service provider. The exploit also installed a backdoor that allowed the hackers to download more code to the infected device. These apps were downloaded more than 50,000 times before Google took action and removed them from the Market. The exploit only affected devices running AndroidOS versions earlier than 2.3 "Gingerbread". In many cases, the only guaranteed method of removing the exploit from an infected device was to reset it to factory state, although community-developed solutions for blocking some aspects of the exploit were created. Google started remotely removing the malicious apps from infected devices on 5 March, and also released its own app, the "Android Market Security Tool March 2011", which automatically removed the exploit. This app was automatically installed to all infected devices, and users with infected devices were notified via e-mail.

See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.