The Android Market is a pre-installed application in Android powered smartphones. It is like a “library” of software applications that is hosted on Android Market. Similar to the iPhone’s App Store, it provides a platform for 3rd party developers to take the initiative and be creative in developing new software applications on the Android platform that allows its users to download and use them. They can also view detailed information on the application from Android Market website before downloading.
Download and Installation
Android applications are packaged into the .APK format (Android Package). When the user has successfully completed a download, the package installer will activate and complete the installation.
When an application is being installed, Android will ask the user for all the required permissions to complete the process. The user will decide at this point if he or she wants to comply with the permission requirements.
If the requirement is deemed exccesive, the user may not want to continue with the installation. For example, Angry Birds should not have permission requirements to phonebook access or mesages. Application permissions include functionalities like:
1) Network access (Internet connection)
2) Phonebook access
4) Data transfer from SD card
How does all this fit into O’Reilly’s pattern of Data as the new “Intel Inside”?
Unique and hard to recreate of data: As mentioned above, majority of the applications found on the Android Market are created by 3rd party developers. There is a high rate of user contribution towards the market. The applications are also stored in huge servers.
Enchance core data: Users can rate and give comments on the application that they have downloaded. The ratings and reviews may affect the next user who wants to download the application. Obviously, an application with a 4 to 5 star rating will earn rave reviews, thus more people will download the application.
Users control their own data: The Android Market has tools which allow its developers to publish and update applications as many times as they want. A notification will be sent to all the users who have downloaded the application to update to the latest version.
Barriers to adoption: Security of the applications has been challanged a few times. There have been cases of viruses being planted in certain applications by hackers. There is a possiblity of a force close if user attempts to dowload multiple applications at one go due to unstable connectivity. The previous Android OS update Froyo had issues where applications disappeared on the market after updating .
Software privacy issues: Users can choose whether he or she wants to install the application based on the permission requirements. If the user has decided that a game with access to the phonebook is an unnecessary requirement, he or she can abort the installation.
Make some rights reserved: Android Market has a licensing service that allows developers to enforce licensing policies for paid applications.
Video demo on Android Market: