At the Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco this week, Android platform manager Eric Chu admitted to the audience (and quite a bit of press) that Google is "unhappy" about the purchases of paid applications in the Android Market. Chu said that that Google will address this issue with the introduction of an in-app payment system, originally due last quarter. The system had been delayed because Google was looking for more feedback from developers, and they had been busy with Christmas app development and sales, he explained.
Chu also laid out a roadmap for Android in 2011, with a number of things lined up for the months ahead, including, yes, support for in-app payments, but also things like expanded carrier billing options, Market improvements, HTML5 support and more. What do you think Google should fix first? Is it in-app payments or something else? Tell us which item needs the most attention in this week's ReadWriteMobile poll.
According to Forbes coverage of the conference, Chu's roadmap will involve the following:
- In-App Payments: A new system will debut this quarter, allowing app users to make purchases within an app, in addition to paying for an app outright.
- Carrier Billing: Google launched carrier billing with AT&T in December, said Chu, and plans to launch with more carriers throughout the world. This will make it easier for users to pay for apps, and could increase the dollars spent by app users. (Note: Android already supports T-Mobile in the U.S.)
- Improve App Discovery in Market: Chu said that Google is weeding out apps that violate Android Market's Terms of Service and is working on the ranking algorithm to make it easier for users to find the best apps.
- Adding Social Features: Google is going to make the Android Market more social using Android's access to the address book.
- HTML5: Not a lot of detail on this one, only a statement that Google is "betting on" HTML5 as a way to create apps.