Chrome app store in development

Caroline Gabriel, Rethink Wireless
19 Aug 2010

Google has been upping the ante for Android Market, but it has a second operating system and associated app store in the works, which could be unleashed by October.

Its browser-as-OS, Chrome OS, will be geared to an emerging class of devices often called cloudbooks, which are likely to vary in format between tablet-style and keyboard devices, as well as media products.

Their common point will be that they will be geared to always-on broadband and browser/cloud usage. However, as Android moves into a wider range of gadgets than smartphones, and as it increasingly supports web-based apps as well as native ones, there is bound to be some crossover, and some competition for developer attentions.

Google set out its stall in a recent presentation at the Game Developer Conference, where it explained how developers could shortly start to experiment with Chrome Web Store, submitting apps by October.

This implies there will be early devices available in the same timeframe, whereas the search giant had previously only promised launches in “late fall”.

Google said it plans to charge developers a “processing fee” of just 5% to place apps in the Chrome shopfront. This is a sharp contrast from the norm of 30% in smartphones stores, which are still mainly focused on native apps and content downloads.

Like other markets, the Chrome Web Store will take many months to mature - for instance, support for non-US currencies and in-game transactions are not expected until later in 2011.


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