The Android Dev Blog today released some shots and details on the Android Market—the Android version of the iPhone's App Store. Stressing that it's a "market" (free, open, etc) rather than a "store," the Google folks have decided to not require an approval process for devs to have their applications listed, unlike Apple's mysterious black box of approval that even the developers still don't fully understand. Which is great news for Android devs, but could be quite a handful for Google.
Android Market builds in all of the similar functionalities found in Apple's version: providing the infrastructure to host apps in a centralised place, versioning and update control, and support for free and paid apps (although the pay apps will not be ready for version 1.0). Apple's model of a single, all-in-one app repository definitely makes sense over a Symbian or Blackberry approach, with apps scattered across the web. But where Apple has two phones to deal with, Android will eventually have hundreds, so the system will need to be all the more robust to not allow incompatible code that doesn't require prior approval to crash people's handsets. Still, iPhone developers have not been overly thrilled with Apple's development process, so this should be a relief for them. [Android Developers Blog]