Android App store? The launch event featured a video interview with a few developers, some of whom won a contest Google sponsored for developers of Android applications. They talked up the importance of openness -- perhaps a jab at iPhone. They stressed that developing for Android is free and that any application can be added to the Android application store. By contrast, iPhone developers have to buy the SDK (software development kit), albeit for a low price, and Apple determines which applications will go into the App Store.
Android comes at a time when openness is taking center stage in the mobile market. Symbian, the smartphone platform with the largest market share around the world, recently announced it would open up and the LiMo mobile Linux group is gathering steam. But some experts have wondered if the extent of Android's openness, which allows anyone to change fundamental features, will lead to fragmentation. Without a basic set of features, some applications built for Android won't be able to work properly on all Android devices.