Starting August 2nd, Archos will support paid-for apps in their http://appslib.com Android applications store. Archos claims to be providing the worlds second largest Android applications marketplace after the official Google Marketplace. They claim to have over 2000 free apps available that have been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. Other manufacturers of Android devices are also using AppsLib such as Shuttle, Yifang, JWD, Aïgo, Daza and Ramos. Maybe Archos is giving out the AppsLib software for free for all other manufacturers to include, while Google is not yet allowing them all to include the official Google Marketplace.
While we do have Google Marketplace working unofficially since last November on our Archos 5 Internet Tablets, while I do think it is important for Archos and all other Android tablet manufacturers to demand from Google to provide them with officially pre-installed Google Marketplace on all devices, to demand also that Google provide support for Tablet centric versions of Android. I also think it is a good idea to provide alternative marketplaces to Android devices.
The suggestion I have for Archos is still following:
- They should provide a subscription plan for unlimited access to apps on AppsLib.
- With opt-out, the app developper can decide not to be part of the plan and still only provide paid-for only access to their apps. Or even to provide only a rebate for unlimited plan subscribers.
I think many Android users would pay $3 per month for unlimited access to plenty plenty of Android apps. And I believe many of the best app developers will make more money on a subscription plan with tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of subscribers than they do on selling few hundreds or few thousands of pay-to-own licences.
I think also current developers who offer free apps on the current AppsLib and Google Marketplace, would then also be able to be part of the payments from subscriptions. Suddenly, overnight, Archos could make a business model for all those developers of great free apps.
I think Archos would attract many more paid-for app developers to submit their apps in AppsLib if there is a subscription model involved. Archos needs to be transparent about how much they pay each of the developers based on statistics of downloads/installs, eventually also statistics of usage (if there is a not-too-intrusive way for Archos to count how much each of the apps are actually used by users, each user having to opt-in on their Android device to allow Archos to monitor usage of their apps to pay developers more precisely their due share from the subscription plan).
I think Archos could then also provide users with recommendations for which apps to try to install. “If you liked these apps (which you already installed and are using often), then we recommend you check these ones out as well” and that should uniquely be based on Archos stats for how much each app is downloaded/installed vs uninstalled and eventually on how much it is used.
Included in that subscription plan, free updates of course on all the apps.
That would be a way for Archos to differentiate their AppsLib from Google Marketplace. Users of any of the existing 20+ million Android smartphones on the market would also be able to download and subscribe to apps through AppsLib. At least, until Google implements themselves this same app subscription plan idea. Eventually, I would like one subscription for apps, one for music, one for movies, one for TV. Overall all subscriptions should not amount to more than $10 per month, and thus all should give me unlimited access to all contents on my Android devices.