Rejoice Singapore Android users! Paid apps are finally slowly making their way to your Android Marketplace in a few weeks time.
Google announced yesterday that it has began allowing developers from 20 countries to upload and sell application in the Android Marketplace. The 20 countries are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Finally! Android seems to be the last mobile operating system in Singapore to allow paid applications. Other mobile OS like iOS, Symbian, BlackBerry have already allowed users to buy application for quite some time. Android Marketplace uses Google Checkout for payment. If you have a Google account, you will have Google Checkout. All you need to do is to fill in your Credit Card numbers and you are good to go. I remember someone told me that Android Marketplace also allows direct billing to the user’s Telco bill. So far no news on any partnership between Google and the 3 Telcos in Singapore.
Some people might ask me what is there to be happy about paid apps coming to Android. Isn’t free apps better? Well, it is good to have both free apps and paid apps. Having paid apps means that there will be more higher quality applications available in the Android marketplace. Don’t get me wrong, there are quite a lot of good quality free apps. But I know at least 1 developer not releasing his application on Android because there is no payment option.
End of the day, choices are always good for consumers. At least now they get to choose to buy applications.