Android app market opens to Australian sales


Search giant Google has bowed to developer demand and started allowing Australians to sell software through its mobile applications market.

For the past several years, the company had only allowed developers in some select countries — such as the US and UK — to sell apps through the market, which is becoming increasingly popular as Android-based smartphones flood Australia. The problem had led to some Australian developers registering in the US in an effort to monetise their work.

“Developers in Australia can now upload and sell priced applications in Android Market enabling the promotion and monetisation of their hard work. Developers can choose to sell their apps in any or all of 32 available countries to reach mobile users around the world,” the company said in a statement today.

It’s not just Australia that will benefit from the Google largesse announced this morning — the search giant revealed paid support for 20 new countries. And over the next two weeks, consumers from 18 new countries will be able to purchase apps from the Android market — which currently has over 80,000 pieces of software in total.

The news was immediately welcomed by one local Android developer, James Purser, who had let fly at Google over the issue earlier this year. “W00t for the fact that I can now sell apps through the marketplace,” he wrote on his blog. “Now all I need to do is come up with that killer app.”

Google never precisely explained why the geographical restriction on selling applications in some countries was in place, but the problem appeared to be related to Google Checkout — the online payment processing system that allows users to store their credit card information with their Google account.

In July the search giant said it was “working hard” on the issue but didn’t have a set time frame for resolution.

Purser wrote that he hoped Google took away from the exercise the need to communciate with developers — not just about application programming interfaces and tools, but the business of the growing ecosystem. “If there are delays, tell people why (as much as you can). Staying silent only gives people the impression that you don’t care,” he wrote.

Image credit: HTC