The App Store approval process has proven to be a recurring source of developer frustration. The company has not formally disclosed the criteria it employs to approve or reject iPhone applications, and even when apps are greenlighted, developers have expressed dismay over the length of time it requires Apple to push their software updates to users as well as Apple's failure to communicate information on when apps will be published live. By contrast, when Android Market officially launched Oct. 20, Android program manager Eric Chu clearly outlined the storefront's approval process. To guarantee developers are authenticated and responsible for their apps, they must register and pay a onetime $25 application fee--from there, apps are available to users without further validation or approval. "To share your app with the world, simply register, upload your application and publish it," Chu writes on the Android Developers Blog. "It's really that easy."
While Google mandated the first round of Android Market applications be made available as free downloads, it said developers may introduce premium apps in the first quarter of 2009. Google has said developers will enjoy a 70 percent cut of Android Market revenues, the same percentage offered via the App Store. (BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, which announced in mid-October plans to introduce its own online application retail effort, has said it will pony up 80 percent of revenues to its developer partners.) Perhaps the biggest financial difference between the App Store and Android Market comes down to the remaining 30 percent: Apple retains its share, while Google hands its percentage over to its operator partners, minus billing settlement fees.