Report: Paid Apps Headed to Android Market This Week

In an article covering Microsoft's mobile phone strategy, The Wall Journal writes that Google will start offering paid apps in the Android Market this week.

The Android Market is where users of Google-run smartphones, the T-Mobile G1 being the only model available so far, go to download and install software over the air. Unlike with the iPhone App Store, which offers both free and paid apps, the Android Market only offers free software. To succeed its gotta get paid apps up so developers can start to make money off of the smartphone patform.

The Android Market mention in The Journal reads:

Google, too, hosts an application store, dubbed the Android Market, for phones running its Android mobile operating system, the first of which is the G1 from Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA. This week Google will start allowing developers to charge for software sold through the Android Market, according to people familiar with the matter.

This news closely follows a recent update (called RC33) to Google's smartphone platform that's currently being rolled out to T-Mobile G1 users. The roll out should be completed by February 15.

This firmware upgrade includes a major new feature in the Android Market that lets you check for updates of apps you've downloaded and installed. It also allows you to receive program updates automatically and report comments in the Android Market as spam.

Additional new G1 features include support for Google Voice Search and the ability save pictures received as multimedia (MMS) messages to your smartphone. There are a number of bug fixes as well, of course.

See here to check out the changelog for firmware update RC33. It'll fill you in all the improvements and fixes in detail.

Expect to see a number of phone manufacturers showing off Android-run smartphones at the Mobile World Congress, the largest wireless trade show and conference, next week.