Buying apps for Android devices just got easier, as now app purchases on Android Market can be charged on AT&T Direct Carrier Billing.
Android developers' team announced on Android Developers Blog that all Android customers on AT&T network can now easily buy apps and add the purchases to their monthly AT&T bills.
Apple's iTunes offers instant payment mechanism through a credit card or iTunes Gifts, a feature which Gigaom states creates a genre of software called impulseware - cheap enough and easy enough to buy on a whim.
Android has not been able to create an Apple App Store like format that acts as a single interface between developers and customers. iTunes offers users the ease of locating and downloading apps while developers avail the option of an Apple-backed marketing platform and ease of receipt of payment.
However, the Android market is rather fragmented and thus searching for apps and payment mechanism is still not seamless. Currently there is no Google supported way that allows accessing the market without an Android device unlike iTunes. Also Google Checkout, its own payment service, lacks an interface which allows developers to create detailed reports on sales to track progress.
With over 100,000 Android apps already downloaded in spite of a lack of consolidated marketing mechanism, Google is partnering with carriers to at least smoothen the payment mechanism to make payment through a single click possible, since the nature of apps is that its sales relies on impulse buying behavior.
Currently T-mobile is the only carrier that allows billing in the Android Market.
Also the Android Market received updates that include features that make it easier for users to find their favorites and two new categories for Widgets and Live Wallpapers. Also it added more categories for popular applications and games in the weeks ahead. In addition, the app details page now also includes related content, which makes it easier for users to quickly find apps of similar interest.