Google returns missing open source software to Android Market

Customers stayed in suspense until this morning, but most of Google's 50 promised open source applications were indeed ready for download from Android Market when T-Mobile's G1 phone launched today.

Although T-Mobile customers didn't know for sure until this morning, and at least some developers didn't get the word until last night, some three dozen open source applications made it onto the Android Market in time for the start of G1 sales this morning.

When BetaNews checked out the Market at a T-Mobile store in New York City this morning, a store employee counted out 36 apps in Google's online store, nearly three times as many as the number posted yesterday, the day before rollout.

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At some point after the middle of last week, most of the third-party apps previously posted before the launch mysteriously disappeared, leaving only 13 of them posted as of yesterday.

Users -- and some Android developers -- wondered online about the fate of missing software, which included, for example, ShopSavvy, one of the three third-party apps that T-Mobile touted in press and public demos earlier in the fall.

As of 7:00 pm last night, Eastern time, two Android developers -- Wrike and Intermedia -- still didn't know whether or when their ContactsSync app for Exchange/Outlook synchronization would show up in Google's online store.

"[But] I've just got the information that ContactsSync will be presented at the
Android market," wrote Valerie Sinitskaya, marketing communications manager at Wrike, in a e-mail to BetaNews about ten minutes later.

The T-Mobile employee told BetaNews this morning that Google had taken down a lot of the apps previously posted in the Market because those apps just "didn't work right" during testing.

"But just give things a little time. This is all brand new. There'll be more applications up there soon," BetaNews was told.

It's true that the current tally of three dozen apps doesn't come anywhere near the number posted on Apple's App Store at the time of its iPhone 3G launch this summer. But on the other hand, Apple enjoyed a tremendous head start. Tons of Apple mobile developers were already out there with apps for the original iPhone by the time the 3G came around, with as many as 5,500 App Store products as of yesterday, according to Apple's estimates. And long before that, Apple had already built up a huge stable of developers during three decades or so of producing the Mac OS.

In contrast, the Google-spearheaded Android open source development environment entered final release only yesterday.

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