Verizon Wireless Nov. 4 said it is making its V Cast Apps for Android store available on its HTC Droid Incredible smartphone via a software upgrade next week.
Launched in September, Verizon’s V Cast Apps for Android is one of a handful of Android application stores companies with stakes in Android are offering as an alternative to Google’s Android Market.
When Verizon pushes out the upgrade, V Cast Apps will be preinstalled on the Droid Incredible, making it the first phone to enable access to Verizon’s Android application store.
This means users will be able to purchase applications directly from their Incredible handset and bill them to a Verizon Wireless account, assuaging one of the major pain points of the Android Market.
Google’s Android Market has faced heaps of criticism, including that its applications are often too hard to find and that the Market suffers from insufficient billing support.
Google added paid application support in more countries, and is slated to get PayPal support, but that has yet to materialize.
Verizon and others such as Amazon.com and Vodafone hope to capitalize on Android Market’s weak points with their own stores.
Still, Android Market does have 100,000 applications, so rival Android application stores have an uphill battle, not unlike the one Android has versus Apple’s App Store, which boasts 300,000 applications.
V Cast Apps supposedly sports around 5,000 applications, though a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement Nov. 4: “Developers continue to submit apps, so the number available through V Cast Apps will grow over time.”
Meanwhile, the Incredible upgrade sports several other perks. These include:
security enhancements for Flash Player;
visual voice mail Wi-Fi improvements, including the removal of incorrect service messages and post-call notifications;
enhanced support for Yahoo! IMAP e-mail;
the ability to play YouTube videos in the YouTube application; and
the ability to switch between portrait and landscape views in Google Maps.
While the Incredible upgrade will be pushed to mobile phones, users will be able to download the upgrade here next week.