One Platform Foundation, New Android Foundation Seeks to Reduce Time for Multiple Appstore Distribution

From the One Platform Foundation's website

Android developers have had more flexibility in choosing the stores through which they could deliver their apps than developers for the platform of a certain fruit-named company. While Google Play is the biggest Android outlet, it’s not the only one. Now, Opera, Yandex and others are backing a new initiative to make it easier for Android developers to submit their wares across a range of Android stores. 

The initiative, called the One Platform Foundation (OPF), is also backed by Android apps marketplace SlideME and app distribution management provider CodeNGO. OPF says that the fragmented Android appstore marketplace includes more than 30 alternative appstores besides Google Play.

AppDF - For Multiple App Store Registration

On its website, OPF said its first project is the App Description File (AppDF), a format through which developers can describe an application and publish it more efficiently to many appstores. Instead of the time-consuming process of registering an app separately with a variety of stores, AppDF is intended to simplify the effort for AppDF-supporting stores, and includes XML description, APK files, screenshots, app icon, promo images and other information.

OPF said that developers can spend a half-hour to an hour preparing a single app for a single store. In other words, this submission process could require almost two person-months per app, not counting updates. The AppDF format is currently supported by the appstores of the four companies initially supporting the Foundation – Opera, Yandex, SlideME and CodeNgo.

Open In-App Billing

Another OPF project is Open In-App Billing (OpenIAB), a piece of code that supports in-app billing APIs from multiple appstores. Several In-App Purchase APIs are already in use by appstores, and OpenIAB is designed to handle all of them. Currently, each appstore requires a new build that includes in-app billing. Yandex said on its website that any tweaks to how purchasing is done within an app, such as a game, can take days or weeks of a developer’s time to specify for each of the stores.

Not coincidentally, Opera and Yandex compete with Google in mobile browsers, so it is abundantly in their interest to have a strong, non-Google presence for developers in the Android marketplace.