The rise of third party Android markets lend scrutiny to Google’s ways

by Kristen Nicole

Android apps have proven great supplements to the mobile experience, and third party markets want in on this growing sector of consumer activity. With Amazon’s recent launch of its Appstore, the flood gates for indie app markets have been opened. AT&T is pondering its own position in this marketplace evolution, though the widespread availability of mobile apps is a rising concern for safety and privacy.

The rise of third party app markets

AT&T (T) is amongst the most strict of wireless carriers when it comes to third-party app installations, but it plans to offer support of the Amazon (AMZN) Appstore for Android devices. According to All Things Digital, AT&T are “working to give our Android customers access to third party application stores...This requires updates to our systems and finalizing arrangements with Amazon.”

This means AT&T would like to expand consumers’ options around download sources, but is also considering the safety of its users. As an established marketplace, Amazon is a trusted source, validating its new app store efforts for AT&T and end users. For Gameloft, too, the choice to adopt Amazon’s mobile app distribution channel became a matter of safety. As third party marketplaces gain visibility, Google’s (GOOG) own app approval process faces more scrutiny.

Android vs iOS vs ?

A closer comparison of Android versus iOS (AAPL) was published on Computerworld’s site this morning, looking at their approval processes, root access, sandboxing methods and more. The analysis highlights the pros and cons of each system, but Android certainly has the most room for improvement when it comes to managing malware through its Market. In the end, however, it’s still the consumers that act as the last line of defense. Practice caution and recognize the importance of a valid download source -- this will become a necessary badge as more third party markets look to profit from Android’s continued success.