VCast Apps: Q&A with Brian Higgins

by verizon voyager on July 29th, 2009

brian-higginsVerizon Wireless has just opened the doors to its developer program where apps will be submitted, certified and added to VCast Apps. This is brand new territory for Verizon executives, developers and customers alike, but a Q&A interview with Executive Director of Eco-System Development Brian Higgins clears up some of the question marks.

How will apps get through Verizon’s screening process?

You register. Then you submit your concept. Then people on the business marketing team will look at it to make sure that it’s fine under standard checks. Once you pass that, then the code is submitted. It runs through our Verizon certification process. Then it gets placed on the deck.

Sounds easy… but it probably WON’T be that easy. Verizon hopes most applications will get through the process in about 2 weeks, but they are much more interested in quality than quantity:

It’s about getting the right amount of apps the consumers care about. It’s not necessarily valuable if I’ve got 100 000 applications in the store, but nobody cares about 99.9 percent of them. In general, we’re still working on rules and submission process. For example, we don’t want people coming back and sending us the same app over and over. For us, it’s about quality apps. We’d rather get the good, robust apps that will make a difference in people’s lifes. We will not be fixated about high numbers.

I think that means a couple things:

  1. Verizon will have no problem denying your app because simply put, they don’t think you’re good enough
  2. Verizon doesn’t want to set the bar too high and then miss the mark with far fewer apps than hoped

Developers will keep 70% of their sales and free applications WILL be allowed in the VCast Apps Store. Data intensive applications will be looked at closely by Verizon, but as the company moves towards LTE it will make these types of apps much more efficient and doable. LTE will bring robust streaming video apps to the forefront along with other high data-use concepts.

Support for developers will first be limited to blogs and forums but Verizon will address needs and concerns as they appear organically. They made it clear this is a learning process but that they will flexibly adapt to the needs of the community.

We’ve opened a Verizon Developer Forum to support any developers who want to connect.

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