In terms of Google, it has been a very interesting week for rumors. We have already heard this week that Google might be working on a service dubbed as ‘Plaso’, where android device owners will be able to take advantage of NFC and mobile payments simply by saying their initials in store. Now, the details on that rumor were limited, but that was the sum of the story. It has only been a couple of days since the rumor popped up and now we are hearing about another interesting project Google might be currently working on.
Again, this is only at the rumor stage and as such should be treated with caution. That said, the folks over at The Insider (source link below) state that they have been informed by three sources (one involved in talks and two briefed on the matter) that Google are working on a way to offer free app access to Android One users. As we know, Android One was born under the notion of making android available to potential customers in emerging markets, such as India. Using that logic, the goal of Android One was to bring affordable yet decent smartphones to those markets.
Well, following on from this, the latest rumors suggest that Google have (for some time) been working closely with local carriers and app developers to bring to Android One what is known as ‘Zero Rating’ apps. In short, free to the customer. Obviously, in such markets, mobile data is a two-fold issue. It is not widely available (comparatively speaking) and where it is available, it is not the cheapest. As a result, these zero rated apps will allow Android One owners the ability to access certain apps at either, a heavily subsidized or effectively zero cost. No data, from their data plan will be used. It is presumed the apps in question will be locally relevant (think Flipkart) and more well-known (think Facebook) offerings. Whether these ‘talks’ pan out or not remains to be seen, but if Google were able to reduce (or zero) the cost of (some) apps for their Android One devices, this would certainly be an extra incentive for customers in emerging markets to pick up one of the Google associated devices. Of course, we will have to wait to hear more information on the matter though. For now, what do you think of Google attempting to zero rate certain apps? Would you like to see a similar service in other markets? If this was a Nexus only scenario, would you be more inclined to buy a Nexus 6 if it came with free access to certain apps? Let us know.