Verizon wants you to buy apps from them, not Google

The next Android phone you buy from Verizon might just come with a Verizon-branded app store. If that sounds familiar, like something from days past, you're not alone in that feeling. Apparently Verizon is working on a "different kind of app store", promoting app discovery in a way that Google Play has yet to grasp.

Verizon is said to have been working with both its fellow carriers and other hardware manufacturers, though those talks "are still at an early stage". Unlike previous carrier app store efforts, including a short-lived offering that Verizon shut down just last year, Big Red is aiming high with this effort:

Verizon also wants to go beyond simply offering apps for download; it aspires to create a service that proactively recommends apps to people based on data like their location, the time of day and what their friends are doing on their phones. That would give the store some of the characteristics of so-called "launcher" or "lockscreen" apps for Android phones that try to anticipate the apps a person might need.

Of course, there's still the question of "why?"

Verizon is reported to be considering options like discounted data rates for apps from the store, or offering easier carrier billing for customers (even though carrier billing is an option through Google Play on Verizon). As for benefits for the customer, well… Google Play has a pretty insurmountable lead here. The next closest player at this point is the Amazon Appstore, and even then they're a very distant second.

Either way, you can expect to see yet another bloatware icon coming pre-installed on an Android phone from Verizon sometime in the future. Feel free to ignore it like all the rest.

Source: The Information (subscription required)

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Reader comments

Verizon said to be taking on Google Play with its own misguided app store


I really want to get in a room with the people behind these ideas at Verizon, so I can sit them down and calmly ask what the fuck they are thinking.

+1. I'm already not interested in using Verizon... This isn't helping.

Posted from my Nexus 5 via Android Central App

It's not like they'll force you to use their store so this argument is moot. Verizon attracts costumers like shit attracts flies, so they can afford to give this a try.

They'll probably be more forward with it this time like making it front and center on all their phones or possible releasing a flagship with this app store as an only option to apps. But you're right, this will probably fail too.

People called me crazy for saying this exact same thing over at Droid Life. Google services are provided to the OEM's, but the OEM's bend over backwards to get their phones on the carriers.

I could also see Verizon charging Google money for the data transfer from the play store to our phones to also make a buck for using their network, now that Google Cut Verizon's cut from 15% to 5%

Exactly what I thought of when I saw the headline. And they'll drop this one in 6 months too, but the people unlucky enough to have a phone with this steaming pile of crap installed will be stuck with it because Verizon won't let them uninstall it.

While I'm sure they won't force you to use their store, undoubtedly they will force you to keep their store on your phone. It's as if they looked at their current lineup of phones and said "You know what these devices really need? More bloatware!"

And they'll discount the data used in these apps. Then, if that works out the way they want they'll start charging creators extra to be in the store. Let's hope it doesn't work out the way they want. God we need net neutrality.

Posted via Android Central App

That's why you need T-mobile. They are all about Net neutrality. Only certain music networks use data and throttling speed of people who use P2P network regardless if they are using them responsibly. Yay T-mobile and Net Neutrality.

Exactly. The whole "recommend apps based on where you are" crap isn't for the sake of the user. It's for the money that app make is paying to have it announced to a user. This is just another attempt at a revenue stream for them. They've tried this so many times and failed every single time.

More useless bloatware on Verizon handsets that are already filled with other disabling crappy applications as well as comically childish branding on smartphones products.

It's pretty plain and simple Verizon Wireless sucks MAJOR MONKEY BALLS PERIOD they always will. 

From my Galaxy Note 3 on T-Mobile via Android Central App

Maybe in you little backwater hick town it sucks... Doing just fine here in good ol' NYC tanks ya very mucho!

you can keep NYC. been there done that. verizon sucks ass but here in backwater hickville it's the only carrier which gives me a really good signal where others have none. i'll take the mountains, you keep that hellhole. i'll keep custom roms and avoid verizon nonsense.

Don't plan a vacation away from nyc then or go for a nice Sunday drive you might not be able to use your awesome service then.

Posted via the Android Central App

How can we make more money. So what if it makes the phone experience sluggish all we care about is money.

Posted via Android Central App

I agree, however they continue to RAKE in huge profits every single quarter.

Posted via a Republic Wireless Moto X using the Android Central App

I know the Verizon version of the HTC ONE, Samsung Galaxy S5, and the LG G3 are so slow. They don't even compare to the other carriers. Makes me want an iPhone.

"what the fuck they are thinking"

There is money to be made, we don't want to be a dumb pipe. It makes sense, will it work? Who knows, can't hurt them to try.

Verizon used to (pretend to) care about the customer experience. Since they're considered the best network (again) seems like they feel that's all they have to do and they should get a pass when it comes to messing with their customers. I bought my phone from them. I'm using their network. Why isn't that enough??

Dumb ideas like this app store are what happens when you are motivated only by greed, instead of a desire to provide outstanding service at a fair price. Why can't they put all this misguided energy into delivering OS updates in a more timely manner?? Thank goodness Google moved many enhancements and updates into the Play Store.

Posted via Android Central App

If this would be reddit I d think u deserve gold for that comment. Wtf indeed.

Posted via Android Central App

And I'm sure you want them digging through your and your friends phones in order to determine what apps you and your friends use and how much better your life would be if you had the same apps as your friends, right?!

"it aspires to create a service that proactively recommends apps to people based on data like their location, the time of day and what their friends are doing on their phones." No, it aspires to create a service that recommends apps that Verizon is getting paid to push onto customers. Everyone hates and ignores bloatware. This is just thinly veiled backdoor effort to put more of it on phones by tricking people into thinking they need it.

And a good excuse to really keep an eye on your phone to examine how you and your friends use your phone. That's the terrifying part of your quoted statement!

I'm talking more about people who don't know the difference between google play and this. The low tech people with high tech phones.

Verizon is already the king of bloat, this adds more. And, I find it kind of creepy that they will recommend apps to me based on what my friends use their phones for....I don't give a damn what my friends do with their phones nor do they care what I do with mine. Why does everything have to be so intrusive these days?

Amen!! And even if I wanted to discuss apps with my friends (hardly ever) I sure as hell don't need Verizon to help me with that...

Posted via Android Central App

Is there anyone better at looking at a crowded app marketplace and saying "me too!" than Verizon? Message+, this idea... next thing you know they'll be rolling out their own streaming music service.

Shhhhh don't give them any more horrid ideas. There are already 58464847 too many music services that all cost the same and have the same content and do the same thing.

Posted via the Android Central App

A Samsung phone on Verizon: Play Sore + Galaxy Apps + Verizon app store. 3 is a bit too much. I'd still use the Google Play Store for my apps. It's the selection.

Posted via Android Central App

+1 for the article title. Verizon seems to do some very misguided things. Here are a few that I thought of
1. Creating ISIS
2. Killing off unlimited plans
3. Believing that folks LOVE tiered data
4. Throttling speeds
5. Thinking that Net Neutrality is bad

Verizon seems to do some very misguided things. Here are a few that I thought of
1. Creating ISIS

For a second there my thought was "I wouldn't put it past them but what do they have to do with Iraq and the Middle East?

lol ISIS was the former name of a Google Wallet competitor that carriers forced on customers

Posted via the OnePlus One

I thought the same thing, like seriously, people still buy wireless service from that terrorist group??

Posted via Android Central App

There is a huge potential for market growth and share with ISIS...they both share a misguided belief that their way is the right and only way to do things...
Throw in some greed evil and blam there you go..

I thought about that right after I clicked submit, but I figured most folks in this forum would know what I was talking about.

ISIS is a joint venture between Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. These other carriers need equal blame for that service. As for everything else I agree with you.

Posted via Android Central App

First Samsung then Sprint and now Verizon...There are probably more... Yeah, it would be so great getting sucked into their ecosystem so that you can never leave it without rebuying everything and most likely never getting updates.

Nexus? We are talking about Verizon, that's like water and oil.

>I'm the kind of guy who stops a microwave at one second to feel like a bomb defuser.

Yup, that's another solution, but we shouldn't have to root just to get rid of crapware. They're really being stupid, doing this.

They are pushing me toward this more & more. If it wasn't for the unlimited data +coverage combo they give me, I'd be long gone.

Posted via Android Central App

I left Verizon wireless yesterday, and I couldn't be happier with my decision. I know it's a company's job to make its investors money, but shady business practices like this are not the way to do it, and they certainly don't build good brand loyalty among customers

Posted via the Android Central App

I went with T-Mobile. Way cheaper. I had to give up my unlimited plan, but most of what eats up my data on my phone is music streaming in my car, and with T-Mo's music freedom policy, it becomes a moot issue.

I'm also almost always around WiFi, so even in areas that I don't get a great signal, I can use WiFi calling and texting. In this respect, I have better coverage than Verizon haha

Posted via the Android Central App

It was a matter of cost to me. I can get by with 3GB a month if I'm smart about how I use my phone and, like I said, music streaming was what ate up all my data, and with music freedom, I don't need whole gobs of data anymore

Posted via the Android Central App

See their music freedom policy doesn't help me at all. I use Google Music. So its not really freedom. Where is Net Neutrality?

It's praying off of consumer ignorance, under the guise of creating a curated selection of apps for a particular customer.

Really all it serves as is an excuse for Verizon to collect more private data on you to market to you directly. I'd bet my life that they're selling that information to app studios and content providers.

Posted via the Android Central App

Plus the fact that you probably won't be able to uninstall or disable it, which I think is a pretty shady business practice itself.

Posted via the Android Central App

If you agree with the way they do business, then by all means, you are welcome to be a Verizon customer or investor or both. It's a free market.

I, however, was tired of jumping through hoops in order to get what I wanted from them, so I went somewhere else.

Posted via the Android Central App

Good for Verizon customers... Nice logo, bloat, own app store, but yes good network. I bet they are readying a low end shitty phone from LG or Samsung to try this out. Put their app store on the main screen, remove Google play store from the main screen and most Verizon customers as usual will be clueless and just click the Verizon app store.

Thank god for unlocked phones + gsm carriers especially T-Mobile. Don't have to deal with crap phones from carriers.

Posted via the Android Central App

People at Verizon trying to keep their jobs with stupid ideas like this. No worries, they'll get fired when it fails and it'll take a while for a new set of overpaid people to try another dumb idea.

This is the type of stuff that needs to go onto the Verizon social sites (with the reason of course). This way, they cannot not overlook how pissed their customers are about this and hopefully, others will see it and join in.

Ha ha ha. Galaxy s6 on verizon- play store, Samsung/galaxy store , Verizon store and probably amazon as well.

Posted via Galaxy ace plus running Speedmod 2.5 with Xposed

Oh Lord that'll be terrible lol. And knowing Samsung, you'd have to get updates from each one

Posted via Android Central App

I beginning to hate Verizon without exception. You know It's a super fucked idea when all the AC comments AGREE! Mind officially blown

First thing they need to work on is getting OS updates approved faster. This will probably slow it down even more.

Second this flies in the face of net neutrality, by giving preferred data rates to it's own stuff.

Now I know why all four carriers fight so hard to keep wireless exempt from net neutrality.

Posted via the Android Central App

There is literally no entity on Earth that gives less of a shit about maintaining net neutrality than Verizon.

Posted from my Nexus 5, behind seven proxies

Buy a Samsung phone on Verizon and it'll come with Google play, Amazon appstore, Galaxy apps, and now Verizon appstore

Posted via the Android Central App

My cousins phone just broke and only has 2 months left on his 2 year contract and won't just push an upgrade through. That's awful, and people talk down about at&t, but they gave my wife a new upgrade after only6 months because her phone over heated overnight and I told them this is her 3rd one and I need something dependable.

Posted via the Android Central App

Yeah your cousins phone is out of warranty. There is nothing you can do. Your wife's phone was still under the warranty and the company made a guarantee that it would work for at least 1 year as long as you didn't break it yourself. Verizon isn't being bad by not pushing up the upgrade. If you don't like it then just buy a phone at full price.

Only Verizon app I have ever used is the "messenger +" app, it's a dang good one at that. But to try an entire app store, again, Bwahaha.

Big deal. It's not like I don't already remove or disable all their bloatware, what's one more? Bullshit like this is the price I pay to be able to make calls and have data wherever I go. Give me a viable alternative and I'll leave VZ in a heartbeat, until then I'm stuck putting up with this crap.

Posted via Android Central App

Thank God lot of us have viable alternatives or don't mind lesser coverage than deal with carrier like this with bloat, ugly logo and shit like this.

Posted via the Android Central App

Right there with you. If this crap shows up on my M8,it will be time to research rooting.

Posted via Android Central App

Don't they understand you can search for apps using Google search on a web page? There is no way they can beat that type of app search period.

Posted via the Android Central App

I am a Verizon customer. I currently have a Note 3 that is filled with Verizon & Samsung bloat wear that I don't need or use.
Verizon's apps do not work. The only one I use is the usage tracking app.
Verizon does not need to be making more apps that will load up your phone.

Posted via Android Central App from my Rose Gold Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Yep. I've used a lot of different carriers over the years, and I have never once used a single carrier app other than the usage tracker and visual voicemail. I'm pretty sure most people are the exact same way.

Posted from my Nexus 5, behind seven proxies

Those are the only 2 Verizon apps that I use. The rest are useless for me. As soon as my warranty is up, about 3 months, I'm rooting my Note 3

Posted via Android Central App

lord have mercy! Verizon is trying to take over the world!!!! Next thing you know, that new SGN5 will have the Verizon App store and you will no longer be able to access Google Play - only the VZ App store. lmao!

Verizon. ... just give us timely Android updates and stop this Super Bloatware Program.

This phone is most likely the last Version phone i will ever own. Definitely going to root when warranty is up

Posted via Android Central App

Another awful idea from Verizon, we have noticed reduced service and throttling on Google Voice, Facebook and other apps when not on Wifi, even though T-Mobile is not as good of service the lack of consistency and pathetic customer service we have had from Big Red, ( on a very expensive business plan ) is enough to jump ship. They do not support neutrality in any way shape or form.

Just had a horrible thought that I would not put past verizon.

You go to the Play Store and find an app. The Verizon store is "always listening" and says "Hey I have that app!" and then you have to buy it from them.

How great would that be to crown them the most evil of evil?

That wouldn't be a problem because 99.99% of apps on google play wouldn't be on the Verizon app store.

Posted via Android Central App

And Google says "Not so fast little guy. " They'll put up with a lot from the carriers, but a direct threat to a revenue stream? I doubt it very much.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah. We know that. However, people have the right to express their disdain with a company's policies especially when said company has a monopoly in some areas of the country.

I never felt like I needed to root a phone but VZW is slowly changing that Idea. If I do root my phone it will only be to remove all the crap VZW puts on my phone. I paid full retail for my last two phones and I often wanted to go and ask them to remove the crap as I don't owe them anything on the phone. I wonder where they think that your phone is really thier's to do what they want with. Buy a phone with 32 GB storage and end up with 5 GB after Verizon puts all thier crap on it. AAAARRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHH

Agreed. That's why I bought my latest phone outright and refused to go back under contract with Verizon - even when they offered me a 6gb data plan (to give up unlimited data and sign a 2yr contract). I said "thanks, but (hell) no!

Posted via Android Central App

This outrage seems a little bit over-the-top, especially from users who know what they're doing with their phones.

I have a Verizon phone and have all of their bloatware uninstalled. it doesn't affect my phone experience and shouldn't be affecting yours. The only people it should affect are the uneducated masses that a probably not on AndroidCentral posting in this comments section.

That's why this annoys me. I don't use Verizon and never will again (unless I end up moving somewhere where they're the only viable carrier), but it still pisses me off when they do things like this.

This adds no value for anyone, and all it really does is generate a new barrier to leaving VZW, since any apps you buy through this store won't transfer to a new phone if you switch to a different carrier.

Posted from my Nexus 5, behind seven proxies

+1 A lot of wasted energy around here raging against the machine. But it's the popular thing to do for many and is probably therapeutic, so rage on. :)

Well this is the part you don't comprehend: To the uneducated masses this is what Android is. Bloated junk that can't be removed that doesn't exist on Apple. That is one reason people that are not techy think iOS is better, easier and less cluttered. I'd like to see Verizon try to do this to iPhones.

Posted via Android Central App

The funny thing is that the people who are affected by this the uneducated masses don't even care and it won't harm them at all.

when I look at a verizon logo it just screams bloatware to me. Kind of like when you see McAfee on a computer and you think "why is this bloatware pos pre installed on my pc!" That is how I look at this app store or anytime I see a verizon logo. Im glad I don't have verizon anymore. They even mess up all their phones with their pos logo

Not surprised at all. All of these apps will make updates take even longer to push to phones. Verizon makes me laugh.

So glad I'm on T-Mobile. I'm done with Verizon bloat. And the "bloat" on T-Mobile is actually useful.

Posted via Android Central App

So.... does that mean they won't add all the cr@p Vz apps on my next phone since I can download them if I need them... Or, (most likely) we'll get all those apps AND the app store.

Posted via Android Central App

I, for one, would like to thank Verizon. Back when I got my first smart phone, a Droid Incredible, I had no interest in tinkering. Until that damn City ID bloatware app they forced on me kept bugging all the time to give them money. Once I released that I couldn't uninstall the app from the device I purchased, I researched how I could get rid of it. This of course started me down the path of rooting and ROM-ing.
So, thanks Verizon! Without your over-bearing, anti-consumer behavior I might never have learned how enjoyable tinkering is!

I will not buy a phone that I can't own. By "own", I mean root.
I own m,y phones so that I can stop Verizon or whoever from doing things I don't like.

Don't buy phones you can't root.
Learn to tinker.

The Verizon apps I have looked at either are not very good or Verizon charges for them but other sources offer similar apps for free.
The only Verizon app that I like is Message+

There is a reason that I turn my location services off whenever I am not using GPS. I do not want app recommendations based on where I am or what my friends are doing. I want a phone to sit there and do absolutely nothing until I decide to do pick it up and use it. I find it even weirder that it would base recommendations based on what friends were doing on their phones. If I want to know what a friend is doing, I will ask them.

Its because you cannot load any apps other than they ones you buy from iTunes

And no one develops for Windows Phone (well there is one guy)

If the could do it, and make money on it, they would

Oh dear... just can't get enough of them.
Once they cut off the unlimited data, staying w VZW would mean that I'm deeply into some S&M s#ite :)

Posted via the Android Central App

This might have been a great idea if Verizon had this store and didn't force people to have their bloat on the phone which is not removable. That way if you wanted an app you could buy what you want. As long as they are keeping their bloat on the phone and then providing this store the entire idea is a fail for me.

Dear Verizon,

Don't you make enough money. Why fragment and other wise good thing.

Sincerely your already red assed customer.

Coming soon to a Verizon update near you! Guarantee they will not just release it on new handsets, they will also shoehorn it into updates for current phones.

Posted via Android Central App

Well I wont mind much cause I am going to switch to windows phone in a year in a half that way I can just simply remove the bloat ware from verizon.

Posted via Android Central App