Someday, smartphones may beam images directly onto our retinas, offer near-ubiquitous broadband-speed connectivity, and last for days (if not weeks) on a single charge. But no matter how good they get, it seems inevitable that carriers will continue to find ways to mess with them. Maybe they’re forcing OEMs to remove attractive features, blocking access to software, or just loading our phones up with bloat. Beyond the crap they pre-install, we’ve also seen carriers experiment with their own little app stores – forgettable efforts that offered little to get excited about. But while those may have been innocent enough, it sounds like the next wave could get a whole lot more annoying, as we hear rumors of a plan from Verizon to deliver a much more ambitious carrier-backed app store.
The key to this new effort sounds like it centers around proactively suggesting apps to users. Based on location data, time and day, and even information about the habits of users’ friends, the store would suggest titles it deemed relevant. So rather than a stand-alone carrier app store you could largely ignore, you may be dealing with a stream of notifications, bugging you to install new software.
And while Verizon is said to be the one getting this ball rolling, it’s supposedly been in touch with other carriers, and may have designs to see this store emerge as a multi-carrier alternative to the likes of the Play Store or Amazon Appstore. Considering the crazy amount of influence the companies running these networks have over manufacturers, this project may have more momentum than you’d assume.