MiKandi Opens XXX Android App Store
The Android platform certainly is growing up fast. A company called "MiKandi" is opening its own Android application storefront where developers can sell apps featuring adult content -- a sort of red-light alternative to the mainstream Android Market. Apps that developers sell through MiKandi's store generally won't be censored, as long as they're legal.
11/30/09 12:21 PM PT
Looking to turn your Android smartphone into a (truly) handy stimulation device? There's an app for that, thanks to a Seattle-based startup that's offering developers and consumers an X-rated version of a smartphone app store.
MiKandi launched a developer's portal last week with the express purpose of using the Open Handset Alliance to crack open the doors for what may be a very lucrative market for adult content on mobile devices. The company will soon open a Web-based portal for users to browse and download free apps or buy paid applications, according to MiKandi cofounder Jennifer McEwen. However, MiKandi will also provide the platform for developers looking to take advantage of what McEwen called a growing demand for adult apps on phones.
"Developers of adult applications were excluded from every single market. A simple Google search reveals a large number of users hungry for adult apps. There are no other app stores out there to meet this need of users and developers. So we entered the market with MiKandi to provide value to the mobile application ecosystem," McEwen told LinuxInsider.
"We're amazed at the amount of attention we've generated from users. Now it's really a matter of 'catch-up' for the developers to meet the demands of their users, which they are doing," she added.
No Limits on Adult Options
MiKandi has plans to open its user portal in December. In addition to e-commerce options, the portal will also give users a chance to comment and interact with the MiKandi community. Before that happens, developers now have a chance to fill the store's virtual shelves with apps featuring content that will push the boundaries further than anything now available on a smartphone; indeed, McEwen sees a largely hands-off attitude as an attraction for adventurous developers frustrated in trying to provide apps for closed services like Apple's App Store.
"We do not place heavy restrictions or try to censor developer applications," McEwen said. "MiKandi is very much user-and-developer driven. As long as users continue to demand high-quality applications, developers will continue to strive to meet user expectations. MiKandi provides a space for developers to share all of their adult apps rated R through XXX." The MiKandi terms of service does make one thing clear: That content has to be legal.
There are only two apps now featured in the MiKandi app store. One of those is Dildroid, an app that takes an Android phone's vibrating feature and uses it in a way probably not envisioned by the handset's manufacturer. Is the prospect of being associated with things like that liable to be an issue for HTC, Motorola, Verizon or any other company associated with the open source Android operating system?
"According to the Open Handset Alliance guidelines for Android, all supporting members, including T-Mobile, Motorola and HTC, must support openness of the platform. Restricting or blocking MiKandi would violate the spirit of the OHA. Under this open platform, we have built an independent marketplace that is not subject to Google or anyone else's approval," McEwen said.
The Next Phase of Technoporn?
There's little doubt that pornography has had an impact on technological developments. "It's sort of the red-headed stepchild of the tech industry," responsible for the advent of VCRs, CDs, DVDs, streaming media and online payment, said DigitalTrends.com publisher Scott Steinberg. "[Adult content providers] always managed to match the platform to the product." When it comes to smartphone content, "porn is the scantily-clad elephant in the room that nobody wants to admit exists. There's likely to be a market for it, and a platform like MiKandi's does fit the key into the lock and give adult content developers a way to get a toe in the door and reach the consumer."
However, while the Android platform is just now starting to see some consumer acceptance thanks to new phones like the Motorola Droid, it still lags behind Apple's App Store in terms of its sheer number of available applications. There's also the issue of how MiKandi plans to market its services.
"There is going to be a stigma attached. They have to be very careful. It should be marketed as high-tech, sexy, savvy, almost a Playboy vs. Hustler mentality," Steingberg told LinuxInsider. "These are not cheap devices -- it's largely upscale consumers who are mostly young and hip, so they have to shed some of the stigma and take it out of the dark, dimly-lit red-light rooms and bring it into the sunlight."