It is profoundly unlikely that when you think about getting apps, you consider heading over to Verizon's VCast App Store. Apparently no one else was doing so either, because Big Red has announced via its developer site that it is shuttering the VCast store in January. I will give you a moment to silently weep before continuing.


The VCast Apps storefront was delivered to a handful of Verizon's Android devices starting back in late 2010. At the time the idea was that users would charge app purchases and subscriptions to their monthly bill, which was not supported by the Android Market client at the time. Verizon controlled the ecosystem, and took a slice of the sales. As it turns out, developers were scarcely more interested in VCast than consumers were – the system never really took off.

Verizon will notify users this month about the closure of Verizon Apps, as the icon is labeled on phones. Apps that require subscriptions or monthly license checks will be removed from the store very soon to limit further purchases. In January, Verizon will start remotely removing the app portal from millions of handsets. This process should be complete by late March. I guess you'll just have to scrape along with Google Play, which conspicuously now has support for carrier billing on Verizon.

[Verizon, All Things D]