Why is Verizon pushing This Android App?

Beginning in the second quarter, Android-based Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) handsets will come equipped with Playphone, a social media gaming platform.

Already available on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play and Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, the platform introduces a social element to games already popular on mobile devices.

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“People will be able to see what games their friends are playing,” Playphone CEO Ron Czerny told Forbes. “They can invite them to play games. They can chat with each other.” Like its competing social gaming platforms, Playphone offers more depth to the mobile gaming industry, with things like achievements, message boards, and so on.

So, why not just download the existing Playphone app from the Play Store you ask? Well as it turns out, pre-loading the program on the handsets has its advantages, as Czerny explains:

“It makes getting started a breeze because all the settings are set up,” he said. “There’s no need to go to another screen to enter info. It provides a better experience accessing games and the virtual goods within. The goal is to make the user experience integrated with phone and network.”

There are advantages for developers, too, said Forbes. The SDK (software development kit) is fairly easy to implement for game programmers. “Just a line of code,” says Czerny. Additionally, in-app purchases within games would be charged to the users Verizon account, and not to a separate Playphone account.

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