After hiccups and delays, Android, the Google-supported mobile phone initiative is finally nearing release. Looking to build some more interest around the platform and get developer's attention, Google has revealed its competitor to Apple's iPhone App Store, the Android Market, which will enable developers to publish applications and Android users to discover and download them onto their devices.

Unlike Apple's store, however, Android Market will be open to all with no approval process for applications - which of course lowers the barrier of entry for developers, but at the same time raises some questions about quality and most importantly about security.

The first handsets running Android are expected to appear later this year, and will include a beta version of the Android Market that might only support distribution of free applications. The search giant claims paid content will be offered later on, though it didn't disclose pricing for the applications nor how much of a commission it plans to take.