We've already heard of some changes that Google's planning to make to boost app purchases
in the Android Market, and it looks like it's now also undertaking a considerable in-house effort to increase the number of quality apps that are available. According to The Wall Street Journal
, Google is planning to hire "dozens" of software engineers, product managers, user-interface experts and "others who have ideas for mobile apps," and it's apparently already shifted some of its current employees to work in this new "apps lab." As you might expect, that's being done at least in part to close the so-called "app gap" with Apple, and it looks like the new apps will reach far beyond Google's usual properties -- the WSJ
even specifically mentions games as one area they'll focus on. The apps would also apparently all be free (but possibly ad-supported), and Google is said to be trying to woo developers with its distribution power, noting that it will be able to promote the apps in the Android Market and even have them pre-installed on many phones.