Sometimes you take the little things for granted. T-Mobile users, for instance, have grown used to the carrier billing option in the Android Market. While users on other networks must pass through Google Checkout in order to download paid apps, T-Mobile users can do so with just a few clicks. It makes impulse buying that much easier. Soon — possibly within a month — other carriers will get this ability. As Tim Bray at the Android Development Blog relays, there has been a change to the Android Market Developer Distribution Agreement which basically paves the way for more carriers to add direct billing for the Market. One of the reasons that the Android Market has flourished to this point is because of its free applications. We learned a few weeks ago that The Market had 70,000 apps, and we know that 57 percent of them are free. That means, as of two weeks ago, there are just shy of 40,000 free apps in the Market. This certainly makes the platform more accessible, and keeping up the ratio of free to paid apps is probably good for its long-term health. But easier access to free applications can only help. The only downside of carrier billing is the ease with which you can purchase applications. Of course, that’s also the upside. If you’re paying with a credit card via Google Checkout, you have to go through a few steps before you can complete the transaction and download the app. During that short interval you might have second thoughts and spend your money elsewhere. With carrier billing not only can you purchase applications with just a click, but you don’t even see a record of that purchase until you get your bill. That might create some end-of-month sadness. Still, regardless of impulses this is a net positive for the Android platform. The expansion of carrier billing will make it easier for users to download premium apps, and presumably we’ll see an uptick in the number of downloaded apps. That could encourage developers who previously avoided the Android platform to start developing for it. So we get more free and paid apps, which are easier to download. All of this leads to a more robust market, filled with high quality applications of both the free and premium persuasion. While carrier billing won’t be immediately instated, we should see something in about a month or so. By that time we’ll have the Motorola Droid 2, among other exciting, new Android releases, so the time will be even riper for an expanded market. Via Talk Android.