Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Amazon Appstore for Android is Open - despite Apple's lawsuit on "appstore" - UPDATE


As written a couple of days ago, Amazon has opened the store today, announcing it in their Businesswire press release. "Customers can now find, discover - test! - and buy Android apps...

An innovative new feature called "Test Drive" will enable customers to test apps on a simulated Android phone. Customers control the app through their computer using a mouse.

The apps store products are not yet available outside the U.S. though.

Angry Birds Rio doesn't work with AT&T devices, but AT&T is working on it and will e-mail people when they've fixed that.

  Some report problems with some Motorola devices.
  Those who are able to run it tend to like it even better than than the earlier one.

Here's the rest of the info that pertains to this particular event (emphases mine):
' "Test Drive lets customers truly experience an app before they commit to buying.  It is a unique, new way to shop for apps," says Paul Ryder, vice president of electronics for Amazon.com. "Our customers have told us that the sheer number of apps available can make it hard to find apps that are high quality and relevant to them.  We've spent years developing innovative features that help customers discover relevant products.  By applying these features - plus new ones like Test Drive - we're aiming to give customers a refreshing app shopping experience."

In addition, the highly anticipated Angry Birds Rio for Android debuts today, exclusively in the Amazon Appstore.  For a limited time, customers have the opportunity to download it for free.  In fact, the Amazon Appstore will offer customers a paid app for free every day.

Customers can shop in the Amazon Appstore from any computer using a Web browser. They can also access the Amazon Appstore directly on their Android phones or tablets, once they've installed the Amazon Appstore application. When customers purchase an Android app from the Amazon Appstore they can use the app on any of their Android devices.

The Amazon Appstore will include popular Amazon features like personalized recommendations, customer reviews, and 1-Click payment options.  There will also be detailed product descriptions, including screenshots and video content that shows apps in action.  In order to ensure customers have the best possible experience with the apps they purchase, all apps are Amazon-tested before they're made available in the Amazon Appstore.

For the first time ever on the Android platform, ad-free versions of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Seasons will launch today exclusively in the Amazon Appstore.
  The Amazon Appstore also features a selection of bestselling and new apps from top developers, including Pac-Man, Doodle Jump Deluxe, Evernote, WeatherBug Elite, Zagat to Go, TweetCaster Pro and more.

"The Android platform's openness provides a great opportunity to reach new customers," said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds.  "We are thrilled to offer the Angry Birds suite of Android games using the easy and trusted shopping experience that Amazon is known for."

Developed in conjunction with Twentieth Century Fox, Angry Birds Rio features the animated stars of the studio's upcoming motion picture, RIO, debuting in theaters worldwide on April 15.  Angry Birds Rio will launch with 60 dedicated levels, with more content to follow via app updates.

Visit www.amazon.com/appstore today to get Angry Birds Rio for free and browse thousands of apps at great prices. '

There is a LOT of news as yesterday, so I'll be adding that later today.

One is that Apple filed a lawsuit against Amazon for using the word "appstore."

Another is that Microsoft filed a a lawsuit against Barnes and Noble for not licensing from them certain important features of the Nook, and affected as well is Foxconn.  That also brings in Google, as it pertains to Android.  Amazon did make arrangements with Microsoft on use of their routines.

Details here later.

UPDATE - I see Angry Birds Rio already has 240+ reviews with lots of '1' ratings because the app is NOT available outside the U.S. yet.  It's a certainty that apps will be available globally eventually, from words on the forum by those working with Amazon, but rights and pricing may be hard to finalize with the publishers.
 Amazon should have, however, added wording to the app-download area to let people know, to avoid the time spent and bad feelings from people with expectations high as a result of the press release.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. Woo! Off to the Android Store immediately. (I find it sad that Apple is suing about a word, although I suppose it's better than suing for the concept of selling apps in a store.)

    Allowing customers to test drive the apps is a great idea, and it makes sense that it's available. The newest version of Adobe's Flash Builder has a built-in simulator for Android devices ... and if it's running on Flash, you know what that means for Apple's devices. (I'm certain there are people with Android phones and iPads.)

    I think it's interesting that they're offering the Angry Birds games as loss leaders. That's definitely going to drive traffic to the app store ... I just wonder how much they're going to make on these games.

    The 100%-off games aren't the only free apps, though: among the top downloads are things like IMDb and Kindle, apps that have been available for free anyway. It looks like they're also intending to compete with the Android store itself, and that will probably work if enough Amazon users also buy and rate Android apps. The Android store isn't as good at providing feedback about an app IMHO.

  2. zlionsfan,
    WORD! on everything you say.

    With the recent heavy hit of almost a dozen apps hit with malware, many are glad it'll be curated and with better organization than found on Android marketplace.

    But most of us hope it'll be somewhere in between the pioneer land of anything goes and Apple's tight hold. I think though that Amazon would be more like Apple, though they've been quite hands-off with books and complaints about sexual material which brings a lot of complaints on the forums sometimes.

  3. I'm wondering why it is that you can't get the appstore outside the US yet? I've been dying to get a paid Angry Birds because the ads are so annoying. Do you know?

  4. suze200,
    I had an update to this blog article that said,

    "It's a certainty that apps will be available globally eventually, from words on the forum by those working with Amazon, but rights and pricing may be hard to finalize with the publishers.
    Amazon should have, however, added wording to the app-download area to let people know, to avoid the time spent and bad feelings from people with expectations high as a result of the press release."

    I've seen Amazon support folks on the forums who confirm they do intend to make these globally available. I think they want to open the U.S. store first and get it all running smoothly (this is what most companies would do with global access) and then start the roll-out globally.

    I empathize with non-US readers who have to just watch for so long, and it'd be nice if they said something formally or put an alert in the store wording instead of depending on interested people needing to find a paragraph in the large help-pages that it's US-only right now.

  5. It's just like the Kindle store all over again though. I feel like a second-class (global) citizen (again). I still cannot buy the series I want to on Kindle. And they wonder why we seek out "alternate" sources for stuff and cost them profits.


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