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back to article A glimpse at Amazon's app store

Bored bloggers at a German website tried typing the expected address of Amazon's forthcoming app store, and were rewarded with a glimpse of the initial stock and pricing. The site has disappeared now, and Amazon's service isn't expected to launch until later this month, but Android News managed to grab screenshots of the store …

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FAIL

Amazon fail...

"while assuring new customers that Amazon is the only store they'll ever need."

...That is unless you want to gift someone some music, in which case you'll have to go elsewhere, wonder if they'll make the same blunder with apps...

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FAIL

'Apple did it'

Complete rip-off of Apples app store. Amazon should be forced to pay royalties.

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8

apple aren't the first to do things, despite what they tell you

ubuntu (an other linux distros) had app stores for years before apple

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Silver badge

Lindows / Linspire

A Linux dist called Lindows (later Linspire) implemented the much hated Click and Run which was basically an app store. It was hated because it charged money for precompiled open source packages (many of which available straight through Debian).

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Silver badge

I don't mind 2 appstores

The more the merrier. Biggest issue for me is whether Amazon intend to put price matching clauses so app providers are forced to sell apps through Amazon for no less than they do elsewhere.

The bigger news to me is what Amazon's app store strongly implies - Amazon will be launching an Android powered Kindle at some point in the near future. There is no way their app store would succeed without having their own device that runs it. Subsequent questions arise at that point such as how much will it cost, will it be a proper Android compatible device and so forth.

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Badgers

Granted I haven't thought on this too long yet, but...

Amazon e-book readers yes eink tech, which android wont run.

They already supply an android app for kindle...

What makes you think they will merge the two? Or are you proposing some sort of amazon android tablet?

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Happy

Granted I haven't thought on this too long yet, but

I have been musing upon that possibility since I first got my hands on my Kindle 3 (about 6 months ago) and I have to say that I would be amazed if Amazon had not at least considered the idea. The droid tabs are just now beginning to come on stream and Honeycomb appears to be coming along nicely. If it were technically feasible to equip a tab with a screen that could switch between a conventional display and something that had the visual characteristics of e-ink I think that Amazon (and their OEM) might have a major winner on their hands. Such a combination might very well give Cupertino a run for their money - and from a very unexpected direction as well!

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@Mitch

I think they'll merge the two by virtue of the fact Amazon is launching an app store. Do you think such a store stands much chance of success unless there are devices that ship with it? It would just be another Appslib which is to say an also-ran. I think it is very clear Amazon intend their own tablet, possibly Kindle branded but certainly pitched in the same way.

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cjp
Badgers

Which devices will have the app store?

I'm a little confused by this, I thought the Android market developer terms of service did not allow alternative appstores? Didn't they ban Kongregate for this very reason?

If so, does this mean Amazon will rely on manufacturers to pre-install it? Or users to download an APK from their website?

I could be wrong on the fact that alternative appstores are not allowed, so if anyone knows more please let us know.

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Silver badge

Probably Amazon's

I think the only way Amazon could make an app store work is by shipping a device that contains it. i.e. A Kindle powered by Android is imminent. They might toss it out to other devices as a downloadable apk but I'd be surprised if 1 in 10 users bothered to go to the effort. I think Google Marketplace has rules that prohibit using it to distribute alternative marketplace apps so Amazon would have to make it a direct download.

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Anonymous Coward

They're alright

What is not allowed is distributing alternative app store apps within the Android Market, but in most cases you can install alternative app stores within Android by downloading the store APK.

What I don't know is how Amazon will get around the problem phones which don't allow the Settings>Applications>Unknown sources option to be selected and are therefore stuck with Android Market only. I don't think they'll be asking users to root their phones.

Also of course the new infamous feature of remote app installation is not available to external markets.

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cjp
Badgers

Colour Kindle then?

I guess this would add value to any colour Kindle Amazon might release. It's just after the heavy focus on e-Ink's readability, I just can't see Amazon promoting an LCD based Kindle.

Of course, we were supposed to have seen colour e-Ink devices by now . Maybe someone is tying up the supply? Perhaps they'll surprise us with something like a Pixel Qi based reader? If they brought the price down by subsidising it (they could make it up in app/book revenue) then it could be a very attractive device when compared to the iPad or various other Android tablets.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder how mobile companies will feel

After all they're getting the biggest chunk out of the 30% commissions on Android Market right?

Another hit to their ARPU?

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Android powered Kindle?

I don't see the point really, people buy the kindle because it is a way to read books and thats it, nothing else. It would be a waste to use Android in that limited manner, it would raise the cost, introduce bugs & complexity and wreck the battery life. I believe it runs on JAVA and thats good enough.

However as long as all the legal matters are resolved this could be the move that would cement Android as the number one OS as those with Androids have another source of Applications and those without can see whats on offer through a reputable retailer.

I just hope Amazon have good checks in place to keep out the trash.

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Silver badge

You say it's a waste of time

Yet Barnes and Noble sell an Android powered ereader....

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/index.asp

The Nook may have a lower battery life compared to e-ink but then it's better in other ways, e.g. colour, web browsing, email etc. This makes the device more attractive and universally practical.

Amazon have a major competitor in Apple (and a lesser one with B&N) and without an equivalent device they're going to look weak. Add to that all those digital videos, music, magazine subs, kids books, and apps that they *can't* sell to existing Kindle devices and it really isn't hard to see their potential motivations.

If the Nook Color can sell for $250 I expect Amazon could do likewise. That's half the cost of an iPad for something likely to be at least 7". Possibly they'd flog a 10" too. The big question for me is whether their device would be locked down or a good citizen.

Previous Kindle devices have been horribly proprietary for example so I wouldn't hold much faith in them changing. On the other hand someone will root the device eventually and I don't see much reason they should worry too much about any way.

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Pirate

But its still not as cheap as APPLANET

...which has every app available for free.

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Silver badge

And with extra functionality too

Not only will the app be free, but it has extra features - it'll helpfully root your phone, log your keystrokes (always useful), send SMS messages to premium numbers (just in case you forget to do it yourself), plunder your credit card info (presumably for backup purposes), spam urls on internet (a great way to keep your 3G internet from timing out), and install new apps (who doesn't like even more apps!).

In summary anyone entrusting their device to some dodgy pirate site gets everything they deserve.

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Anonymous Coward

DrXym

You mean like (even paid) apps on the Android Market do as well? At least the pirate ones are free.

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Silver badge

What I am saying

If you install some dodgy warez app on your device and then install "free" (i.e. pirated) software you ARE going to get a dose of malware. You're putting your expensive device and your personal data at the mercy of a warez site to save a few euros. It's nuts.

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Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Could be a good idea

Currently buying a non-UK priced app will likely attract a nice foreign currency transaction charge on your bank account / credit card (unless you have one of the few cards which don't charge for this). Often this charge is higher that the app itself, and you won't know until your statement turns up.

If Amazon can link app purchases to your Amazon UK account and charge in £ and not $, then the cost of apps could be cut significantly and would attract a lot of non-US customers.

They could also do something the Market doesn't do, and scan apps for known malware, although, they should also require some extra registration from developers, not just accept apps from anyone.

Cheaper, more secure and from a trusted supplier could be a winner.

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Unbelievable

I got an email today from amazon UK to my UK email address.

Clicked the link, downloaded the app store... click angry birds. It wants a credit card, for a free app. (Google marketplace already scores here).

Add credit card, click buy. 'App Store not available in your region'.

FFS Amazon. You could have said that beforehand. Like not email a .uk address registered to an Amazon UK account saying it's 'available now' in the first damned place. Or say *somewhere* that it was US only *before* going through all the download/register crap.

Going US only is annoying. Going US only *and* going out of your way to our noses in it just bloody stupid.

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