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back to article Amazon flings open doors to Android Appstore in Europe

Amazon's Android Appstore is now open for business in Europe, providing a branded alternative to Google Play, and a free app every day, in preparation for the forthcoming Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire has been on sale in the US for nine months now, and is entirely dependent on the Amazon Appstore, so that store was going to have …

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FAIL

Android

Say what you like about Apple but at least if you search on their App Store if the software isn's there it doesn't exist (unless it needs jail breaking).

What Android badly needs is one universal search application that can look through all the app stores for you in one click. Something Google could probably do fairly easily.

Disclosure: I own both a iPhone and a Galaxy 10.1. So both Apple and Android fans hate me in equal measure I suspect!

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Re: Android

[EPIC FAILURE]

Wow, how lazy are u?

Your fingers broken or something?

At least droid is not stuck with one store with temperamental censors. If you don't find it in one store, you CAN try another. With iOS if it's not in the nanny guarded wall play pen, it doesn't exist!]

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Re: Android

So basically you are wrong since some software needs your iphone to be jailbroken. Way to make a point.

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JDX
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Re: Android

Typical Linux response... "what do you mean it's not easy? It's very easy. You just have to write this 4 line bash script"

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Windows

Re: Android

Powershell...

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Re: Android

You are comparing a simple ability to find what you want (application-wise) online... by say, googling for it with writing of the 4-line bash script?

Wow... standards have indeed fallen these days. I guess in 10 years even mere searching would be considered an intellectual chore.

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Re: Android

The crApple model is not the way to go, however, you do have a point.

I do believe that there needs to be a completely independent software update mechanism for Android that isn't connected to any one store. It is very annoying that when you install multiple stores on Android they are all then running as a background service, and that if you want to re-download or update it has to be done by the same store app. Google Play's monopoly position also goes against the open source nature of AOSP.

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Anonymous Coward

Screen shots

If they are to be believed they under cut Apple aps by a penny or two.

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Would have been interested

I would have been interested in this when it appeared a while ago.

But now, there isn't really any point to it, according to our American brethren Amazon just releases junk free apps of the day and it conflicts with google play bought apps.

Likewise, I would have been interested in buying a Kindle Fire if they'd appeared at the same time as the US. But they didn't. Amazon screwed up and Google has won on this side of the pond for apps on Android, they dragged their feet and let the Nexus 7 pass them by.

I just have no interest in this and I suspect a lot of other European Android users feel the same.

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Re: Would have been interested

Still not available in Canada (amazon.ca will not even sell me an MP3). I already have Nexus 7 so not much chance of me buying a fire if they ever release it in Canada. It might be nice to have another option for apps, but I'm not going to get too upset over it.

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Re: Would have been interested

Tom, you have multiple other options for apps. Case in point: A little searching never hurt anyone.

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Anonymous Coward

apple maps

"Google Maps can be downloaded, though Reuters is now reporting that Amazon has been cosying up with Apple to use Cupertino's alternative."

Really?! apple maps on an android based phone? surely that would never happen would it?

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Re: apple maps

That's quite surprising considering Amazon and Apple are having a bit of a spat over ebook pricing at the moment. I would have thought it'd be bing (eurgh, still a horrible name) maps. MS are pretty desperate to get bing on other devices and I remember them paying some device maker a while ago to replace Google with bing. (I think in the US, may have been a blackberry or android device.. my memory is a bit vague on it)

All that said, Google maps is still the best service there is. The others are catching up, but streetview for example is an excellent tool that none of the others have caught up to yet.

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Pint

Re: apple maps

No, the Reuters report referenced here mentioned Nokia, not Apple.

You know how it is, it's a Friday. Can't expect facts to be right.

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Re: apple maps

Well considering Apple is merely using OpenStreetMap and rebadging it... I've already got OpenStreetMap maps and navigation on my Android... and when Google Navigate gets itself together and allows maps to rotate so that track is up instead of North, then I might drop OpenStreetMap as I'm finding too many routing errors and other mapping boo-boos where people have gone for a pretty map rather than using the correct codes for denoting dual carriageways and junctions and this has resulted in weird errors where you can be told to do a u-turn where it's illegal or else be told to join a motorway from a residential street that crosses over it via a bridge... The update cycle for the clients that rely on OSM data is erratic and my edits were taking ages to appear in their compiled maps.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: apple maps

A 'spat'?

Oh, you mean Apple (and others) price-fixing books (pushing the price up by 30%) and attempting trying to get Amazon to join in.

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I am all for choice, but

I agree with Mark c Casey, too little, too late.

But I installed the Amazon App store anyway (more to test out my QR reader than anything else), found it slow and jerky to move and navigate, even though Google play has gone the awful look of 'tiles' and 'hubs' or whatever crap Winpho 8 is called nowadays. The Amazon store is clunky, took me ages to get it to side scroll so for five mins I though you only had 3 apps to choose from, and I have the desire HTC Desire HD, not really a slow poke. God help those with less specced stuff.

And the app' choice was pants. Pay for angry birds space? I already have it. Some apps are like 6 quid for rubbish.

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Re: I am all for choice, but

The Angry Birds Space they are selling on Amazon has no ads. You can also buy the same version from Google. I'd say you fail but you already awarded yourself that icon.

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Re: I am all for choice, but

@Irongut,

He does seem confused about the two versions of all the Angry Birds (free - with adds and paid for without add). Yup, free app of the day yesterday was original Angry Birds with no adds... Thank you very much!

Today was plants vs zombies - well why not, give it a go... Cheap at twice the price... etc.

However, the OP was right about one thing. The Amazon app just grinds! And that's running on a Nexus 7! God only knows how painful it would be on an original Kindle Fire!

Now if you don't mind I've gotta go sort out some zombies...

Braaaains...

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Re: I am all for choice, but

2 people don't like PvZ I assume?

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dcd
Go

Good prices

Well I have given it a spin and its been a bit of a jaw dropper. Because a quick check of about five paid apps I already have showed each being cheaper on amazon.

Don't know if this is some introductory promo on all paid apps, but next time I want an app purchase I'll check both.

Choice right?

PS. As to earlier comment re combining both/all stores in a single app - I agree!

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Re: Good prices

That's because Amazon takes control of the prices out of the hands of developers. On Google Marketplace you can set the price you want to charge. On Amazon you set the "list" price which Amazon can discount all the way down to 20% if they feel like it. A

So it may be good for consumers but not so much for developers who get whacked for $100 per annum to use Amazon's app store and then get screwed over by discounting. The small print also stops devs from putting up the list price up to compensate for the discounting so if the item costs $1 in Play the list price in Amazon must be $1 but it may end up selling for less.

I expect therefore you'll see a lot of "Amazon Edition" apps where there are superficial differences which allow devs to charge different prices from the Marketplace version. Or devs won't bother at all with Amazon, which let's face it is only has a small fraction of the audience to recommend it in the first place.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good prices

Huh? How do Developers get screwed over? As I read it, the dev sets the cash value he receives per sale. Amazon can discount but must still pay the Dev his agreed cash (not percentage) cut.

That to me sounds great an Amazon subsidy to increase sales volumes of an app. What's not to like?

If a customer buys from Play, I get £x

If a customer buys from Amazon at a reduced price, I still get £x and probably a few more of them too!

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Re: Good prices

"Huh? How do Developers get screwed over? As I read it, the dev sets the cash value he receives per sale. Amazon can discount but must still pay the Dev his agreed cash (not percentage) cut."

Not true. Amazon can discount the price down to 20% list price and you get 70% of sale price or 20% of list price, whichever is higher. In other words if you price your app at £1 and (ignoring VAT) they sell it at 21p you get 20p. There are also terms which say if a dev sells the app for £1 on Play then they have to set the list price to £1 on Amazon. It means devs undercut themselves.

One could reasonably argue that software sellers and retailers should be compelled by law to set a *wholesale* price and an RRP and it's up to app stores to find the margins between those two values. But Amazon's terms are quite obviously lopsided and heavily in their favour.

This is why I think we'll see "Amazon Edition" versions of apps where there are differences (e.g. a different app name), or a different bundle of features to justify selling the app at a different price, one which compensates for the stupid discounts.

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Re: Good prices

This.

I've gotta go check the wording of the contract to see how they can dictate the price of an app based against the price it appears on another retailer...

Maybe they've phrased it well enough to prevent the exact same binary simply being called 'Screw Amazon's Pricing Policy Edition'. However there's no way in hell they can stop devs making tiny changes to their apps and legitimately branding them differently.

Bonkers idea which will be trivially subverted. Personally as a dev I'd skip Amazon altogether, on the basis that they are a minor player who clearly have ideas which are massively at odds with mine as a content creator.

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Happy

Combining Stores

Combining both stores in a single app for searching sounds a good idea in priciple, but which store would you put the combined search app in?

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Joke

Re: Combining Stores

"but which store would you put the combined search app in?"

iTunes or the Apple App store

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Unhappy

Bloated app size

Looked at this before it was available in the UK and the app size itself was only a few megabytes. Installed the official UK version and it suddenly becomes 25mb?! What possible reason is there for that when the official Play store is less than 10mb?

I know all the new phones and tablets have loads of space but the older ones don't! Means that I won't be using this as it can't be moved to the SD card either.

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Re: Bloated app size

I was tempted (via sponsored advert in Hootsuite supplied Twitterfeed) to try Amazon App store App. It's enormous as you have discovered and it's stupidly slow.

I only have a Samsung Galaxy Ace and as this app installs only to the phone's memory and cannot in moved to the SD card and as 3 and Samsung have already stuffed my phone's modest 278MB of internal memory with over a 100MB of bloatware I'm very picky about what I install (that can't be moved to SD card).

So the Amazon App fails on all levels - it's unnecessarily huge (c. 20MB compared to Google Play at 8.72MB), it's horribly slow (compared to Google Play App on same device) and I can't move it to the SD card (I can't move Google Play either, but that's because it came pre-installed).

So this app was only on my phone for a few minutes before I had to uninstall it.

Sorry Amazon, you had once chance to impress and failed, I won't be tempted back, not even by a daily free app.

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Re: Bloated app size

Exactly, the fact that it can't be moved to the SD card means I'm uninstalling it immediately.

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Re: Bloated app size

@DaddyHoggy

Replace "3 and Samsung" with "02 and Sony Ericsson", and I'm in the same boat.

Installed, realised it was crap, uninstalled.

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WTF?

WTF

The Reuters story says NOKIA not Apple - is the company Amazon wants to get maps from.

More choice is good - not seeing any problem here.

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Amazon store app

I have an iPad app for the Amazon store, it is such a HUGE fail compared to the Ebay app. Still no HD version and it looks simply awful. When oh when is Amazon going to get it? I'd use their iPad app if it functioned like the Ebay app (which I use constantly)

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Do Amazon check all apps for trojans/malware etc before listing for sale or just take them down if its found to have a trojan at a later date?

If they do check before publishing then thats at least one selling point they have over the Google play store

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Pointless

Amazon missed the boat over here (across the pond) - when the Fire was announced and released in the US, we were all really excited about getting our hands on one. The expectation was that it would reach our shores pretty damn quickly.

It never did.

With Google Nexus 7 making large waves over here, Amazon missed a huge opportunity.

Having said that, I'm sure, with their massive marketing clout, they'll have success with the Fire over here....

... but I won't be buying one.

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Re: Pointless

I agree, the App store fine and dandy, but who really wants to bother with the locked down Kindle Fire when we now have the Nexus 7 on the market. I think Google have probably stole Amazons thunder on the low cost 7" market now and like yourself, I won't be buying a Kindle. I'm definitely considering the Nexus 7 though.

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Stop

irresponsible of amazon

Forcing anyone that wants to use their app store to disable the devices security.

Why are the press crucifying them over this? Or is it too easy to carry on the android malware myth.

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Poor app...

I've got the Amazon Appstore app on my UK Nexus 7, but I was unimpressed. Firstly, it doesn't detect which apps are already installed, which is basic functionality surely? So stuff like Temple Run - a free game I installed via Google Play - just appears as a game you can "purchase" for 0.00 quid (since when is a zero-cost item a "purchase"?).

What's also bad is that if you download a free app, it'll not only try to overwrite the already existing (probably identical) one, but also e-mail you a receipt for 0.00 quid by default - how double dumb is that?

I also don't like that any free downloads (including app of the day) insist that you tie a credit/debit card to your Amazon Appstore setup - a sneaky trick to make sure that you go for impulse paid purchases later on and have your card info there ready to be debited.

Still, I've installed a free app of the day notifier free app (confused? :-) ) that whilst US-only at the moment (I've e-mailed the dev cos it needs to support other countries including the UK now), will notify you each day about the US free app, but show the UK one when you click on the notification, which is good enough for now. Won't be using the Amazon appstore for anything other than the free app though, especially since I've still got most of my 15 quid Nexus 7 credit left on Google Play that the Amazon Appstore doesn't accept of course.

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re: "At what point does choice turn into fragmentation?"

See... Cars... PCs... TVs... etc... no "fragmentation" there, but plenty of choice!

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I'm not allowed to use it

Installed amazon appstore, but since I'm in a backwater 3rd world country (Norway), I do not have a valid purchase country. I can shop in the Kindle Store on the same device though via android kindle app on same account. Maybe Amazon assumes all appstore customers use Kindle Fire.

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Curiously, it seems that the App Store on my (US-bought) Kindle Fire will still not allow me to download apps. Eben free apps such as the BBC News app complain that my credit card does not have a US billing address.

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I'd rather not have Google collecting a profile on my web searches, page visits and whatnot. Hence I'd rather avoid being constantly logged on to a Google account (which the app store requires) which (greatly) facilitates their data collection. I'm even more reluctant to give Google the opportunity to tie my real world identity to such a profile. Hence the change to conveniently get apps from Amazon and even (maybe) to buy some as well as other content is welcome; I don't think I would have ever bought anything from Google Play, as that would have meant giving out my credit card information (i.e. my real world identity).

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FAIL

It might be good ..

... if it actually worked.

Anyone tried to download today's 'free' Missile Defender app to a One X?

Meh!

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