Amazon is officially launching its Android App Store
today with around 3,800 free and paid apps from all the big developers names on there. The storefront for Android mobile applications will compete directly with Google's official marketplace, and it looks like Amazon is ready to take on the fight by offering a few things that its rival lacks, throwing the full weight of its marketing and e-commerce expertise behind the app store.
For one thing the Amazon Android App Store
will use the recommendation algorithm that the online retailer uses on its website to suggest certain apps and boost app discovery. In fact, it might recommend applications to users even when browsing physical goods on Amazon -- say, if you are looking for a camera you could see a camera app suggestion.
Apparently there will also be some exclusive (or at least timed-exclusive) Amazon-only Android apps, such as Angry Birds Rio, as well as a 'free app-of-the-day' feature where Amazon will select one premium application each day and make it free to consumers. Also, for those wondering whether an app is worth the asking price, Amazon will offer a 30-minute Test Drive facility that will let you try out a program you might fancy for your phone before purchasing.
One notable difference compared to Google's approach is that the Amazon App Store will have an approval process
for apps to gain access. The company says it's going to take a somewhat relaxed stance as far as what's allowed on the store -- basically just blocking porn and anything related to illegal activities -- and that's probably a good thing. As Google certainly knows by now being "too open" can lead to a flurry of malware apps compromising devices.
The launch didn't go without a hitch, though. Apple has decided that the name is just too similar to its own App Store and issued a formal complaint
. According to the iPhone maker, Amazon is "improperly using" Apple's trademark in connection to its mobile software developer program and its application download service.