Amazon has launched an Appstore for Android apps. Their unique offering includes a free paid app of the day with today’s offering being Angry Birds Rio, exclusively from the Amazon Appstore. Other announcements include that Amazon will sell ad-free versions of Angry Birds. Another feature of the Amazon Appstore includes the ability to Test Drive applications which runs the app virtually in the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud infrastructure.
To get started with the Amazon Appstore, you can visit the Amazon Appstore from your computer. Then submit your phone number for an app you’d like to purchase (or get for free). This will text you an address to visit from your phone (http://amzn.to/getappstore) which will download the Amazon Appstore Android package. From there, you install the Appstore and can start shopping. Visit this Amazon page for a full walkthrough of the install process. The Amazon Appstore is currently incompatible with AT&T Devices but is being addressed by AT&T. Amazon Appstore apps are only available to customers located in the United States, and some apps will only work on an Android device that has root-level permissions. “You should only download these apps if you are certain your device is rooted. Amazon.com does not encourage you to root your phone.” For more information on the Amazon Appstore for Android, view the related Amazon.com Help page.
The Amazon Appstore has a Developer Program for developers to submit their apps. The developer program normally has a $99 program fee per year but Amazon is waving that cost. Amazon will pay developers 70% of the sale price of the app or 20% of the list price, whichever is greater, and payout can occur via EFT for US developers monthly after $10 are earned. Amazon uses DRM for its apps but it is not required by Developers to use the Amazon digital rights management software. You can find more information in the Developer Portal FAQ.
Apple is slapping Amazon with a trademark infringement lawsuit over the term ‘appstore’, so we’ll see how the dust settles. For now, I’m getting Angry Birds Rio and I know how the rest of my lunch break is being spent.
Here’s the press release for today’s announcement:
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android at www.amazon.com/appstore. Customers can now find, discover – test! – and buy Android apps using the convenient shopping experience that Amazon customers know and love. 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.
“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.