Well it’s finally here… Or, at least it was finally here, before going back into hiding. The Amazon Appstore for Android made a brief appearance this morning for all of approximately 30 minutes. Luckily enough, that was enough time to allow screenshots to be taken and several features experimented upon. Despite rumors surrounding Amazon’s offering, there were still many surprises in store. Hit the break for a closer look…
An Appstore by online giant Amazon could not possibly be complete without all of the wonderful features we have grown accustomed to from the e-retailer’s more tangible offerings. As such, the Amazon Appstore offers multiple screenshots, fantastic Amazon reviews, and excellent descriptions. However, this is not all that Amazon has brought to the table.
Test Drive an App
Amazon has included the functionality to run an instance of any app you are considering purchasing right from your browser window using Adobe Flash. Luckily, this is a cloud based technology so its hardware requirements shouldn’t be too heavy on your computer and it shouldn’t aid piracy. Obviously things like accelerometer support will not be present, but this should allow users to test out the vast majority of Android apps before purchase. This feature will likely stimulate Android’s paid app economy, which has historically lagged behind Apple’s App Store.
Free App of the Day
As if the Test Drive functionality wasn’t enough, Amazon’s second curve ball is to offer a FREE premium app every day. Naturally, given all of the talk of exclusivity regarding a certain bunch of disgruntled avians, Angry Birds Rio is the first “Free App of the Day.” It is a bit surprising that Rovio, which has traditionally gone with an ad-based revenue model on Android, is now supplying Android with a Paid app. Perhaps the exclusivity and being free on the Appstore’s opening day will make Angry Birds Rio the “killer app” of the Amazon Appstore.
So what do you guys think? Will you be constantly refreshing the Amazon Appstore page in anticipation of its return? What do you think Google thinks about this? We can’t help but think they must be feeling pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. On one hand, Amazon is doing something that will likely help the Android platform on the whole. At the same time, however, Google is loosing a fair bit of control in the process. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!