What’s the News: Despite Apple’s recent lawsuit against Amazon’s use of the term “Appstore,” Amazon successfully began selling applications for the Google Android smart phone yesterday. The launch unveiled two previously unmentioned perks: a free-app-of-the-day promotion and a feature called Test Drive that allows users to try apps on Amazon’s website before buying them.
What’s the Context:
- Amazon’s Appstore, which provides over 3,800 Android apps and is in direct competition with Google’s own “Android Market,” drew the ire of Apple last week because of ownership issues over the name’s similarity to Apple’s own “App Store.” The company says Amazon’s use of the name will “confuse and mislead customers.”
- Another way Amazon is luring people to the new store is by providing a different premium app for free each day. The first free app was Angry Birds Rio.
- As Discoblog has covered, apps have a way of creating controversy, from Apple’s rejection of an application by a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist to a fair number of somewhat raunchy apps.
- And weird apps are always game for Discoblog too, including iPhone translators that speak for you and the app that (may) clear your acne.
Not So Fast: As some tech gurus note, Amazon’s app-purchasing process is confusing for some people, and involves bypassing the Android Market and allowing “third-party apps to be installed from outside sources.” Confusion aside, this process could make you vulnerable to viruses as well.
The Future Holds: Amazon says it will soon integrate its apps into its recommendation engine, allowing you to see apps that may be relevant to you just like you can see suggested books. There’s still no official news as to whether Amazon’s Kindle will eventually be able to run the Android operation system.