Photo: Associated Press
Amazon is creating a new and separate App Store for mobile phones running Google’s Android operating system.This may seem unnecessary, and will add complexity to the Android app ecosystem.
But it’s actually great news for consumers using Android phones and for Android developers.
- Google’s Android App Market is a mess. It’s missing important features and it’s a zoo. Competition is good, and Amazon may force Google to clean up its store. That in itself would be excellent for Android users and developers.
- App discovery is hard enough, even on Apple’s well designed App Store. It’s especially challenging on Android. If Amazon can offer better app discovery, it could be a better experience for both consumers and developers.
- As Daring Fireball’s John Gruber points out, Amazon takes payments in more countries than Google Checkout does, so paid apps may be available for more people.
- Amazon may promote apps on its well-visited website, which could drive incremental sales and revenue for app publishers.
- Maybe Amazon won’t have some of Google’s lame rules, like the ability to “return” any app for a refund within 24 hours, which hurts the market for inexpensive, “snack”-like games.
- In general, Google seems more interested in free apps than paid apps, so it could drum up more business for its mobile ad networks. Perhaps Amazon’s app store will be a better home for paid apps.
To be sure, it’s a little messy that Android users will soon have several app stores to navigate — from Google, from Amazon, from carriers, and potentially even more.
But if, in the end, it results in an overall better app experience than before — and potentially, even better than the iPhone app experience — that will be great news for Android users and developers, and for Amazon.
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