Amazon Appstore v Android Market

Now that the Google Android operating system is considered a stable viable player in the mobile OS world, many companies including AT&T, Verizon, and Amazon are creating app stores of their own (app store equals additional revenue).  Because Google’s system is open source, these new app stores are not only allowed, the innovation and options they bring developers and customers/users are at the heart of the selling points of open source software.  The Amazon Appstore for Android launched today 3/22/2011, and here are my first guttural pros and cons.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface: The interface is clean, easy to understand, and functions as expected.
  • Large selection of apps: At launch, Amazon is offering many of the same apps that are included in the Android Market.
  • App replaces app:  If you try to install an app from the Amazon Appstore and it’s already installed on your phone through the Android Market, it will ask you if you’d like to replace that app instead of duplicating it.
  • Gift cards:  Currently Google does not offer a way to gift an app from the Android Market.  With the Amazon Appstore, you can give someone a standard Amazon gift card, and they can use it as payment for whatever app they’d like.
  • Enhanced reviews:  Not only does the Amazon Appstore included text reviews, but it also includes video reviews.  So far though, I haven’t seen any.
  • One-click install:  Just as the Android Market has launched 1-click installs, so has the Amazon Appstore.  This feature is a must in order to match capabilities of the Android Market.  Much needed and naturally integrated feature.
  • All-in-one payment: You can use your existing Amazon credentials, payment method, and account to complete your purchase.  It makes purchasing easy.
  • Updates: The Amazon Appstore software provides an easy way to view all apps that require updates all at once.

Cons

  • Purchased content doesn’t migrate:  If you’ve made a previous purchase through the Android Market and want to migrate to using the Amazon Appstore for the management of that app, you have to purchase it again.  To my knowledge, there is no way around it… yet.
  • Updates aren’t push: While the Amazon Appstore will show you if there are updates for your apps, it doesn’t show update alerts in the status bar of the Android OS.
  • Not all apps represented:  While Amazon should be commended on having a ton of apps available right out of the gate, there are many app availability discrepancies between the Android Market and the Amazon Appstore.
  • Must authorize:  One of the biggest drawbacks of the Amazon Appstore is that non-informed users may be wary of updating the settings on their phone to allow 3rd party application installations.  Assuming that most Android users are tech savvy isn’t necessarily a fare assumption anymore considering Android’s much wider adoption (to the general population).
  • Developers must update in multiple places:  It appears that developers who upload to the Android Market will have to upload separately to the Amazon Appstore.  Does this mean that the Appstore will suffer in freshness compared to the Android Market, or the other way around?
  • Logo isn’t pretty:  Enough said, make it Web 3.0. 🙂

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