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If you're an Android user, then you know how very expansive the Android Market is. You can find many apps and programs that help to enhance your phone's capabilities, add some entertainment, or just personal spin to make your smartphone all your own. But what if you could go somewhere that wasn't the Android Market? What if you could find apps and programs that you couldn't at the market?
There are of course alternatives to the Android Market, but a newcomer to the group may actually shake things up. One of, if not the biggest, online retailer is hoping to get in the game of smartphone apps by offering itself as a straight competitor. What is it?
Why, it's the Amazon Android Market!
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Amazon Android Market
So what exactly is the Amazon Android Market? Announced in the later part of 2010, the Amazon Android Market is a place for developers to sell their apps and for the public to buy them. It will cater to those phones running the Android platform, but also the new influx of Android tablets.
There are, of course, some major differences that will be seen with the Amazon Android Market. One of those things is that Amazon will take Apple's approach of curation in terms of which apps they will present. This is the opposite of the current system with Android Market, which allows developers to upload and distribute their creations directly. While this allows for a number of different variations and creative endeavours, recently it has also allowed a vulnerability for Android -- there were a number of apps that had to be removed due to malicious content.
The Amazon Android Market will control which apps and programs are allowed on the site, meaning that many of these fake programs would not make it to a user's cell phone.
Another big thing is that Amazon will be setting the prices for all of the apps they feature on the site. Unlike Android Market, which allows the developer and creator to determine the price, Amazon would control the pricing aspect, which could be bad for the developer, especially if Amazon gives a price that is lower or higher than the developer wanted. And what if the developer wanted the product to be free, but Amazon has priced it at, say, 99 cents?
An upside to this, however, is that once something is downloaded by the user, they own that app. In the case that they delete the app from their phone (or they get a new phone) and the developer raises the price - say from free to a paid version - the user can get the original priced item with Amazon.
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Impact of Amazon Android Market?
So what does this mean for Android users? Well, nothing...yet, as the app store isn't open, but Android developers can sign up for free (the $99 program fee is waived for the first year) in order to get their apps on the market. And for those Android users whose phones or tablets didn't come with the Android Market already installed, this allows them access some of the apps and programs that they might not be able to get on their devices.
There's still no word on when the app store will be open for the public, but with the developers portion being open, users can expect to have some downloadable apps waiting for them when it does indeed launch officially.
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Amazon Android Market, https://developer.amazon.com/welcome.html
Amazon's Android Market Now Accepting Developers, http://downloadsquad.switched.com/2011/01/05/amazons-android-market-competitor-now-accepting-developer-submissions/