It looks like Amazon Appstore has finally gone live, about a month after it announced plans to expand the store internationally, (Hat tip Anupam Saxena). Users can download the Amazon App Store app from Amazon Website.
Amazon’s app store brings features like 1-click purchase, one free paid app/game everyday, among others. Users can also test apps on a simulated Android phone using a feature called Test Drive or buy apps from computer and send them to the connect phone or tablet. The Test Drive feature is not available for all mobile handsets but users can test it over PC.
No Localized Pricing? However, what’s surprising is that even though the app store is now available in the country, it does not list paid apps in local currency. Remember that both Apple and Google already offer localized app pricing for developers and consumers in their respective app stores.
While Amazon had started accepting apps/games by Indian developers in April 2013 we couldn’t find any local apps in the store. That said, it doesn’t look like Amazon has any plans to target local apps & games to users. Discovering local apps in the Amazon app store, despite the fact that it has relatively lesser number of apps listed, could be a major issue. Amazon App Store’s direct competitor Google Play Store provides localized top free, top paid, top grossing, and trending apps, which could help Indian developers reach out a larger Indian audience. So if you’re an Indian Android developer, where do you submit your apps for greater audience? Well the answer is submit everywhere.
Payment: Currently users need to connect their Credit Card to purchase paid apps on the store, however, free apps can be downloaded without connecting Credit Card to their account.
With its international expansion, Amazon App Store could possibly be the second largest Android app store in terms of reach. Amazon Appstore will compete with Google’s Play Store and third party app stores such as Getjar.com, Opera App Store, Mobango, Slide Me, among others. More the app stores means better visibility for developers as each app stores would have their own programs to promote apps.
For developers: Last month when it announced that it will expand its app store, it also invited third party app developers in these regions to submit their apps for distribution through Amazon Appstore. It also provides In-App Purchasing (IAP) APIs, Amazon A/B Testing, and GameCircle, Amazon’s gaming experience for Kindle Fire. Just like Google Play store, Amazon will also take a 30% cut from developers on each paid app sale and each in-app transaction, as indicated by the company FAQs. Amazon had also recently launched a Mobile Ads API and its virtual currency called Amazon Coins, for U.S. customers, through which they could purchase apps, games, and in-app items on their Kindle Fire.
The Android Appstore roll-out strengthens the fact that Amazon will be rolling out its Android tablets like Kindle Fire HD in India in the forthcoming future. Remember that Amazon has already tied up with the IT distributor Redington India last month to sell Kindle devices in the country.