Amazon Appstore is live; Angry Birds Rio for Android is free on day one
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Amazon opened its Amazon Appstore for business on Tuesday morning, and in a bid to bring in Android users, it’s giving away a free download of Angry Birds Rio for Google’s OS.
Normally, Angry Birds Rio would have a price of 99 cents, but Amazon is looking to lure Android owners to its online storefront by offering a different paid app for free each day.
For the store’s day, Angry Birds Rio is the free app, but it may or may not remain free beyond its debut, said Aaron Rubenson, category leader for the Amazon Appstore.
And so far, Angry Birds Rio for Android is exclusive to the Amazon Appstore (The iOS version is available in the Apple App Store and iTunes for 99 cents).
Amazon is hoping its Appstore, which currently sells only Android apps, will challenge Google’s Android Marketplace as the main spot to get applications for Android phones and tablets.
The Seattle-based online retailer is also slowly rolling out a unique ‘Test Drive’ feature for many apps sold through the Amazon Appstore over the next few days, Rubenson said.
If an app has a Test Drive available, users will be able to launch a demo version of an app, running on Adobe Flash within a user’s Web browser. The demo will allow them to try the app before buying it, though the demos will be limited and won’t replicate certain phone features such as an accelerometer or a camera, Rubenson said.
On day one, Amazon has about 3,800 Android apps available for download, each of which have been tested and approved by Amazon employees as virus-free, an effort Amazon has been working on since January, when it began taking submissions to the Appstore.
And although the Appstore launched Tuesday, squarely in competition with the Android Marketplace, it also opened amid legal gripes from Apple.
Last week, Apple filed a suit against Amazon over the Amazon Appstore name, arguing that it’s too close to Apple’s App Store, which sells apps for the iPad and iPhone in its iOS operating system.
Amazon launched an Amazon Appstore app for Android devices as well, which allows users to download apps from the retailer directly on their Android phones or tablets.
App purchases will be made using the same Amazon account consumers use to buy books on Kindles and other items on Amazon.com.
For each Android app sold through the Amazon Appstore, Amazon will take a 30% cut of revenue, the same cut the company takes for e-book sales.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Upper images: Screenshot of the Amazon Appstore on Amazon.com.
Middle image: An Android app sold on Amazon with a Test Drive option.
Lower image: The Test Drive feature in action. Credit: Amazon