Since Android launched back in 2008, there hasn’t really been a way to really search, browse and pay for apps on your desktop, like you can do for iPhone with iTunes. Heading over to android.com/market will give you a list of recommended apps to check out, but no real way to pay for and download them on your phone.
This could be all set to change soon. Amazon has just opened up its forthcoming Android app store to app developers, which, according to TechCrunch, will allow you to browse for Android apps in the same way you can search for music and books from your computer.
There’s an approval process for developers which’ll bring the Amazon app store more in line with that of the iTunes. This is great news for consumers, as sifting through the many many spammy apps that populate the ‘Just In’ section of the Market (usually called things like ‘Hott B00ty Action’ or whatever) can be dispiriting at the best of times. These and other apps that don’t meet Amazon’s approval will be screened out.
Amazon is apparently cagey about what the store will look like, though it’ll almost undoubtedly retain the same black-white-orange colour scheme. For now we’ve just got a couple of screenshots to give us an idea of what it’ll look like.
Payments for apps will be made via Amazon’s one-click system. This makes sense as millions of customers will already have an Amazon account set up. So when you get your brand new Android phone it should make paying for apps through the Amazon app store as easy as buying a CD, some MP3s or ordering some books.
Amazon has already released its Amazon MP3 and Kindle apps to the Android Market – allowing punters to pay for mobile apps will see the e-tailer giant competing with Apple’s iTunes on all three levels; apps, music and eBooks.
There’s no further eta on the Amazon app store other than it’ll be out sometime “this year”. With a slew of Android Honeycomb-powered tablets due to be hitting the shelves this year we think that the launch of Amazon’s app store will coincide with when the release dates of these.
The impending arrival of this means that there’ll be nine major app portals out there, including iTunes, Android Market, BlackBerry App World, Palm App Catalog, Ovi Store, Samsung Apps, and the Windows Marketplaces for 6.5+ and Windows Phone 7 phones.