Amazon's upcoming app store for Android is one step closer to reality as it opens up to developers. The Amazon Appstore Developer Portal is now live for those wanting to get in early. But the challenge now is for Amazon to make developers actually want to host their and sell apps in Amazon's store which has tougher requirements than the regular Android Marketplace.The Android Marketplace is not great, it's getting better, but it's certainly not as good as the Apple App Store in many regards. Discovery is a pain, there are no recommendations and the average quality of the apps is rather poor.
Some of these things can be fixed, others come with the territory. The latest update to the Android Marketplace addressed some of the concerns, though there are still plenty to be done.
But the quality of the apps is not going to get any better since all apps are allowed into the Marketplace with very little oversight and with no human reviews. Broken or malicious apps will get reported and kicked out, but they will still manage to get in initially.
The Amazon Appstore promises to fix many of the issues affecting the Marketplace. For one, all apps will be reviewed and have to be admitted into the store. This will ensure that the apps at least work and won't harm your phone or steal your data.
The Amazon Appstore could also provide a much better user experience, recommendations and so on. There's no launch date on the Appstore and we have no idea what it's going to look like, but coming up with something better than the current Marketplace doesn't seem that hard.
But an app store that is not bundled with devices is going to have a very tough time picking up steam. Amazon could strike deals with manufacturers or it could potentially launch its own devices, like the rumored tablet, but it still wouldn't have the reach of the Google Marketplace.
And Amazon also has to convince developers. It does offer better prospects for paid apps developers, since it will be integrated with the existing Amazon payments system and does away with the faulty Google Checkout, but it also comes with some interesting requirements.
Developers will not be able to set the price of their apps directly, similar to what Amazon does with e-books. Developers will select a list price, but Amazon decides at what price to actually sell the app. The revenue is then split 70/30, with the developer guaranteed a minimum of 20 percent of the list price.
Amazon has its work cut out ahead of it, but some competition to the Android Marketplace could prove nothing but beneficial.