As of late last night, Amazon has officially launched their app store for Android devices. Amazon’s app store includes several of the more popular applications on the Android market, many of which are either priced similarly or slightly below the price listed on the Android market. Additionally, Amazon has landed a couple of exclusive applications, including the hotly-anticipated Angry Birds Rio application, which happens to be their “free app of the day” for today (normally $0.99).
The launch of the Amazon App Store marks the first big competitor to the Android Market. It will be interesting to see how the application market changes over the next 6-12 months with Android users now having another big-name choice when it comes to consuming applications. Time will tell if having more market choices benefits or harms the Android platform as a whole. I hope to see a way to integrate the two markets somehow so that downloading applications you already own isn’t a pain in the arse when it comes time to upgrade our devices.
Regardless of how it all plays out, Amazon’s App Store is here and ready to play. The user experience is just as awesome as you’ve come to expect from Amazon, and landing a massive exclusive application for their launch was a great move on their part to ensure the App Store takes off. Not only that, they went ahead and offered this application free of charge to all willing to give their App Store a chance.
I’m still undecided on whether or not having multiple app markets is a good thing or not, so I want to hear from you. Let us know what you all think about it by sounding off in the comments below.
Update: Since the Amazon App Store comes across as an apk file that you must download and install (or “Sideload”), it is not currently available to AT&T users. I have an email out to AT&T for an update, and will update if I hear back from them.