Amazon prepares to unleash Android Market equivalent

News Ben Griffin 08:40, 7 Jan 2011

A beta developer portal of Amazon.com’s new Android market service has been launched in preparation for its own app store

Online retail giant Amazon has announced its developer portal has been launched in beta form, allowing developers to begin submitting applications for Android and other mobile platforms, according to the company’s own blog.

The Amazon App Store Developer Portal, as it is known, is a self-service tool that lets developers add their own applications and games for the forthcoming launch of the Amazon’s new store.

The Amazon App Store, as it is known, aims to make finding and purchasing applications a lot easier for consumers whilst helping the work of developers “get noticed”. It also lets users shop for apps and games on their desktop computer, something Google’s own Android Market currently can’t do.

Other bonuses of Amazon’s version will include “more information about applications” - a product page will be able to display as much information as it wants with less of a limit on data amounts. It's claimed an unlimited number of images, detailed product descriptions and up to five two-minute videos will be allowed for each product.

There is also the small benefit of having access to Amazon’s sizeable customer base.

Any applications submitted will need to be tested and approved by Amazon itself, to ensure “that they work as outlined in the product description, and that they don't impair the functionality of the smartphone or put customer data at risk once installed.”

Offensive content, including pornography, is a no go, as is what Amazon deems offensive.

In its own words, this service will need to hit "a moving target" as Google is rectifying what was a fairly clunky store, but even if it does, there are likely to be benefits from being in both camps. However, it’s yet another place to purchase applications, which may confuse or annoy consumers.

Developers interested in joining will need to have an Amazon account and $99 a year for access to the developer portal, but only after the first year as the company has said it will waive the charge to begin with.

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