So Amazon launched its Android app store this week. Leading up to its release, I was skeptical that it would really do any better than any other 3rd-party app store. The official Google Android Market comes preinstalled on most devices. A 3rd-party app store requires the user to go out and find it, set their phone to accept non-market installs, and install it manually. Amazon has the further requirement of entering in payment information, even if you only want to download free apps.
Who would jump through all these hoops for a market with way fewer apps than the Android Market, most of them shared between the two?
Well apparently a lot of people. The reason? I guess I should have trusted that the people at Amazon would have a trick or two up their sleeves, and the magic ingredient was Angry Birds. Specifically, a new app called Angry Birds Rio that is exclusive to the Amazon App Store, and free for a limited time. Angry Birds is so incredibly popular that exclusive content was a genius way to drive users specifically to the Amazon Appstore. Once the user has jumped through the initial hoops, the market is just as reliable and easy to use as the official one.
I have over 30 apps on Android. I took a cautious approach to the Amazon Appstore by only submitting two apps, WordWise Pro and Golf Solitaire. So far they're doing well enough to get me to submit additional apps. There may just be an initial rush, but I don't think so. I'm thinking now that Amazon has probably done things right and will continue doing so.
For now, here are the links to WordWise Pro and Golf Solitaire on the Amazon Appstore. More to come soon.