The Cyanogenmod Team is thinking about building an app store. "Ugh, another app store?" you say? Hold on a minute, there's some serious merit to this one. This is an app store for rooted apps. Rooted apps that the carriers hate and frequently remove from the Android Market.
Apple's at it again, this time back on its "We own the words 'App Store'" reign of terror. While a judge denied Apple's request to bar Amazon from using "Appstore" in a preliminary injunction before the issue is decided at trial, that isn't stopping the world's most infamously litigious tech giant from going after everyone and their brother using the words.
And until the Amazon trial is settled or decided (it's on the docket - for October 2012), Apple is free to go about threatening and pursuing more legal action, even though its trademark on the words "App Store" remains actively contested (by Microsoft) in its bid for certification at the USPTO.
When we published a piece reporting on the recent decision of game developer Bithack to pull its popular title Apparatus from the Amazon Appstore, we contacted Amazon asking for comment on the whole situation.
Earlier this week, Amazon got back to us and wanted to sit down and discuss the Appstore and some of the issues that developers and customers alike have had. While Amazon could not specifically discuss the complaints of Bithack for confidentiality reasons, they were able to generally talk about some of the concerns Bithack raised.
Moments ago, after months of preparations and precisely on the rumored release date of March 22nd, the Amazon Android Appstore finally went live.
An interesting little tidbit came across to us in an otherwise ordinary posting on Amazon's app developers' blog. While developers will have the option to use DRM or not in their apps, those that do use the digital licensing service may present problems for those users who are temporarily without an internet connection.
Comparing it to the way Amazon currently handles the storing of Kindle books, the curious part of the post reads:
In what is certainly a grade-A dropping of the ball, it looks like somebody accidently pulled the trigger on a post at PayPal's Blog before it was time to. We say accidently because the post read:
... reporting from Innovate 2010. Today, Google announced that you can use PayPal to buy apps on their Android Market.
The only thing is, at the time the post went live, no such thing had been revealed yet - whoops.
Looks like the already-awesome AppBrain App Market app (yea, it's a little hard to wrap your head around that one) has been updated today, and now includes some pretty awesome new features:
- Cloud to Device app uninstalls
- Set wallpaper
- Send URL to phone
- Landscape mode
- Dark theme
Cloud to device uninstalls are by far the big winner there - AppBrain already allowed some pretty awesome remote control over your phone's apps via your PC, and remote uninstall is a major addition to the existing feature set.
Ever since Apple released its App Store on the (then) iPhone OS 2.0, a special emphasis has been placed on the quantity of apps. As other app markets arrived, the same metric of success carried over. The platform creators used the quantity of applications as a way to convince critics that their platform was popular and thriving and that prospective buyers could take comfort in the platform they were investing money.
The H Open wrote an interesting article on a post from developer Jon Lech Johansen’s blog. Johansen, co-founder and CTO of doubleTwist, had some pretty legitimate complaints about and suggestions for the Android Market. For example:
- The Android Market is available in 46 countries; developers can only offer paid apps in 13 of those
- Prices for foreign apps are not displayed in a users local currency – they are displayed in the dev’s currency
- Developers can’t customize their price by country – they set it in one currency, and it is automatically converted into others at the current exchange rate
- Foreign apps can’t be paid for with American Express or billed to your phone plan
- No support for in-app changelogs or payments
- Google is too hands-off about the market - there are more than a few apps that are blatantly illegal
All in all, they seem like very reasonable complaints to me, and most seem like they would be (comparatively) easy enough to fix.