In the world of Android and, specifically, Android power-users, there are a lot of things you can do and a myriad of tools you can do these things with. One of my favorite things in the world is getting several tools I use regularly consolidated into a single package. If you use your device with any kind of regularity, you know that there are several things you like to know, modify, kill, lock, or enable.
That's right, Amazon's offering not one, but two free apps on the Amazon Appstore this morning! You can pick up the popular HeroCraft title Farm Frenzy along with the official Newsweek Mobile app from Amazon free of charge.
I don't know about you - but I can't tell which is which.
Newsweek Mobile offers Amazon's "Test Drive" in-browser emulation, so you can try it from your browser before making the 15 second commitment to put it on your phone.
On March 22nd, the long awaited Amazon Appstore was released, bringing a whole new way to find, install, and share apps on Android. After its initial debut, we decided that this new Appstore was the real deal. In this post, we'll break down what Amazon's done right, and what it still needs to improve on.
1. Better descriptions and more in-depth comments
Most users will tell you that finding good Android apps is not an easy task.
One of the ways Android protects application users from unwanted activities is by requiring every app to declare a set of permissions and allowing users to view those permissions during the installation phase. Don't like what an app can do? Just don't install it.
However, this all or nothing approach doesn't allow you to selectively turn off specific permissions, so if you don't like that an application accesses your phone state, you can't just disable that and still have the app installed.
We saw it coming from a mile away (and knew all the details), and now it's finally happened: the Amazon Appstore officially launched on Tuesday, March 22. So far, with the exception of a minor hiccup, it looks like the launch has been fairly smooth.
To those who can access it (read: U.S. users), the Amazon Appstore may seem like one of the best things since sliced bread - it trumps Google's own web-based Android Market in almost every way. One of such differentiating features is the Goldbox-like Free Premium App of the Day concept that, like Groupon and its competitors, was introduced to provide great deals to consumers and giant spikes in traffic to app developers.
In a recent interview with Reuters, Gameloft stated that they will be focusing their attention on the Amazon App Store to distribute their games on the Android platform. The company's games are already insanely popular on Android (and iOS, for that matter), despite being actively opposed to Google's Android Market. Their Android offerings have thus far only been available on their website, so their move to a Market isn't so surprising.
There have been a number of F1 apps available in the Android Market, however they have all had their shortcomings. Some have been slow, some have prematurely crashed, some have had cumbersome and ugly interfaces, and some just plain did not work.
Amazon's upcoming Android Market competitor, the Amazon Appstore, is in hot water for its namesake. On Monday, Apple filed a lawsuit in a California federal court claiming Amazon had infringed on its trademark of the phrase "App Store." Apple applied for a trademark to this name way back in 2008, but it wasn't approved until January of 2010. Since then, Microsoft has filed a dispute with the trademark office alleging that the grant was improper.
At the end of CES, right after the barrage of almost 100 Android tablet announcements, SwiftKey teased us with a new version of its popular keyboard, specifically targeting tablets. The company later officially announced the new product, complete with a Tron-like, mysteriously glowing UI. The split-key design, especially useful for larger tablets, looked like a real winner to tablet owners.