Well, this is sure to be an upset to the market. Amazon is going to allow developers the ability to offer in-app purchases to consumers for physical items that will be shipped to their homes. It's a little unclear yet if it will be limited to developers with products already on Amazon's website, or if Amazon will merely facilitate the transfer of shipping information. Could developers include in-app purchases of a physical product that they will handle distribution of themselves?
It's not just European markets that are getting some Amazon-related goodies today. The Appstore has been updated to version 4.0 (technically, version 4.0.634.0, but who's counting right?) and brings with it an improved UI, the ability to remove items from the My Apps section and, perhaps most importantly to Artem, a fix for a major battery drain bug. All good news!
The new UI doesn't look too much different from the old version, aside from getting rid of a lot of the white, opting instead for the darker theme that's more in line with the Kindle Fire UI.
According to a press release just sent out by Amazon, the company's Appstore will be headed to Europe this summer as rumored, though only to five countries to start. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy will all be getting access to Amazon's Appstore in the coming months, and developers can head over to the App Distribution Portal to get started on certifying their apps for distribution in those countries right now.
So far, Amazon's Appstore, which competes with Google's own Play Store on Android apps, has been stuck within U.S. borders. A report from All Things D, however, says that may be about to change soon. The online retail company, the site says, is preparing to launch in Europe. No details on when beyond "later this summer" were available.
All Things D speculates that this might herald the arrival of the Kindle Fire, however it also rightly points out that launching a device in a new country is more complicated than launching a software storefront.
Today, I uninstalled the Amazon Appstore and bought all the FAOTD (free app of the day) apps I've been really using. Why did I do it? Because, mildly put, the Amazon Appstore app, which is required for all Amazon-installed apps to run and perform their license checks, has affected my battery life in very negative ways. Even if you never open it, it will keep running in the background, using up valuable CPU cycles, keeping the device awake when it should be sleeping.
The Amazon Appstore Android app was just updated to version 2.3, which finally raised the maximum application size that can be downloaded over a mobile connection from 20MB to 50MB - something we've been asking the company nonstop for over a year. I understand why they set the default to 20MB, but enforcing a max, especially on 4G (Sprint has unlimited 4G, for example) didn't make sense. After all, it's my data, I should be the one to decide how to use it.
To celebrate the launch of Google Play (and the death of the Market brand) and thank developers and Android users across the world, Google has launched a brand-new sale promotion for a number of features apps and games called "Play Our Favorites."
Here's a link (limited to certain countries only, sorry guys). So far, the included apps are:
- World of Goo
- Jamie's 20 Minute Meals
- Osmos HD
- TuneIn Radio Pro
- I Just Forgot - Little Critter
- Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
- Asphalt 6: Adrenaline
- Dead Space
- Business Calendar
- mSecure - Password Manager
- NFL Flick Quarterback
- NOVA 2
- Quell Reflect
- Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro
- Flick Golf Extreme
- They need To Be Fed
- Paper Camera
- ZOOKEEPER DX
- SwiftKey X
- Camera ZOOM FX
- It's Tyrannosaurus Rex!
I have heard an absolute heap of unpleasantness about the rebranding of the Android Market today. Google Play is childish. It's unprofessional. It makes Google look less than serious about its content business. The logo is weird. The name is ambiguous - play what? It reminds people of Sony products. There are endless gripes and, let's face it, there always will be when a company rebrands a popular product.
Tomorrow, countless analysts and "experts" will weigh in on whether the move was a good one, hawking over Google's stock price like a cardiograph readout.
The Amazon Appstore is a great alternative to the Android Market. It's not perfect, however, and today the Appstore fixes a few of the most nagging problems. Not the least of which is those blasted app installation notifications. For those unaware, if you install an app on one device with the Amazon Appstore installed, you'll get a notification that you have a new app waiting on any others with the Appstore installed on.
Owners of Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet have a great chance to expand their gaming portfolio right now thanks to Gameloft. One of the most popular game developers for Android is offering a handful of games for just $0.99 in the Amazon Appstore, most of them special Kindle Fire editions.
Among the discounted titles are Order & Chaos, Block Breaker 3 Unlimited, UNO, and Asphalt 6: Adrenaline. Those who don't own a Kindle Fire can still get Hero of Sparta HD or Shadow Guardian HD at a deeply discounted price.