Google's Music service has been an incomplete experience since its unveiling at Google I/O back in May. While Music Beta does allow you to upload your songs and stream them to your Android device, it lacks any kind of storefront. Google does have a small library of featured free tunes for Music users, but I can't say any of the albums or artists there have ever really interested me too much.
Yesterday, in the Federal Court for the Northern District of California, Apple filed its response to a counterclaim (filed by Amazon) in its ongoing suit over Amazon's use of the word "Appstore" in its new Android... app store (what else am I supposed to call it, Apple? An app acquisition service?)
The counterclaim contained one of the single greatest premises for a trademark lawsuit I have ever seen (not that I've seen that many):
Are you ready for some Plants vs. Zombies? We know you've been waiting for it (I certainly have). Just a little bit longer: Plants vs. Zombies will be available on the Amazon App Store starting late this month (presumably May 30 or 31) for the low, low price of free. The app will be free on its debut-day (May 30), then for 2 weeks will be exclusively available on the Amazon App Store, in a deal similar to that which Rovio had with Amazon upon the release of Angry Birds Rio.
Analyst Egle Mikalajunaite of research2guidance has modeled the growth of the Android Market and Apple App Store, and based on his predictions, the former will overtake the latter in August of this year. While we're generally pretty weary of these sort of predictions, the short-term nature certainly makes this much more plausible.
The graph largely speaks for itself, but there's a bit more to be said in terms of specific numbers.
To shopaholics' delight, Internet superstore Buy.com quietly graced us with its official Android app this evening. After playing with it for a few minutes, I found it to be quite similar to Amazon's shopping app, including a prominent search box, product listings, Buy buttons, account management, barcode scanning, and voice searching.
All in all, not bad for the initial release, but considering the account management is just a wrapper over their mobile site, it's nothing to write home about either.
To answer the question, briefly: nobody really knows at this point. But I do think Google is going to have to make some sacrifices in the short term if the Music service is going to get off the ground. And that's because the record labels won't play ball - at least not by Google's rules according to All Things D, quoting two apparently well-connected sources.
Of course, the words of a couple anonymous music industry insiders aren't definitively representative of the feelings of all the (presumably numerous) parties involved in Google's Music negotiations.
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.
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.
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.