Things are really winding up for the Amazon Appstore, and the Developer Blog is proof of that fact. In the last few weeks, the blog has been a hotspot of activity about Amazon's newest creation, and quite a few details are revealed. As I'm not a developer, I'm simply going to pull out the highlights of the posts - let's take a look.

  • When submitting an app, developers must include two icons (small @ 114x114px, large @ 512x512) and a minimum of three screenshots (854x480), with a maximum image size of 3Mb. They encourage (but don't require) a video to be uploaded as well, with a max size of 30Mb when uploaded via FTP. 
  • The same marketing tactics used throughout Amazon will be used for apps. For example, after purchasing a tablet, apps will be listed under the "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought:". (I can't quite decide if that's stupid or cool.) There will also be Bestsellers lists for the Appstore.
  • Your app purchases/downloads are linked to your Amazon account. In other words, if you order a tablet, then immediately select apps, they'll automatically download and install once you receive the tablet and login to your Amazon account. Neat.
  • Details on testing protocol. Apps are tested on:
    • "Linking"
    • Stability and functionality tests
      • App must open within 15 seconds, comply with major carriers, no instability issues, and proper reactions to phone functions (calls, texts, alarms).
    • Content issues
      • App must not have any issues with "missing content, unreadable text," as well as a compliance check.
    • Security check
  • Details on how app listings appear. It's the same Amazon store layout we all know and love, and they want devs to all pack the same basic listing methods - including thorough, image-laden product descriptions.
  • Tips on when/how to port your app from iOS to Android.
  • How to submit apps to the Appstore Developer Portal
  • Version management tips - how to make sure your app updates go smoothly.

Ok, so it may not look like a quick look, but trust me - compared to what's there, it's been much condensed. For more info on any particular section, click on the links above in the relevant bullet point.

On a subjective note, after reading through the details, I can't help but wonder if Amazon is just going about it better than Google. I largely agree with David's issues with the Market: it's spammy, there's no solid system for exploring new apps, and going further, there are tons of issues with fragmentation and poor quality. That's not to say that Apple's doing it right, either; they've got their own issues. That's why I think Amazon's Appstore has the potential to be great - it strikes a balance between the two. Fundamentally, that may be at odds with Android's absolutely open mantra, but in practice, it may be a better solution.

All that aside, whether the Appstore will stand a chance is up for debate. The Android Market is what comes preinstalled, and for most everyday users, it's plenty good enough. Can Amazon encourage enough people to go the Amazon route instead? Who knows.

[Source: Amazon Appstore Developer Blog]