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Amazon Appstore for Android launches with 'Test Drive' trials and recommendations

Amazon Appstore for Android
The Amazon Appstore for Android, Amazon's Android Market place competitor, is now live for Android owners living in the US. Accessible in both the browser via Amazon.com/appstore, or on-device via a downloadable app, the Amazon Appstore hopes to bring a better store experience to the Android platform, and beat the Android Market at its own game.

The initial launch brings with it 3,800 apps available for download, from big name developers including Gameloft, Handmark and Glu Mobile. While 3,800 apps isn't a scratch on the 200,000 odd that the Android Market offers, Amazon's going hard with 'exclusives' with the Appstore launch coinciding with the release of Angry Birds Rio. In fact, Amazon's currently offering it for free, instead of 99 cents, as part of it's daily free app promotion, which itself will see one paid app available for free for 24-hours each day.

Amazon's also pushing a trial-like feature called 'Test Drive,' which lets you try out an app before you buy it. The system works using a desktop-based in-browser simulation powered by Amazon's cloud services, which lets you test apps for 30 minutes before you buy them. Amazon's usual one-click purchasing will also be in effect, along with a recommendation system based on previous purchases.

Amazon is pushing a 70/30 split for developers, with developers netting 70% of the sale price. If Amazon decides to include the app in a free promotion, the developer nets 20% of the original sale price even though Amazon nets nothing from the free downloads. Partnerships with carriers are also on the way with Cellular South becoming the first third-party tie-in to distribute handsets with the Amazon Appstore for Android bundled on-device.

Whether the Amazon Appstore for Android will revolutionize the Android app market space, well, that's unlikely; but it will provide more competition (if you can get it to work) and a few features you can't get anywhere else. It's certainly got Apple's attention, too. Exclusives might be annoying, but as long as it's an easy to use system and there aren't any disadvantages over the Android Market, then there's little reason to not have the Amazon Appstore for Android on your device.

Tags: Amazon, Amazon App Store for Android, Amazon Appstore, AmazonAppstore, AmazonAppStoreForAndroid, Android, Android Market, AndroidMarket, App Store, apps, AppStore, Test Drive, TestDrive