Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD owners receive 500-coin gift
Amazon has launched its virtual currency in the United States, and has provided Kindle Fire owners with an initial credit on their accounts. The 500 Amazon Coins, valued at $5, can be used to buy apps from the Amazon Appstore as well as in-app items, along with an incentive to continue buying packs of the virtual currency instead of usual cash transactions.
China launch forms part of 200-country Appstore expansion
Amazon has launched its Android Appstore for paid apps in China, ahead of Google and its Play store. The release of the Appstore in the country now means that Amazon is the first of the two main Android app stores to launch in the region and opens the door to Amazon releasing its Kindle Fire tablets in China and other nearby territories.
Nearly 200 countries will be able to buy apps from Amazon
Amazon is looking to expand its Appstore for Android into nearly 200 countries in the next few months. The retailer has announced that app developers will be able to submit their products to the store for distribution in the new locations, with those registered for international distribution becoming automatically available to download in countries as the store expands.
Coins to be used to buy apps, in-app purchasing
Amazon is introducing a new virtual currency for users of its Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon Coins will allow Kindle Fire users to pay for in-app items and apps themselves, via the Amazon Appstore, and as an incentive to customers, the company will be giving away tens of millions of dollars worth of free coins to US users when the service launches in May.
Apple case undermined by Steve Jobs, Tim Cook
A federal court in San Francisco has granted a requested dismissal of an Apple lawsuit over Amazon's use of the term "Appstore," Bloomberg reports. Apple has filed for a US trademark on the name "App Store," and in the court case it argued that Amazon's use of the term "Appstore" is intentionally confusing. Amazon countered, though, by saying that the term "app store" has become generic; with today's dismissal, the company should be able to continue selling Android apps unimpeded.
Android app store launch hints at Kindle Fire on continent
The Amazon Appstore is now available to Europeans in a localized format. The Android-based service from Amazon is up and running in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, with prices in local currency and a more regionalized list of apps being featured on its front page. The timing of the Appstore launch ahead of a press event suggests that the European launch of an Amazon tablet such as the Kindle Fire or it's likely replacement could be on the cards.
Owners of select phone models can try out apps for free
The latest release of the Amazon Appstore allows owners of selected Android smartphones to try out some apps for free before buying them. Users can interact with select apps as though they had been downloaded, running them through Amazon's store. Amazon is planning to roll out the new feature for a wider selection of phones in the coming months.
Amazon Appstore gets in-app sales
Amazon gave Appstore developers an important catch-up on Tuesday through support for in-app purchases. Its custom Android store now uses the same 1-Click engine to handle buying content as for the apps themselves. The switch preserves the typical 70 percent royalty paid to developers and only restricts things such as solely extra-app purchases, illegal or "offensive" material, and virtual currencies that could be exchanged between users.
Google Play still well behind Apple, Amazon
The Google Play Store still makes less than a quarter of the revenue from apps than Apple's App Store, Flurry found in tracking app data. Setting the iTunes-based Apple portal as the reference point, the analysis saw Google Play (formerly Android Market) make just 23 percent of the revenue relative to size in a 45-day period starting mid-January. The ratio was actually down from December, when Google's official Android store made 24 percent.
BlueStacks beta supports Angry Birds and more
BlueStacks' App Player was posted as a beta on Tuesday with significant expansion over the earlier alpha. The Android-on-Windows emulator's compatibility is now much wider and will recognize games like Angry Birds Space that would normally talk directly to an ARM chip. OS support is wider as well, expanding from just Windows 7 to either as far back as Windows XP or as recent as the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Google named in a class action app lawsuit
A class action lawsuit against Google was started by two California men, based on buying defective apps from the Google Play app store. The lawsuit argues Google's 15-minute refund window is unfair. Dod Harris bought an app called Learn Chinese Mandarin Pro for $4.83 that failed to load properly while the other plaintiff, Stephen Sabatino, says his $4.99 aBTC app was purportedly faulty.
Amazon celebrates Appstore's first birthday
The Amazon Appstore is having its first birthday party and, to celebrate, Amazon has put many of the software titles it offers on sale. The weeklong sale applies to the Android apps for devices such as the Kindle Fire, other tablets, and smartphones that can access the service. The service has grown from just 4,000 apps to more than 31,000 over the course of the year.
Dev explains why paid Android apps ruled out
Indie game developer Retro Dreamer in a post Tuesday highlighted a wider-reaching problem with Android app sales. The company declined having any paid app on Android as the way the Google Play Store (Android Market) was inherently much more complex than it was on Apple's App Store. Google's Wallet system (replacing Checkout) treated each sale as though it were a sale direct to the customer; the process made it difficult for a small developer to even consider supporting other countries, since they had to account for every country's individual rules, such as European or even US state taxes.
Readability for Android near ready to go
Readability planned to go cross-platform quickly with word that its Android app would arrive March 12 at 11AM Eastern. The app, which will have strong parallels to the iOS version we tried, will have a one-week exclusive in the Amazon Appstore before it goes to Android Market. The deal is partly a nod to the Kindle reading heritage and to optimization of the app for the Kindle Fire.
App checks app compatibility, adds action notices
Amazon has released a new update for browsing and purchasing software from its mobile shop. Amazon Appstore 2.2 offers several improvements to notifications and app compatibility verification. It's available now directly from the online retail giant (free, Amazon).
Devs get more profit from Appstore than Market
Developers of Android apps are making more money from the Amazon Appstore than on Google's own Android Market, the latest report from app analytics firm Distimo found. The comparison of 110 apps offered on both web stores found that 42 of them make more money on Amazon than on Android Market. The Amazon store is also responsible for 28 percent of the revenue in these apps.
Avatron extends its Air Display app to Android
Avatron, known for its iPad Air Display app, has now released its Air Display app for Android tablets ($10, Amazon Appstore). It allows the display of the Android device to see what's on the display of a Windows or Mac OS X system wirelessly. It can act as an extension or mirror the computer display.
Velocity Micro Cruz Tablets, Shine arrive for CES
Velocity Micro promised five new devices as its contribution to CES. Two new Cruz Tablets, the seven-inch T507 and 9.7-inch T510, will both ship with Android 4.0 from the start (not yet shown). The pair both run on a 1.2GHz, single-core ARM Cortex-A8 chip with fast Mali-400 graphics, 8GB of built-in storage, and HDMI video out.
Distimo shows Android still not a source of cash
The end of 2011 still has the iOS App Store much more profitable than Android Market, Distimo found in its year-end wrap-up. Over the course of 2011, the iPhone side of the App Store made four times the revenue of the entire Android Market, while the iPad side made twice as much. The discrepancy came even as Android became tops in device share and had nearly 350,000 active apps, based on its own figures.
Apple widens Amazon Appstore dispute over ad claim
Apple widened the scope of its lawsuit over Amazon's Appstore late Wednesday to include claims of false advertising in sync with the launch of the Kindle Fire. The amendment argued that, as the Android tablet was launched in September, Amazon started changing its "Amazon Appstore for Android" marketing line to either downplay the "for Android" part or remove it entirely. It was shedding the OS disclaimer in an attempt to "deceive" shoppers that the store was more like Apple's, the new claim added in remarks that also criticized the quality of Amazon's store in the process.
IHS iSuppli delivers final Kindle Fire cost study
IHS iSuppli revised its earlier cost breakdown for the Amazon Kindle Fire to a lower figure in a more final estimate that showed Amazon was still taking a loss on each device sold. While it's now expected to cost just $201.70 to make, that still told AllThingsD the $199 Android tablet was losing Amazon money on each sale, even before factoring in shipping and other costs. A look at the final product showed that there were cost savings even beyond what had been expected, including on the inside.
Amazon Appstore 2 blends in with Kindle Fire look
The Amazon Appstore got a major revision on Thursday ahead of the Kindle Fire launch next week. Its 2.0 update is much more in line with the tablet, shifting to an overall darker color scheme and a more polished look with larger fonts. Amazon has gone on to address a frequent complaint of parents by adding a parental lock to prevent surprise purchases from their children.
Strategy Analytics says app market uncompetitive
Apple's iPad currently has the most competitive mobile app ecosystems, Strategy Analytics outlined in a new App Store Competitive Index. Its subset of the App Store is deemed the most likely to give newcomers and recent launches the best chances at success. Amazon's Appstore was lowest-ranked and more likely to let apps occupy the same positions or otherwise take attention from newer titles.
Amazon CEO says ecosystem key to tablets, more
Most of those who have failed at tablets and other home electronics were too focused on the hardware alone, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in an interview following the launch of the Kindle Fire tablet. He explained to TechCrunch that Amazon would do well with the Kindle Fire because it treated the Android slate as an "end-to-end service," not just an isolated design. It was the software and the content that defined a tablet, and those who didn't create a complete effect have struggled.
Amazon has 3 tablet pubs, gives subscrber data
Amazon has three out of the major four US publishers onboard for its Kindle tablet launch this Wednesday, tipsters disclosed Monday alongside details of the tablet itself. They briefed AllThingsD that Condé Nast, Hearst, and Meredith will all supply magazines to the Android device. Time, already on the iPad, is in stalled talks but could be available by the end of 2011.
Amazon Appstore goes worldwide
Amazon on Monday quietly opened up the Amazon Appstore to international buyers. Many, if not most, countries worldwide can now sign in and pay for apps from the store. Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, Venezuela, and much of Europe have all made mention of the store working.
PMN and Archos to sell cheap tablets for service
Philadelphia Media Network outlined its previously hinted plans to offer subsdizied tablets. The project will see 5,000 of Archos' Arnova 10 G2 tablets made available with a heavy discount depending on the subscription. The cheap Android slate will cost as little as $99 if bought with a two-year contract subscription to the Daily News and Inquirer costing $10 a month; the price rises to $129 for those who only want to commit for one year but are willing to pay a more standard $13 a month.
Amazon pushes for similar terms to Apple on tablet
Amazon is trying to get magazine and newspaper deals for its Android-based Kindle tablet similar to those Apple has for the iPad, insiders uncovered on Monday. The company is "in the same ballpark" of asking for a 30 percent piece of revenues for both individual issues and full-length subscriptions. Amazon may, however, be willing to give a better deal to lure publishers away from the iPad, the WSJ heard.
Velocity Micro Cruz T408 and T410 aim at low end
Velocity Micro hoped to snap up the low end of the tablet market Wednesday with two Android 2.3 tablets that add polish only sometimes seen at the price. The eight-inch Cruz T408 and 10-inch T410 cost under $300 but have a capacitive touchscreen, a modest but competent 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, and a front facing camera. The eight-inch T408 is rare in Android for its 4:3 ratio screen, putting it closer to an iPad ratio, while the T410 fits the familiar 16:9 widescreen ratio for Google's mobile OS.
Amazon Kindle tablet to be 7in, ship November
Amazon's by now virtually certain Android tablet has supposedly not only been nine inches, TechCrunch understood it to be seven inches and resemble the BlackBerry PlayBook. True to the budget focus, it would only use two-finger multi-touch to cut costs and wouldn't have cameras.
Amazon tablet again seen being cheap, due in month
Amazon's repeatedly rumored Android tablet was once again slipped out again with a rumor late in the week. The design's cost-cutting should lead to it costing "hundreds less" than the $499 of Apple's iPad. It should ship sometime in late September or October, the NY Post was told.
Shifty Jelly sees sales bounce back post-Amazon
ShiftyJelly said in an interview during episode 20 of the All About Android podcast revealed that the company had bounced back from going unpaid by Amazon. The Australian developer's Russell Ivanovic noted that sales of apps were up across the board, including not just at the Appstore but Android Market and even the iPhone. Some, after hearing how Amazon had switched the terms of the deal in secret, deleted their Amazon copies of Pocket Casts and bought the Android Market version.
Amazon renegs on paying for promo apps
Mobile app developer Shifty Jelly in a disclosure revealed that Amazon is renegging on developer promises and refusing to pay developers for promos for the Appstore. Although its agreement officially states that it will pay developers 20 percent of the price of an app, Amazon told Shifty Jelly that it would pay nothing at all for promoting Pocket Casts ($3, Android Market) and that the attention from the free giveaway plus highlighted placement was reward enough. While the developer agreed as an experiment, it learned that it would have made $54,805 in one day from the 101,491 downloads if it had been paid according to Amazon's original agreement.
Amazon Appstore stops new apps in Germany
Amazon may have bowed to pressure as the company is telling Appstore developers it has frozen new app submissions coming from Germany. The company explained that a "legal action" from Apple over the Appstore name was barring it from taking any Android apps from those located in the European country, even though they would sell in the US. As expected, Amazon argued the dispute was "without merit," mocoNews' copy of the message read.
Amazon cutting Android tablet features for price
Amazon may be trimming as much as it can on its upcoming Android tablet to get the price down, an internal source divulged on Thursday. The previously leaked decision to pass on any cameras is being joined by intentional limits on storage, accessories, and other extras, the NYT heard. CEO Jeff Bezos had decided just after the iPad launch to make a more Kindle-friendly tablet and that lower prices were the key to challenging Apple.
Leak details Amazon tablet and new Kindles
A potentially far-reaching leak Wednesday has given many of the details of Amazon's tablet plans. The Android slate should have about a nine-inch screen but won't, however, have cameras. Design was being outsourced to an "Asian manufacturer" and would have it ship sometime before October if WSJ sources are accurate.
Amazon tablet to start off with huge 2m shipment
Amazon's plan to launch its tablets in September could involve a very aggressive opening month, part suppliers said Wednesday night. HannStar, J Touch, and Wintek are expected to supply touchscreen panels for the Android slates with a goal of shipping 1.5 million to two million just for that month alone. Earlier Digitimes sources had already penned in estimates of four million for 2011, hinting that Amazon is counting on a large-scale launch but slowing down quickly later on.
Apple may face battle in Amazon Appstore case
Judge Phyllis Hamilton at a Wednesday court hearing cast doubt on Apple's ability to win its lawsuit against Amazon over the Amazon Appstore name. She believed Apple faced a "stumbling block" in proving its case. The iPhone designer had trouble showing proof users would be confused between the iOS App Store and Amazon's Android store, Judge Hamilton said, although it was still early.
Amazon back to negotiating for deeper Cloud Player
A seeming off-hand reference after repeating leaks of Amazon's tablet plans has revealed that Amazon is back into negotiations to improve Cloud Player. The company is "very engaged" with music labels to go beyond the upload-only service it launched with before. Progress and the nature of the services weren't mentioned to AllThingsD's sources for the claim.
Apple filing says Amazon drags down App Store name
Apple responded to Amazon's attempted dismissal of its app store lawsuit by claiming that Amazon was hurting its name. Amazon had supposedly miscast Apple's claim that Android was inferior and swung the attention back to the service. The Amazon Appstore was what was infeior, Apple said, and would "tarnish Apple's mark" if allowed to keep using the name.
Entourage shows signs of refocus or shutdown
Entourage has left an uncertain future for itself with a notice that it had shut down its e-book store. The shop is now giving those who had bought content until May 27 to download their titles before all servers are taken down. The company is steering Edge users towards Google eBooks for the bulk of their content.
Apple denies Amazon claims to generic app stores
Apple in a court filing late Thursday rebuffed Amazon's response that the term "app store" was generic. It insisted that the term isn't commonly used by other companies for their portals and couldn't be considered generic. Amazon was allegedly treading on Apple's mark by using the Appstore name as a result.
Move necessary for Amazon Appstore content
AT&T is reportedly distributing updates to many of its Android handsets, enabling the devices to install applications that don't originate from Google's official Android Market. The move appears to be an extension of the carrier's shifting strategy, which started with non-Market app support for Samsung's Infuse 4G.
Amazon may show multiple Android tablets
Amazon's tablet plans could include more than one model at the same time. A "trustworthy" source immediately familiar with the project said Friday that an "entire family" of tablets was coming. Android and Me also understood that Pixel Qi's outdoor-friendly 3qi displays were candidates and that the software side had been contracted out to an "embedded systems company" using the most recent version Android by the time the tablets are ready.
Microsoft takes App Store trademark dispute to EU
Microsoft chose Thursday to extend its challenge to Apple's App Store trademark to Europe by disputing the trademark with the EU Community Trade Mark bureau. The company wanted both "App Store" and "Appstore" ruled invalid as the two "both lack distinctiveness." Its argument was identical to that in the US and contended that both were too generic to be sustainable as trademarks.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hints at tablet coming
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in an interview later on Wednesday effectively confirmed plans for an Amazon-branded tablet. When asked, he used cautious language and said customers should "stay tuned" on what Amazon would do. He explained to Consumer Reports that the company would be "mindful" of keeping devices like the Kindle but couldn't confirm or deny what was coming down the pipeline.
Amazon to give Appstore credit with Verizon phones
Amazon is hoping to spur demand for its Appstore portal through a unique tie-in with its own cellphone store, the online retailer said on Sunday. A promo starting Monday will give those buying Android-based Verizon phones a $25 credit towards Appstore downloads. The week-long promo is evidence of how tightly Amazon can work with carriers, the store's wireless head David Camp told AllThingsD.
Game dev group attacks Amazon Appstore price rules
An International Game Developers Association e-mail on Thursday attacked the Amazon Appstore for hurting the prices for games. A no-better-price rule that prevents even temporary price drops at rival Android app stores is believed to be forcing an unfair choice on game writers, who either have to avoid price cuts and risk losing sales or else hurt profits by cutting the price everywhere at the same time. They also criticized a familiar Amazon practice of discounting an app price on its own, which they saw as punishing developers by taking the profit out of a strong-selling app.
86pc of Android devs hurt by fragmentation
A fresh study from Baird venture capitalist William Powers has suggested that 86 percent of Android developers see OS version fragmentation as a problem. Only 14 percent of the 250 developers asked didn't see it as an issue, while 57 percent either saw it as a "meaningful" or a "huge" problem. He added that some were also worried about store fragmentation triggered by the Amazon Appstore and other portals.
First device to ship with new app portal
Celluar South has announced that it is set to ship HTC's Merge handset preloaded with Amazon's Appstore app. Although the device is already confirmed for a separate launch through Alltel, the Cellular South offering notably represents the first Android device to be paired with Amazon's app portal as a preloaded addition to the basic features.