Amazon.com has launched the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal - a self-service tool that allows mobile application developers, Android developers in particular, to join Amazon’s Appstore Developer Program and submit apps for the upcoming launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android. The point, Amazon says, is to help both customers find the right apps and for developers to better market and position what they create. To do this, Amazon is, ironically, taking on elements of Apple's wall-garden approach to apps.
Much depends on whether this site will catch on with Android-using consumers - as well as, of course, its developers. Assuming it does - this is Amazon after all - Android can expect to receive another weapon in its platform wars with Apple and RIM.
Amazon will be taking a more careful, approval-oriented pathway, requiring that developers seek Amazon approval before their apps can be sold, Search Engine Journal notes, which will give consumers some piece of mind that the app actually works and won’t crash its mobile device.
Consumers will also appreciate the guidance as they explore tablets that are not iPads. Android does not officially support tablets yet, aside from the Galaxy Tab, Poynter points out. "Consumers purchasing $100 tablets at Walgreens face a challenge in finding, and installing, many popular apps."
The drawback to Amazon's new role as Android arbiter is that it could fragment the market even further, Search Engine Journal says - not to mention depriving Google of one of its major revenue streams.