Amazon will reportedly kick off a new program for their App Store soon, called Unlocked. The Unlocked program essentially takes paid apps and games, and ones with in-app purchases, and makes them completely free. Free to download, free to buy things in-game, and free to unlock extra features without spending a dime.
An internal presentation showcasing some of the functionality was leaked, showing off how users can sort out to only see Unlocked apps, and how it’ll look when users buy apps or make in-app purchases. This will all have to be done on Amazon’s own App Store, of course, but getting that installed isn’t too tough, even if Google yanked it from the Play Store.
Given the fact that Android hold a whole lot of market share and the massive amount of Android phones there are, it shouldn’t shock anyone that Google Play sees a whole hell of a lot more download activity than that of the App Store. You would think that because of this massive amounts of downloads the revenue would be greater, that’s were we would be wrong. It appears that revenue generated from the App Store far exceeds that of Google Play by more than 60 percent.
If you’ve invested in Amazon’s digital ecosystem, you’ll want to keep an eye on some of the deals they’re going to be offering right around Christmas. There are tons of offers on everything from apps to movies and TV shows to Kindle books, some of which are completely free.
Starting on Christmas Even and running until December 26th, the Amazon App Store will be offering the biggest free app bundle Amazon has ever done. There will be tons of free apps for you to preload on your Kindle devices, including games from developers like Rovio and Sega, and Amazon is offering discounts on Amazon Coin purchases on top of that. Following into the New Year, you can expect more discounts on other apps and games, too.
Although it is not a well-known name outside of the Chinese market, you may recall that Xiaomi managed to grab the number 3 spot as a global manufacturer of smartphones during the third quarter. The phenomenal growth Xiaomi has achieved in the sales of smartphones is helping the company in other ways, like the recent accomplishment of having 10 billion apps downloaded from their app store. That has translated to 364,000,000 yuan ($59 million USD) paid to developers from January to October of this year. This strong growth has prompted the company to start looking outside China.
According to the latest numbers about app store downloads, Google’s Play Store sees about 60% more volume for downloads than Apple’s App Store. There were roughly 160 million downloads in Q3 on the Play Store, while the App Store only saw about 100 million. Both are impressive numbers however you slice, but Android’s enormous market share globally is really showing through here.
For a limited time, dozens of Android apps are absolutely free from Amazon’s AppStore. The apps on sale are of all genres, from games to productivity apps. Among the apps: OfficeSuite Professional 7 ($15 value), Genius Scan+ ($7 value), Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode II ($5 value), and mSecure – Password Manager and Secure Digital Wallet ($10 value). If you’re interested, head to the link below and get downloading.
Just yesterday we heard rumors that Verizon was planning on launching a new app store for Android devices with the help of other wireless carriers and manufacturers. This wasn’t actually the first time that Verizon tried to make its own app store work (remember Vcast Apps, anyone?), but their last attempt was unsuccessful, to say the least. Despite that rumor, it looks like Verizon can see the writing on the wall, and they’re claiming they have no intention of creating any more app stores.
A Verizon spokesperson said they don’t want to bother creating another app store, saying the carrier has “been there, done that.” It’s very clear that consumers don’t want or need a carrier app store, so good on Verizon if they’re being truthful about this.
Despite shuttering its previous attempt at providing an app store for Android and Blackberry users, Verizon appears to be eyeing the possibility of opening a new one to challenge Google’s dominance for Android users. This time though, sources indicate Verizon is talking with other players and carriers in an effort to put together an “industry coalition.” With Android installed on over a billion devices around the world and the operating system continuing to grow in dominating the market, it should be no surprise that a company wants to get in on the action of selling apps to users.
When Nokia announced their new Android-based smartphones yesterday at MWC 2014, they revealed that they had in fact forked Android for their devices. Immediately the company started fielding questions about how users could get existing apps onto their new devices if they decided to go the Nokia route. While sideloading apks is a possibility, Nokia is hoping developers will submit their apps to Nokia’s proprietary app store. To help move that process along, they are encouraging developers to submit their apps for inclusion and they are indicating that 75% of apps should be compatible with no modifications.
Earlier today Pebble released an app store for their smartwatches for users mating them with iOS devices. Not wanting to leave out Android users, Pebble’s developers have released a beta version of the Pebble Android mobile app that includes code for the app store for the first time on the Android platform. The app is intended for developers, so access to the app store even on a beta basis means having to register as a developer. You will also have to know how to sideload apk files to get it installed.
As a beta release, Pebble’s development team is aware of problems. The good news is the beta works, along with the app store component, albeit it runs slow. Users do have to contend with Pebble’s limitation of 8 apps installed at any one time as well. Hopefully Pebble will be able to attract enough testers to provide some solid feedback so the app can move out of beta and to an official release for all users in a short period of time.