Regardless of who wins the HTML5 vs Native Apps battle, mobile is going to be a part of everyones strategy and skill set.
With that in mind, it’s fascinating to see what’s happening in the Android marketplace. We all know about Apple’s App Store and it’s insane success. The problem with Android is that there isn’t one a curated store with one-click-purchasing. It’s fractured and confusing.
To help address this problem (and make a boatload of money along the way) Amazon is launching their App Store this morning, which competes with (or helps, depending on how you look at it) Google’s Android Market.
This should drive a huge amount of sales for Android apps, and help erode Apple’s position as the market leader in mobile apps.
One interesting feature of Amazon’s App Store is that you can test drive apps right in your browser. They do this by firing off an EC2 instance with an Android emulator (that uses Flash). Obviously the accelerometer won’t work when test driving apps in your browser, but you should still get a general feel for the app.
The slightly odd thing about Amazon’s App Store is that Amazon chooses the app price. You can suggest a retail price, but they ultimately decide.
They’re using this pricing structure to offer an “App of the Day” which will be completely free. If they choose your app, Amazon will pay you 20% of the retail price you suggested for each sale. This may not seem fair on first glance, but it will drive a huge amount of sales in one day, which should push full-priced sales after that.
So if you’re not sure whether you should dip your toe into the mobile waters, I hope this helps push you into the water. Mobile is super exciting and will be a vital part of every web professionals life.
On a side note, Apple is suing Amazon for the use of the word ‘App Store‘.
[Great photo provided by flickr.com/photos/johanl]