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Amazon, Apple, LG launch new app stores, Google Chrome Web Store dries up

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
As Apple prepares to bring its wildly successful App Store phenomenon from iOS to the Mac, Amazon is launching its own Android app store while LG and others open TV apps stores, even as existing ones, including the Chrome Web Store, flounder.

It's been nearly three years since Apple opened its original iPhone App Store to resounding success. Since then, the company has constantly refined its App Store policies and practices in anticipation or reaction of users' and developers' expectations, expanding to include iPad apps last year, and tomorrow extending to Mac apps.

Every other smartphone platform has worked diligently to copy Apple's success, in many cases radically revamping their existing stores to pattern them after Apple's. Nokia's Ovi market for Symbian devices, BlackBerry's App World, and Google's Android Market have worked hard to copy the App Store, but without nearly as much success.

Palm and Microsoft were both induced to scuttle their existing mobile platforms and create entirely new ones with app stores closely modeled after Apple's, the Palm webOS and new Windows Phone 7 app stores), while new platforms, including Samsung's Bada, have similarly opened new mobile software markets.

Attracting enough attention from both developers and users to all of these new stores is difficult. While every store offers the basics like Twitter and Facebook and a handful of the most popular games, in order to stand out, new app stores need to deliver fresh apps on a regular basis. Doing this at the same rate as Apple is proving to be a tremendous challenge for vendors of new and revamped mobile platforms.

An Amazon app store for Android

One of the biggest problems for Google's Android platform is that there's no great app store; there are several options, with Google's own Android Market being the most prominent.

However, developers--including DoubleTwist, which serves as Android's biggest supporter in terms of making Android apps easy to use and buy--are critical of Google's hands off approach, noting that Android Market is overrun with intellectual property ripoffs and fake junk posing as legitimate apps. Malware is also a problem, not just for the official store but also for alternative Android apps stores.

Amazon hopes to solve this problem by taking over Google's role as the main retailer of Android's apps. The company's new Amazon app market, scheduled to open sometime "later this year," will attempt to be closer to Apple's App Store experience, offering a curated experience that hopes to prevent the Android catalog from being lost in a sea of knockoff junkware.



Amazon's fire sale policy

Amazon's retail prowess certainly positions it as one of the best hopes for a good Android app store. However, Android is adding some of its own quirks into its new store model. That includes reserving the right to deeply discount developer's titles at its own whim, part of Amazon's developer agreement in sections 5.g and 5.i.

The company will allow developers to set a list price, which Amazon will then slash as it deems necessary to drive sales. As with Apple's App Store, Amazon's developers will get a similar 70 percent share of the proceeds, although in Amazon's store, those proceeds may only amount to 20 percent of the list price if Amazon chooses to put their apps in its bargain bin. Apple allows developers to set and change their own app prices as they wish.

Amazon's "we will price your apps" approach may drive sales volumes, but it also opens up a new can of worms for some developers. While neither Google nor Amazon demand that the apps they carry be exclusive to their app stores, Amazon's developer agreement section 3.a stipulates that developers must make available to Amazon all the apps they sell on any other market (including Google's Android Market or third party market).

However, other markets stipulate that developers can't list their apps on other stores for cheaper. Because Amazon is taking price control and store listing choice away from developers, they're now stuck in a conundrum of being unable to sell their apps across multiple stores without running afoul of the rules of each.

On page 2 of 3: Google welcomes Android competition, Software theft and ad business model collapse

Google welcomes Android competition

Google seems to be welcoming of the expansion of Android app stores, as Google's business model for Android is dependent upon search and ad revenues rather than app sales. In a comment published by TechCrunch, Google stated, "Android is an open platform and entities other than Google are free to create their own content and marketplaces, much like the web."

However, if Google cedes app store control to a third party like Amazon, particularly a retailer who benefits from app sales rather than supporting Google's ad-supported model, its interest in Android could wane as developers primarily seek to sell ad-free apps in the model of Apple's App Store, leaving Google with increasingly less ad revenue.

Google has promoted ad-supported apps in its Android Market to the point where Angry Birds developer Rovio described the practice as "the Google Way," and has subsequently only offered an ad-supported version of its popular game for Android.

Software theft and ad business model collapse

With a retailer like Amazon in the picture, Rovio might consider selling titles like Angry Birds for sale, if Amazon's apps are distributed with sufficient DRM to prevent widespread theft; if they aren't, the availability of non-ad supported, but easy to pirate, Android apps from Amazon may destroy Android's already weak software market.

Even worse, if Microsoft, Yahoo and other search providers effectively replace Google search on Android through apps sold by other retailers like Amazon, Google will find itself maintaining a platform it benefits very little from.

Amazon's entry into the Android app sales business joins Verizon and other carriers, who are already selling Android apps. With the freedom to buy apps from multiple places, Android users will also gain some complication in how apps are updated and installed. To use the Amazon store, users will need to configure some settings and load a special app that facilities app installation. After buying apps from multiple sources, users will also need to manage updates through each of those different stores.

How will the Mac App Store work out?

That's closer to Apple's new Mac App Store, which unlike its iOS equivalent, isn't going to be the only way to obtain Mac apps. In fact, Amazon may eventually begin selling Mac apps within its own store alongside Android, much as it has entered into the ebooks market, selling titles in parallel with Apple's iBooks and Google's new Books market.

That has the potential to bring the same concerns about widespread unauthorized copying of software from Android to Mac software, quenching developers' financial interests in supporting those platforms. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform recently had its DRM system cracked, resulting in making it as easy to obtain new apps without paying for them as it is on Android, and subsequently similarly weakening the ability of developers to justify investment in the platform.




On page 3 of 3: Thinking outside the smartphone If we build it, will they come?

Thinking outside the smartphone

In addition to Android apps, third parties are also announcing new app stores for their other devices. Samsung already operates an app store for its own new Bada platform, and also supports Java and Windows Mobile phones, as well as Android models. It doesn't appear to have a functional store for all the smartphone platforms it sells yet, but that hasn't stopped it from expanding to other devices. The company already supports apps on some models of TVs, Blu-Ray players and home theater products it sells.

LG has also thrown its hat into the ring at this year's CES, offering TV and Blu-Ray player apps of its own along with a new set top box called the Smart TV Upgrader, an HDMI connected box that runs video service apps such as Vudu, CinemaNow and Netflix along with games and web-access apps.

LG's new Upgrader competes in a sense against Apple TV, although Apple still hasn't revealed App Store support for its new iOS-based TV box. Instead, Apple has only bundled built-in support for a limited number of third party services, including Netflix and Flickr, next to its own iTunes TV and movie rentals, podcasts, music and Mobile Me photo and video sharing features.



If we build it, will they come?

Simply opening a storefront of some kind, even one patterned after Apple's successful iTunes model, isn't guaranteed to result in success. Google launched its Chrome Web Store last month for web-based apps that can run within the company's own browser or on its forthcoming Chrome OS, which is intended to power a new range of netbooks and other thin client devices later this summer. The new store is closely modeled after the look and layout of Apple's iTunes (below).

However, a report by TechCrunch notes that "unfortunately, as far as we can tell, nobody is really buying anything on it." The site pointed out that some titles are only seeing a half dozen downloads a week, and "few of the other applications in the list are doing better, but even those are still showing lackluster sales."



The report concluded, "one thing is clear: Google has a long way to go with the Web Store. Its still impossible to distinguish applications that are basically just bookmarks from those that are full-fledged web apps. And while the purchase flow itself is pretty simple (you can buy something in a couple clicks, assuming you already have a Google Checkout account), I think Google will have to put some work into educating people on what exactly theyre paying for."

Apple has similarly seen only marginal interest in its free Safari Extensions program, but the company didn't position the browser extension site as a store, and has done little to promote it. Safari's Extensions, like Google's Chrome Web Apps, are also segregated away into the browser itself, rather than being connected to the companies' online app stores.

Apple's Mac App Store, which opens tomorrow, is similarly a standalone app, although Apple will apparently be distributing it as a software update along with an updated build of Mac OS X 10.6.6.
post #2 of 29
Of course the author of this post needs to make an excuse as to why the Safari Extension Gallery hasn't been popular. Yet he slams the other ones. It's true that it hasn't been advertised, but neither have the other ones! It's such a double standard.
post #3 of 29
I like the LG TV apps. Can we expect an AppleTV App Store and SDK to be demoed later this year? I sure hope so.
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post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HahaHaha321 View Post

Of course the author of this post needs to make an excuse as to why the Safari Extension Gallery hasn't been popular. Yet he slams the other ones. It's true that it hasn't, but it's such a double standard.

Why would you making an erroneous comparison be funny? Apple isn't trying to push the extension gallery in the same way it pushes the app store. On the other hand Google Chrome depends on their extension gallery being a success. It's 'Apples and Googles' to bend a well known saying. Should I laugh now?

p.s. Any developer out there working on an instant Troll blocker extension yet?
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I like the LG TV apps. Can we expect an AppleTV App Store and SDK to be demoed later this year? I sure hope so.

You have to believe ATV apps are coming. Not heard anything though regarding developer SDK yet, you'd think that would be here now or close. I assume any iOS or OS X product could be a control device for such apps. Any thoughts on that aspect?
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post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

However, developers--including DoubleTwist, which serves as Android's biggest supporter in terms of making Android apps easy to use and buy--are critical of Google's hands off approach, noting that Android Market is overrun with intellectual property ripoffs and fake junk posing as legitimate apps. Malware is also a problem, not just for the official store but also for alternative Android apps stores.

The whiners, critics, phandroids, and <insert troll members here> have all ripped on Apple for trying to "control" what goes into the app store.

This is exactly what happens when no one is watching the store. As far as I'm concerned, those folks got what they asked for. I say leave the Android marketplace as the giant pile of steaming droppings it is and continue on with a cleaner, more effective Apple app store.

Reminds me of a scene from "Robocop" when the police force goes on strike and the entire city goes to ruins.
post #7 of 29
I knew it would be a DED article just by the title. Which is always a must read.
And I agree that all the other players will find it difficult to replicate Apples success for the reasons stated.
However I had to laugh at the line
Quote:
"In fact, Amazon may eventually begin selling Mac apps within its own store alongside Android, much as it has entered into the ebooks market, selling titles in parallel with Apple's iBooks and Google's new Books market."

I know what he meant but it makes it sound as though Amazon only got into selling eBooks after Apple and Google started doing it.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

The whiners, critics, phandroids, and <insert troll members here> have all ripped on Apple for trying to "control" what goes into the app store.

This is exactly what happens when no one is watching the store. As far as I'm concerned, those folks got what they asked for. I say leave the Android marketplace as the giant pile of steaming droppings it is and continue on with a cleaner, more effective Apple app store.

Reminds me of a scene from "Robocop" when the police force goes on strike and the entire city goes to ruins.

Exactly right. The only ones whining I suspect are the ones either wanting to do nefarious things or are simply jealous of the success of Apple for some strange reason and will say anything negative they can about anything related to Apple.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookie01 View Post

I knew it would be a DED article just by the title. Which is always a must read.
And I agree that all the other players will find it difficult to replicate Apples success for the reasons stated.
However I had to laugh at the line


I know what he meant but it makes it sound as though Amazon only got into selling eBooks after Apple and Google started doing it.

I wish Mac addresses could be used to spot those with multiple accounts. Just saying ...
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

You have to believe ATV apps are coming. Not heard anything though regarding developer SDK yet, you'd think that would be here now or close. I assume any iOS or OS X product could be a control device for such apps. Any thoughts on that aspect?

Here is my basic outline of what this could offer Apple by leveraging their strengths:
  1. AppleTV App Store solidifies users on a single, longterm media extender appliance (MEA). IOW, you're less likely to switch systems if you have invested in apps.

  2. AppleTV App Store SDK with additional frameworks for seamless cross-computing for Mac OS X and other iOS-based devices solidies Apple's ecosystem for a "double-edged halo effect.

  3. AppleTV App Store with SDK allows Apple to do the unthinkable with Home Entertainment System (HES) device. It allows them to do systematic HW updates that users will pay for to get the latest features. For example, games being smoother on new AppleTV HW or games designed to take advantage of newer AppleTV HW. I don't think this would be best on a 1 year cycle like other iOS-based products, but 18-24 months seems feasible to me for a $99 media extender.
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post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wish Mac addresses could be used to spot those with multiple accounts. Just saying ...

MAC addresses are not broadcast in the http protocol. The moderators can see IP addresses shared by multiple users although not a foolproof way to identify a single person with multiple accounts. Of course having multiple accounts is not against the rules until one of them gets banned.

If the moderators get complaints about a certain user they may make an effort to identify the other accounts and if the attitude and writing style are similar enough to a previously banned user on the same IP, they probably would take the appropriate action.

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post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


p.s. Any developer out there working on an instant Troll blocker extension yet?

It makes me a troll because I'm pointing out something that the author shouldn't have written? That's AppleInsider for you. Blinded by double standards. I bet you call everyone who doesn't agree with you a troll.
post #13 of 29
The only thing I downloaded from the chrome store are the themes for the browser. I dont think that store will take off until there is a sizable number of chrome os users. This too however is looking less and less likely as android is now looking to be the mobile platform for both tablets and cell phones. In short, I can see some potential in welling web apps on the chrome store, but picasa, picnik, google Docs and office live are all free and they are about the only thing I would buy from a web store.
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post #14 of 29
...and with all of the factual accuracy and journalistic integrity of a Blackadder sketch DED rolls back into town!

It was entertaining though and you did get my click, that's the most important thing!
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HahaHaha321 View Post

Of course the author of this post needs to make an excuse as to why the Safari Extension Gallery hasn't been popular. Yet he slams the other ones. It's true that it hasn't been advertised, but neither have the other ones! It's such a double standard.

I don't know about you but this is a damn nice list of extensions:

http://extensions.apple.com/

Not to mention the presentation of them is professional versus juvenile and a waste of space coming from Google.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I don't know about you but this is a damn nice list of extensions:

http://extensions.apple.com/

Not to mention the presentation of them is professional versus juvenile and a waste of space coming from Google.

I actually really like the extension gallery. It's easy to use and easy to remove anything you don't want. What bothers me is that the author makes an excuse of why it's not "popular" for Apple, but trash the others.
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

The whiners, critics, phandroids, and <insert troll members here> have all ripped on Apple for trying to "control" what goes into the app store.

This is exactly what happens when no one is watching the store. As far as I'm concerned, those folks got what they asked for. I say leave the Android marketplace as the giant pile of steaming droppings it is and continue on with a cleaner, more effective Apple app store.

Reminds me of a scene from "Robocop" when the police force goes on strike and the entire city goes to ruins.

Mmmm... Maybe the Apple iTunes app store should sell Android, WP7 and others' apps -- Apple certainly has the infrastructure in place to do this successfully.


Hey, make the iTMS (iTunes Media Store) the one-stop-shopping place for all your content -- including smart phone, tablet and computer apps.
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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookie01 View Post

I knew it would be a DED article just by the title.

Sadly, yes! Just had to have that DedDig at Google.
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post #19 of 29
"However, a report by TechCrunch notes that "unfortunately, as far as we can tell, nobody is really buying anything on it." The site pointed out that some titles are only seeing a half dozen downloads a week, and "few of the other applications in the list are doing better, but even those are still showing lackluster sales."

That might be due to the fact that there are currently no consumer-level/obtainable devices running the Chrome OS until "later this summer".
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post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

"However, a report by TechCrunch notes that "unfortunately, as far as we can tell, nobody is really buying anything on it." The site pointed out that some titles are only seeing a half dozen downloads a week, and "few of the other applications in the list are doing better, but even those are still showing lackluster sales."

That might be due to the fact that there are currently no consumer-level/obtainable devices running the Chrome OS until "later this summer".

Not exactly. Chrome as a browser will let you buy "Apps" if I am not mistaken, meaning all three major platforms can have a potential buyer.

I think the problem is in the mindset of the internet user population. How many of us pay a website to view their services? Imagine if we had to pay Facebook to use their site, the uproar! Don't even start to mention Net-Neutrality! There are those who do pay individual sites, but most use the internet (pay our ISPs for the privilege) to use free services and web sites. The fact that most Chrome Web"Apps" are merely bookmarks, makes it a hard sell to those who see the internet as a "Pay to get online, the rest is free."

In contrast, the Mac App Store will be a downloaded program versus a web hosted page or web app. Its the mentality around it in my opinion. Therefore, I think its comparing Apples to Oranges.
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post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

The whiners, critics, phandroids, and <insert troll members here> have all ripped on Apple for trying to "control" what goes into the app store.

This is exactly what happens when no one is watching the store. As far as I'm concerned, those folks got what they asked for. I say leave the Android marketplace as the giant pile of steaming droppings it is and continue on with a cleaner, more effective Apple app store.

Reminds me of a scene from "Robocop" when the police force goes on strike and the entire city goes to ruins.

I think what they are ripping about is the rejection of products that offer a similar feature or service that already exists through apple or through the censorship of a product like lets say adult entertainment. These are not products that violate IP, or are malware products, or "fake apps".
post #22 of 29
"Android is an open platform and entities other than Google are free to create their own content and marketplaces"...

This is because Google is eager to use its web search and freeware as platforms for web ads and AdMob ads. Ads are Google's biggest source of revenue by a huge margin. And if other entities like Amazon and Verizon create their own marketplaces to distribute adware, Google is happy.

Android is adware. Pure and simple. Google has no interest in paid apps succeeding on Android Marketplace. Google's product isn't Android. It's you, the customer, and Google wants your eyeballs on AdMob ads.

Peter Vesterbacka goes on to say this about Android: "Open but not really open, a very Google centric ecosystem. And paid content just doesnt work on Android.

There are many articles with this quote. Just Google (oh the irony) "Peter Vesterbacka interview."

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post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

p.s. Any developer out there working on an instant Troll blocker extension yet?

Once you've logged in to this forum, go to the User CP tab at the top, then select "Edit Ignore List." Then enter the name(s) of those whose posts you want to hide (ignore). Then you won't see those posts. I hear that vBulletin (the host of this forum) is working on a related option that shows you how many viewers have added you to their ignore list. I can't wait to see mine!
post #24 of 29

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 5/4/12 at 12:41pm
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Are you advocating that OS X be limited to only the apps in the App Store?

Of course not. I never even remotely implied that. Nice try though.

However, as a one-stop shop to get an app, I'm all for Apple staying at the helm. I will have a much better feeling of "security" knowing that Apple tries to ensure that whatever comes out of their store and onto my machine has their stamp-of-approval compared to the junk and drive-by-malware that infects the Android Marketplace.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HahaHaha321 View Post

Of course the author of this post needs to make an excuse as to why the Safari Extension Gallery hasn't been popular. Yet he slams the other ones. It's true that it hasn't been advertised, but neither have the other ones! It's such a double standard.

I honestly never even knew it existed until about a few weeks ago. Still haven't checked it out because I knew the App store was coming.
post #27 of 29
I don't get why people buy this crap. People bought windows computers because they thought every thing had to be 'compatible', or they thought macs were too expensive. But with mobile devices these arguments don't wash. An iPhone can be had for $150; so what if somebody offers 2 for 1. I just don't get it.

Google is becoming more and more synonymous with crap. They just want to give everything away, then plaster it with ads like a european hockey player. No thanks, I'll pay the dollar for the ad free version. I'm even beginning to question the integrity of their searchs.
post #28 of 29
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post #29 of 29
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