Amazon Appstore will verify Android apps

A safer alternative to malware infested Marketplace?
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The world's largest retailer Amazon is set to launch the firm's own Android 'app store' in competition with Google's Android Marketplace.

The Amazon Appstore will offer one substantial benefit to users over the default Android Marketplace, the firm is planning on implementing an Apple-style approval process which aims to validate applications prior to them appearing for sale.

Taken from the new developer FAQ: "...we will be testing the apps you submit prior to making them available in our store to verify that each app works as outlined in your product description, does not impair the functionality of the mobile device or put customer data at risk once installed."

The announcement comes hot on the heels of major malware attack on the Android Marketplace with one cyber criminal republishing 21 popular free applications infected with malware capable of rooting Android smartphones, stealing user data and downloading further malicious code.

Google's (in)famously open Marketplace meant there was no barrier between the criminals and potentially millions of Android smartphone owners. When notified Google acted with lightning speed to remove the applications but they were still on the site for four days, downloaded tens of thousands of times.

The Amazon Appstore terms also bans pornography, intellectual copyright infringement and any form of illegal activity.

Amazon Appstore boss Aaron Rubenson told mobile-device.biz that the company decided to launch the service in order to "improve the customer experience."

"The sheer number of apps available today makes it hard for customers to find high-quality, relevant products. Similarly, developers struggle to get their apps noticed - and we think of developers as customers also."

"We've spent years developing innovative features that help customers find and discover relevant products from our vast selection, and we're excited to apply those capabilities to the apps market segment."

The Amazon Appstore will initially launch in the US 'soon', according to Rubenson, with a worldwide launch to follow. 

The store will be initially Android only but Rubenson said the retailer is looking to "evaluate opportunities to expand our selection on an ongoing basis."

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