Amazon launches Android App Store

Free app-of-the-day but yet to launch outside of the US
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The world's largest etailer Amazon has launched the Amazon App Store for Android in the US including the ability to test drive applications on a desktop computer.

In order to entice Android smartphone and tablet owners to frequently check on the web-based store, Amazon will be offering a premium paid-for application every day as Amazon's free app-of-the-day.

Currently the free app of the day is normally 99c Angry Birds Rio game. Competing with Google's 'official' Android Marketplace, the Amazon Appstore offers to send a link to email addresses or phone numbers to download the alternative marketplace application.

Another necessary step is to change an Android security setting to allow the installation of applications from 'unknown sources'.

Amazon's approach will differ from Google's free-for-all Marketplace in that the retailer will curate the Amazon Appstore, applying a new application approval process in the same way as the iTunes App Store.

Google's famously open strategy of the Android Marketplace came under scrutiny recently when a cyber criminal republished dozens of popular applications with embedded malware. The infected data-stealing apps were downloaded thousands of times by Android smartphone owners around the world.

On the same day Bloomberg reported that Apple launched legal action against Amazon over the firm's "App Store" trademark. The action is not unexpected but it's thought Amazon will seek to move that an "app store" is a generic term.

Amazon has not yet announced when the new Amazon App Store will be available in Europe and elsewhere.

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