Amazon adding digital locker to Appstore for Android

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Online retail giant Amazon.com continues to reveal details of its forthcoming Android application storefront, promising a digital locker solution mirroring the "buy once, read anywhere" concept underlying its Kindle ereader platform. Consumers who purchase applications via the Amazon Appstore for Android will retain the rights to access that app in the event they replace their current Android device or upgrade to a new unit: "This provides insurance to customers that their purchased apps will be available for use on all supported devices, even if the customer has uninstalled or otherwise removed those apps in the past," writes Android software development engineer Zahur Peracha on Amazon Appstore Developer Blog.

Beyond consumer benefits, Amazon states that the digital locker service will work in tandem with its digital rights management solution to address developer concerns over unauthorized software copying and distribution. "Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app," Peracha explains. "When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app. If the user does not sign in or does not have an entitlement to that app, then the app will not be usable. However, any user can gain an entitlement by purchasing the app through Amazon." Developers are not required to apply Amazon's DRM solution to their Appstore for Android submissions, however. 

Amazon.com launched its Appstore Developer Portal in early January, officially confirming its long-rumored plans to roll out an Android application storefront later in 2011. The self-service Amazon Appstore Developer Portal tool enables software programmers to join the company's Appstore Developer Program and submit apps for sale via the Amazon Appstore for Android--the retailer will test all apps before introducing them in the store, guaranteeing a positive user experience and protecting consumers from malware and other potentially harmful situations.

The Amazon Appstore for Android will offer developers a 70 percent cut of all revenues--the retailer plans to charge a $99 annual fee to participate in the Appstore Developer Program, although admission will be free during the initiative's first year. Applications available in the Amazon Appstore for Android will operate on all smartphones and tablets running Android 1.6 and above; Amazon promises a series of automated marketing features extending its signature product recommendation engine to mobile software merchandising, as well as a Bestsellers section to further improve consumer discovery.

For more:
- read this Amazon Appstore Developer Blog entry

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