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Summary:

Despite the recent improvements to Android Market, Amazon’s Appstore for Android is still winning over developers who are increasingly drawn to its marketplace for apps. The latest is TextPlus messaging app publisher Gogii, who has the featured free app of the day on Amazon today.

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Despite the recent improvements to Google’s Android Market, Amazon’s Appstore for Android is still winning over developers who are increasingly drawn to its marketplace for apps. The latest is TextPlus messaging app publisher Gogii, who has the featured free app of the day on Amazon Tuesday with its premium TextPlus Gold app.

I talked with Gogii CEO Scott Lahman about Amazon’s Appstore’s appeal and why it shines as a showcase for apps. He said even with the fast growth of Android hardware sales, there’s a sizable difference in the number of apps downloaded on iOS over Android. He said Gogii is turning to Amazon to help narrow that gap, hoping its expertise in online retail will pay off:

“The improvements to Android Market are great, but this is what we’ve been saying: It’s not just search. Search is great when you know what you want. It’s about merchandising; it’s user recommendations and trials. It’s classic retail, and it’s what makes a successful buying process, and who knows this better than Amazon?”

Lahman said Gogii will actually make TextPlus Gold, as well as a unique TextPlus Free Text and Group Text app, exclusive to Amazon for a few weeks before making them available in the Android Market. He said Amazon isn’t paying for the exclusive, nor did they ask for one. Lahman said Gogii is more interested in seeing how Amazon Appstore performs. He’s been told by Amazon that the free app of the day slot is good for a few hundred thousand downloads. That’s pretty impressive for a store that has to be installed onto devices in a somewhat complicated manner.

Lahman can afford to experiment with Amazon because Gogii isn’t hurting for users. It has hit 17 million downloads with 8 million active users and it recently hit 54 million messages per day in an increasingly competitive group messaging field. But it feels like it can do better on Android, especially as it looks to make more money. Lahman said Amazon’s base of credit card accounts, thought to be second to only Apple’s, is an important advantage in getting people to buy and also come back repeatedly. Amazon’s recommendation engine, one of the best in the business, is also a huge asset in surfacing quality content. And features like Test Drive, which allow users to try out an app on their computer, is a big win for developers, Lahman said.

“Amazon’s recommendation engine is proven and I love Test Drive,” Lahman said. “It’s what you need to get users past one download so people come back to the store.”

As we’ve reported, Android Market is making big strides with discovery, curation and check-out. But it has a very motivated rival now in Amazon, which is setting a high bar for Android app markets as a likely prelude to its own Android hardware devices. With more high-profile developers like PopCap and Gogii turning to Amazon with exclusives, it shows Google may need to do more than just keep up. It needs to take a lesson from Amazon and learn how to construct a well-oiled transaction machine that benefits makers of both free and paid apps. Until it does that, more developers are noting the opportunities Amazon offers.

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  1. Is this an article or a commercial?

    1. Didn’t mean to make this an advert for Amazon. It’s just more of a look at what it takes to get the attention of developers. And it’s another reason why we should be thinking about how big Amazon can be if it gets into the Android hardware business. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Ryan, as you may know Apple is suing Amazon.com since it started up a business similar to Apple’s successful “App Store”, and they named it “Appstore”.

    “App Store” has been a legally registered trademark since 2006. Apple received the rights to that trademark at the same time that it began operation of its iOS “App Store” in 2008. Now Apple has two similar businesses that use the “App Store” trademark, one for iOS apps and one for Mac apps.

    Amazon’s “defence” against Apple is that the term “app store” is generic, and should not be protected. Microsoft also supports this notion, as they plan to open their own “App Store” for Windows Phones.

    But here are two sets of facts that totally obliterate that allegation.

    #1:

    For a term to be “generic” it must be used universally.

    The term “app” is NOT used universally for executables. It has been, and still is ONLY used by Apple to describe executables and as a file extension for executables.

    Apple Mac OS X: executable term used is “application” or “app”, file extension is “.app”

    Apple iOS: executable term used is “App”, file extension is “.app” (within an “.ipa” wrapper)

    Microsoft Windows OS: executable term used is “executable” or “program”, file extension is “.exe”

    Microsoft Windows Mobile OS: executable term used is “executable”, file extension is “.exe”
    (Note: WP7 was released less than a year ago, and more than 3 years after Apple started the App Store.)

    Linux: executable term used is “Binary File”, file extension is “.bin”

    Android: executable term used is “Android Package”, file extension is “.apk”

    NO ONE other than Apple uses “App”! And Apple uses “App” for both naming and as an extension on both of its operating systems, Mac OS X & iOS.

    #2:

    Check out this Google Trends chart: http://www.google.com/trends?q=app%2C+application%2C+app+store

    It shows concretely that the term “app” was essentially non-existent as both a search word and as a news reference, until 2008 (AFTER Apple began operating it’s “App Store”). And the term “app store” did not show up at all on the chart until 2008 (again, AFTER Apple began operating it’s “App Store”).

    Apple should use this chart as a part of the evidence it will present to the court. ;-)

    1. This article has nothing to do with other companies application stores. Do you bring this up because:
      1. You are an attorney for a company bringing a lawsuit, and are foolishly tying your case in public.
      2. You are a stockholder in a Corporation and have a vested interest in promoting it through the comment system, as a form of advertising.
      3. You are a Zealot follower of a Corporation and are doing the equivalent of going door to door handing out leaflets, as a form of evangelism.

      I know what my guess would be.

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