It’s turning out to be a good week for web apps. First Google introduced tools to bring Chrome apps to other platforms in the guise of native apps, and now Amazon is letting developers charge for HTML 5 apps in the Amazon Appstore.
As of last August, Amazon allowed web apps be in the Appstore alongside Android apps, but until now developers couldn’t make any money from them. App owners can set the list price for their app, although Amazon may change what it charges, and the software will be made available in close to 200 countries around the world.
Just like with the Android apps in the store, HTML 5 apps can be part of Amazon’s Free App of the Day program.
Amazon says that can drive significant traffic to the app for promotional purposes, although we’ve seen that may not amount to developer revenue. One app featured in 2011 jumped from 20 sales per day to more than 100,000 downloads while featured. Once the daily promotion was over, sales dropped right back down and the developer didn’t make a dime from what would have been $54,805 if it could have charged for the downloads.
Regardless, the move shows another step towards web apps being viewed as a viable alternative, or at least a complement, to native mobile applications.