The online mega-retailer Amazon opened its very own app store today (March 22) for users of the Android operating system, a popular platform for smartphones and a growing one for tablet computers.
Android, of course, already has an app store through Google, its developer. But that store, called the Android Market, has far less oversight than the app store par excellence, Apple's App Store. Case in point: More than 50 malware-infested apps were discovered in the Android Market a few weeks ago.
That recent brouhaha bodes well for Amazon as it looks to distinguish itself from the Android Market by carefully vetting apps, just like Apple does. Amazon is also bringing its highly successful recommendation engine to bear so that people shopping for apps will be directed to other software applications they might want.
To help lure people in to its new storefront, Amazon will offer a paid app for free each day. The initial offering is Angry Birds Rio, which usually goes for $0.99.
As for the name "Appstore," it remains to be seen if that will remain the official title. Apple, never one to pull litigious punches, has sued Amazon over naming rights.