Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Amazon launches Android App Store

Author: Thuc Huynh, MD

This morning, Amazon ruffled some feathers when it opened it's own App Store for Android.  It launched with 3,800 apps priced between $0.99 cents and $45 dollars.  Of those apps that are currently listed, 121 apps are health related and only 42 of those health apps are specifically for medical professionals.

Amazon's App store has some big shoes to fill with Google Market as a direct competitor.  But Amazon is approaching the apps business differently.  Unlike Google Market, Amazon will be screening every application to ensure it meets certain standards of quality.  In addition, Amazon is markedly undercutting Google's prices.  With Google, whatever price a developer sets, that's what the price will be.  With Amazon, it's the company who will ultimately decide the price based on their own market research.

Another draw to Amazon's App Store is the ability to "test drive" an application before you buy it.  This is a fantastic tool that I've wished for many times.  It would have saved my pocketbook on several occasions.  The feature isn't available for all apps just yet, but Amazon is working on it.

The biggest perk about Amazon's new App Store is it's free app of the day giving consumers a reason to check out their site everyday.  This is a very smart marketing move.

Amazon already makes it very easy to buy books, gadgets, and everyday stuff.  Their app store fits right in and features filters to narrow down apps by category, pricing, and rating.  I'm not an android user but with this new app store, I almost wish I was.

About the author:

Dr. Thuc Huynh is CEO of ScrubdIN, a startup company that aims to help health professionals and patients choose their next medical app. Her main interest lies around how medicine can play a role with web 2.0 and social media. Dr. Huynh is currently Chief Resident at her Family Medicine Residency in Rapid City, SD and received her B.S. and M.D. at the Medical University of the Americas.

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