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Amazon's app store is catching up

Amazon's app store is only a year old and already it’s giving Google Play and the Apple app store some serious competition. Amazon knows how to do ecommerce, and they’re showing it in how they get the attention of the ones who provide the products: mobile app developers.

Amazonapps overseer is Aaron Rubenson. In a recent interview, Rubenson gave a little hint as to why their app business has grown so fast. “When you think about some of the things that Amazon does that other platforms don’t, we have this huge physical capability to ship stuff around the world,” Rubenson said. “Games will sell plush toys, but you could imagine other scenarios where a recipes app could send cookbooks.”

Amazon does seem to like change and manages it well.

Amazon recently started letting developers offer in-app purchases of physical goods, which will be a big deal for companies like Angry Birds-maker Rovio, Talking Friends-maker Outfit7, Russia’s Zeptolab and more.

Amazon’s Game Circle offers social features to gamers like the ability to share achievements and leaderboards. It can save a gamer’s progress in the cloud, so that changing devices doesn’t require restarting a game.

Last year, Amazon had some controversial pricing that frustrated developers. It had all the power when it came to the amount to charge for apps. Since developers are paid a percentage based on of what their apps sell for a big discount meant lost income for the designer. The company recently changed this so that developers earn 70 percent of what they originally priced their apps at, even if Amazon discounts their work. This is the same arrangement that Google Play and Apple Apps stores give their designers.

Amazon just opened its store to five international markets, so these changes are based on what’s been going on in the U.S. They have a long way to go before they're a big contender for Apple and Google app business, but the new kid seems to be doing it right.

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