Chapter 5. Apps

Rumors of Amazon’s development of its own “iPad killer” tablet really started looking more like an inevitability when it launched its Appstore, and this move even seemed to confirm the operating system they would use as their platform. That’s right: Android. But the flavor of Android was a bit of a surprise.

Just as Amazon completely reworked the Android operating system from the ground up to provide their own customized user experience, they also made changes to what you can buy in the Appstore by curating their own hand-picked subset of apps for inclusion. Like the critics of Apple’s App Store, many users have decried this decision as a draconian limitation, a way of locking down a previously open platform with their need for complete control. While the naysayers have a point, in practice, what users gain in the process (a more searchable interface that leads to much more intuitive discovery of apps you’d actually want) might be more than what is lost (an abundance of fart apps and buggy, untested clutter). In any case, from Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds, to Pandora and Quickoffice, you’ll find most of your favorite Android apps in the Amazon Appstore for Android. Heck, Amazon even let Netflix into the game, allowing competition for their video-streaming service.

Note

But don’t expect to see a Nook app anytime soon. Some rivalries just run a little too deep.

Regardless of whether you like it or not, with the Fire, Amazon turned the model of what an Android tablet ...

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