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Amazon announced today that “app downloads in the App Store have grown more than 500% over the previous year.” The growth is most likely being driven by good sales of the Kindle Fire line of products, including the new Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ as well as strong developer support that has enticed developers to create compelling Android applications for Amazon’s tablets.

As we have talked about in our review of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9″, Amazon locks you into their ecosystem with their products meaning even though their Kindle Fire line of tablets run Android, you don’t have access to Google Play. This means Amazon really needs to get developers onboard, and have them commit to building apps for their [Amazon] tablets. And to help do that Amazon announced a number of new developer features today as well.

The biggest feature announced today by Amazon was the A/B Testing, which will allow developers to test simultaneous treatments of their apps, receive data about what is working best, and quickly adjust their apps to take advantage of what they learned from the customer. This is a great feature and one that will surely help developers deliver the best apps, which in the end of course is a win for the consumer.

Along with A/B Testing, Amazon also launched Achievements, Leaderboards, Whispersync across devices, In-App Purchasing, and 1-Click Purchasing.

While I’m really excited to see Amazon’s App Store doing so well, I still think it has a long way to go. While there are a number of big title apps within their store, there is still not nearly the same independent app developer community that can be found currently on Apple’s App Store.


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