All developers of applications on the Android platform hoping above all else to keep their applications secure might have a shining beacon of light coming in from Amazon's Appstore. With what they're calling Digital Rights Management, they're offering a soft of lock on any app you sell through Amazon Appstore that would require anyone who hopes to access an app to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client as well as have verification from the user who original purchaser of the app in order to download. How is this different from what the Android Marketplace offers? Let's talk about it.
First of all, not much. In order to download apps to your Android device that you've purchased, for instance, using the browser-based Android Marketplace with your desktop computer, you've also got to have the Android Marketplace downloaded and you've got to be logged in with your matching account. What this appears to be on Amazon's part is an additional assurance that their Digital Locker (essentially the same sort of cloud access to apps as the Android Marketplace has) is just as secure for developers hoping to have close control over how paying customers download their apps to their devices.
Have a look at the full text as presented by Amazon Appstore and see if you can parse how the wording is any different than what you're currently experiencing with Google's Android Marketplace. Pay special attention to the wording around what they note as being the "biggest concerns developers have." You can also access this information by following the official Amazon Appstore Developer Blog. Have a peek at their wording here:
Amazon Appstore Digital Rights Management simplifies life for developers and customers 3/3/2011 --
If you own a Kindle, you’ve experienced the power of having a Digital Locker and the ability to download your purchased content to just about any device. The notion of “buy once, read anywhere” will now also apply to your Android apps purchased through the Amazon Appstore.
Customers who purchase an app will retain an entitlement to their app even if they decide to replace their current Android device and/or purchase new devices, as long as the new devices meet the installation requirements of the app. This provides insurance to customers that their purchased apps will be available for use on all supported devices, even if the customer has uninstalled or otherwise removed those apps in the past.
The digital locker service combined with a robust Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution not only make managing apps easier for customers, they also address one of the biggest concerns developers have: unauthorized copying and distribution. An authorized user can now install your app on any of their supported devices; however, if you chose to apply DRM on your app at submission time, your app will not run on unauthorized devices.
Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app. When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app. If the user does not sign in or does not have an entitlement to that app, then the app will not be usable. However, any user can gain an entitlement by purchasing the app through Amazon.
Seem like a better deal to you than the Android Marketplace? We're not so sure. Seems like very similar stuff to the main Google outlet.
[via Amazon Appstore Developer Blog]