Amazon’s first smartphone isn’t expected to get its official reveal until this Wednesday, but the retailer isn’t leaving anything to chance when it comes to ecosystem with a renewed push to its Appstore. The download store – which caters to Amazon’s heavily-customized version of Android it uses on the Kindle Fire HDX tablets, Fire TV set-top box, and is expected to deploy again on the as-yet unnamed smartphone – now has in excess of 240,000 titles, Amazon announced today, meaning it has almost tripled in content versus last year.
That’s important, since Amazon’s devices can’t access the regular Google Play store for apps. While the underlying architecture is the same – the same title can be sideloaded onto each platform – Amazon’s variation on Android doesn’t qualify to include Google’s apps and services.
Amazon uses its own payment platform, as well as Amazon Coins its virtual currency, and developers are required to independently submit their apps to the store.
Interest in doing that is likely to increase once the Amazon phone is revealed on Wednesday, given it will open the door to a new rush of potential customers. Details on the expected phone are scant, though it’s believed to borrow the same matte black styling from the Fire HDX tablets, in addition to face-tracking for a new type of UI.
Whether that system will require extra customization from developers to their apps is unclear at this stage, however. We should know more after Wednesday.