Amazon Appstore launches in-app purchasing for all devs, matches Apple’s 70-30 revenue split

Amazon is rolling out a new feature to developers distributing apps through the Amazon Appstore for Android that was previously only available to select partners. Starting today, all developers can now use In-App Purchasing features to offer users the ability to buy more content directly through their apps.

Based off Amazon’s one-click purchasing system, the new in-app purchasing features have been in beta for several months with developers including Gameloft, Disney, ZeptoLab, and publishers such as Conde Nast and New York Post. Allowing developers to offer content such as “upgrades, expansion packs, in-game currency” and magazine issues, Amazon appstore’s Director Aaron Rubenson explained to TechCrunch that Amazon will take a 30 percent cut from transactions like Apple and Facebook does. However, Amazon can set pricing, where developers will still receive 30 percent of the list price:

“We’re just following the paradigm that’s out there with the 70-30 split… This is a little bit different from the revenue share that we have for paid app sales. We looked at each purchase case separately.”

Storm8, a developer that was part of the beta, told AllThingsD that the in-app purchasing features generated an extra $700,000 in revenue for its 10 free-to-play apps during March.

As noted by TechCrunch, Amazon doe not seem to be limiting developers to its in-app purchasing technology for non-Kindle devices. In other words, Google’s in-app purchasing tech could be used for Android devices, but Rubenson confirmed only Amazon’s solution would work for Kindle Fire.

You can learn more about the Amazon Appstore developer program here. The full press release from Amazon is below:

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First-ever Google TV Hackathon Weekend starts April 20; Hangout with Google TV execs tomorrow

Google is presenting the first-ever Google TV Hackathon Weekend for television-loving Android geeks later this month.

The Internet giant announced today that it is collaborating with the Silicon Valley Android Developers Group and the London Android Group to host two simultaneous TV Hackathons with the goal of creating new experiences for Google TV.

The SVAndroid Hackathon is taking place at Google TV headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and tickets are $20, but purchasing options end April 17.

Team ideas will be announced April 20, and the following day is “devoted to building, with breaks for demo sessions, Q&As, and a hangout with Google TV developers,” according to the Official Google TV Blog. The teams will present ideas to judges April 22 for the chance to win tickets to Google I/O and other prizes.

The Londroid Hackathon is occurring at the Google Campus in London, United Kingdom. It will run concurrent with the Mountain View event to gather Android devs throughout Europe.

“We will kick things off bright and early on Saturday, April 21, with introductions and background information on developing for Google TV. Teams will power on through Saturday night so that we can do a round of presentations and prizes at lunchtime on Sunday,” explained Google TV Senior Developer Advocate Paul Carff on the Official Google TV Blog.

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Leaked: Google+ to integrate with Google Analytics for measuring page activity

Leaked slides from a confidential deck show Google+ may soon feature Google Analytics integration.

Dutch website Dutchcowboys found the entire deck with screens showcasing the combined services. According to the slides, users will soon have access to total number of visits with percentage of new visits, page views, average time spent on the site, and the bounce rate for their Google+ pages.

Google+ is a social network operated by Google Inc., and Google Analytics is a free service that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website. There is currently no way to measure or view Google+ activity other than self-analyzing +1 social engagement.

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Facebook acquires photo sharing app ‘Instagram’ for $1 billion

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg just announced that the social network has acquired photo-sharing app “Instagram” for $1 billion. Instagram’s CEO Kevin Systrom also made a statement through the company’s blog and confirmed it will “be working with Facebook to evolve Instagram and build the network.” Instagram’s Android app just launched last week to nearly 2,000 signups a minute and a million downloads in 24 hours.

Zuckerberg’s full announcement is below, and Facebook’s official press release is here:

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RIM drops app-sideloading support thanks to ‘Android Market Cesspool’

Blackberry Playbook users have —for a long time— been able to sideload Android apps for those who have not been updated with native versions for RIM’s tablet. As noted in a recent report from CrackBerry, Vice President of Developer Relations at RIM Alec Saunders announced via Twitter that the feature is being removed and an alternative solution for developers is on the way. In an earlier tweet, he noted, “Privacy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market.” CrackBerry explained the reasoning behind the move:

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Hollywood shuns Google’s presence at White House dinner, still angry over antipiracy legislation protest

Google is attending this year’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, but the movie-making industry is anything but excited about the Internet giant’s presence.

According to The New York Times’ blog, the dinner is a large Hollywood affair equipped with buffets, banquets, and after-parties, where entertainment stars, media moguls, and famed celebrities alike gather to party the night away and mingle with the country’s most powerful politicians.

Google’s Eric Schmidt is a fresh face on this year’s guest list, but many show business executives, still scorned by the defeated antipiracy legislation earlier this year, are perturbed that the executive chairman plans to appear.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s role in conquering the hotly-debated legislation, coupled with Schmidt’s co-hosted pre-event party with The Hollywood Reporter in Washington on April 27, is just salt on the wound for many media executives.

The Los Angeles Times even noted the party does not “go unnoticed in the community.”

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HTC reports painful Q1: Net profit plummets 70 percent, sales drop 35 percent

HTC released unaudited Q1 2012 sales figures today, and the painful results show the Taiwanese manufacturer is floundering due to heavy competition.

First-quarter revenues pulled $2.3 billion USD, which is a 35-percent drop year-over-year (PDF), while net profit plummeted 70 percent to roughly $148 million USD.

HTC Chief Financial Officer Winston Yung predicted the rough quarter due to increased competition from Samsung and Apple, but he also blamed HTC for the sudden down spiral.

“We simply dropped the ball on products in the fourth quarter,” said Yung said during the Feb. 6 conference call, while noting the Rezound and Vivid handsets did not meet the company’s expectations.

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Samsung estimates record quarterly profit of $5.15B with strong Galaxy Note sales

Ahead of its full quarterly report scheduled for April 27, Samsung Electronics today estimated its operating profits for the three-month period that ended in March. Estimated at 5.8 trillion won or $5.15 billion USD, that is nearly double the company’s results from the same quarter a year ago and up from the roughly 5 trillion won originally forecasted by analysts. While attributing the strong quarter to the Galaxy Note, the report from Reuters noted Samsung is “set to consolidate its market position with new products” over the next few months, including a “revamped Galaxy S” that will compete with Apple’s next iPhone:
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Google’s 7-inch tablet was always expected for Google I/O in late June

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There are reports today that Google’s 7-inch tablet made by ASUS has been delayed until July from an original release window in May.

I was told from the beginning that the tablets would be announced at Google I/O and shipping to the public shortly thereafter, so I do not know if this is a delay at all. The original source for May is Digitimes, so I am not sure how accurate the information is. Perhaps Google was hoping to bank on a little cushion in its delivery window.

What is the reason for the delay?

The Mountain View team plans to make some design changes and hopes to lower the price from the current $249. The tablet, made in partnership with Taiwan’s Asustek Computer, currently comes with a 7-inch screen, an Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, and is Wi-Fi-only.

Pictured above is the ASUS Memo370T shown off at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in January and due in the second quarter. It has some beefy specs including a Tegra 3 processor, 8-megapixel camera, and a 720P display. It has a retail price of $249, so I am not sure if Google really needs to get the price down too far. This is already a solid tablet.

If the release is pushed to July, it would mean that attendees will not get the tablet at the show (I have not heard this specifically) and would have to get a voucher/mail-in kind of thing like the Samsung ChromeBooks last year.

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More on the Google Project Glass including the first spotting on Sergey Brin

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Besides the Scobelizer spotting Google Glasses on co-founder Sergey Brin (above), we are hearing some additional information about the project. First, the brand was changed from “Project Wingfront,” which was the name of the project in the [x] labs. As it graduated to public knowledge, Google needed a more general-purpose name. I am told this decision was made in the past month.

Additionally, my understanding is that there has been a lot of strife in the Wingfront group over the past few months. Product people complain that they need time to iterate and perfect the experience, while management wants to get these into the outside world as soon as possible. Some strong tensions in the group are getting even more heated as more people are brought in.

The glasses shown off in the video and on the Plus page is only one of many prototypes worn in the [x] labs. I am told that there are clip-on models that attach to normal glasses, as well as ones built into full-fledge sunglasses that I previously detailed (here and here).

But most importantly, when can we buy these things? Read more