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Amazon's 'Appstore' Launches Free Angry Birds

Amazon.com today launched its very own Android "Appstore," accessible via www.amazon.com/appstore for customers in the U.S. It may just be another applications store for Google's open mobile OS, but Amazon differentiates itself with something called "Test Drive" that lets customers test apps on a simulated Android phone. Customers control the app through their computer using a mouse.

"Test Drive lets customers truly experience an app before they commit to buying. It is a unique, new way to shop for apps," says Paul Ryder, vice president of electronics for Amazon.com. "Our customers have told us that the sheer number of apps available can make it hard to find apps that are high quality and relevant to them. We've spent years developing innovative features that help customers discover relevant products. By applying these features - plus new ones like Test Drive - we're aiming to give customers a refreshing app shopping experience."

While it may be hard to pry existing Android customers away from the default Marketplace, nothing draws a crowd like free stuff. For today only, Angry Birds Rio, exclusively for Android in the Amazon Appstore, will be free.

Customers can shop in the Amazon Appstore from any computer using a web browser. They can also access the Amazon Appstore directly on their Android phones or tablets, once they've installed the Amazon Appstore application. When customers purchase an Android app from the Amazon Appstore they can use the app on any of their Android devices.

The Amazon Appstore will include Amazon features like personalized recommendations, customer reviews, and 1-Click payment options. There will also be detailed product descriptions, including screenshots and video content that shows apps in action.

Anyone give it a spin yet? Anyone doing it just for the free Angry Birds? After the free offer for Angry Birds Rio is up on launch day, Amazon will offer a different paid app for free every day.