Amazon App Store

Earlier today Amazon announced the launch of their App Store for Android Phones.  I installed the app on my HTC Desire and tried to install my first app (Angry Birds, which is free for the day) – but it didn’t work as it seems that paying for a (free!) app is not yet available in the UK.

Despite this minor glitch there do seem to be an increasing number of app stores being developed, starting with Apple’s iTunes App Store which was followed by their Macintosh App Store.  In addition to Amazon’s offering I read recently that Opera Opens Cross Platform Mobile App Store and, of course, Microsoft also intend to join in (with Apple complicating matters having claimed rights to the name ‘app store’).

But if app stores take off as a simple way of installing new applications on mobile devices and desktop computers where will this leave universities?  If you wish students to install an app to access a VLE or student portal, will it have to be approved by the owner of th app store?  And if this approach isn’t taken, won’t installing apps appear cumbersome to end users?