Amazon now have their own Android Appstore to compete with Google’s Android Market. They give away a free (normally paid-for) app every day. I missed SwiftKey the other day, now its just fecking Angry Birds or some crap.

For some reason its (USA) only, but it seems to work via email/wifi for (UK) accounts, just not via SMS/3g I guess. A lot of the free content seems to be duplicates of what’s already on Android Market though.

There was some worries about the DRM scheme that Amazon uses, it seemed that their copy-protection relied on the user being online when using the app, but its since been clarified that it only needs to be online for download/first use and occasionally it may sync (call home) like Android Market does.

I also made my first Android Market purchase of LauncherPro Plus, well its not quite on the Market yet, so I still had to use PayPal, but you get the point. It was only £1.92 or something thanks to the worthless $$$ 😉

Its an alternative launcher app – basically changes the functionality of the icons at the bottom of the screen. Instead of being just web browser and phone, you now also have contacts and messaging; but more importantly each icon now has a swipe gesture – so when you swipe the app icon, it pops up a list of your most used apps; the browser icon brings up your favourites list; the messaging icon brings up your unread SMS and so on.

Also the icons themselves are used as notifications, e.g. the phone icon will show the number of missed calls, the messaging icon shows the number of unread SMS etc.

Useful for me with fat fingers is that pressing the home button when already on the home screen will open your notifications list so you don’t have to struggle to drag the tiny notification bar down from the top left of the screen.

There’s also some LP+ specific widgets like “People” which is like a shortcut to your favourite contacts with photo’s and buttons for map location, email, contact info, SMS, phone and even Google Talk if you’re in the USA.

I found a few useful plugins for Calibre:

I must try Kindle Collections plugin with Mum’s Kindle3 as its a right royal PITA to create/allocate collections on the Kindle itself. The plugins seem to be able to fetch metadata/covers for some books that Amazon can’t.

I’ve also added a couple of new categories to the blog – Ebooks and Android, I’m considering removing the Xbox category and just making it a tag as most of the posts are actually about XBMC (now Plex).

Update: it seems even with an account, it still doesn’t allow you to download apps outside the USA.