Based on new figures released by Amazon, 2012 was a great year to be an Android developer. Just yesterday, Amazon reported that downloads on the company’s Appstore have increased by 500% in the last year alone. Though the figures are a bit incomplete, as they lack a breakdown of free vs. paid downloads, it’s still promising data for Android devs.
Kevin Tofel of GigaOm speculates that the biggest drivers of growth were Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablet line, introduced in fall of 2011, as well as the company’s developer-friendly policies that compel programmers to build for their devices. Since the start of December 2012, the Appstore boasted nearly 60,000 applications, 45 percent of which were in the U.S., according to app store analytics firm Distimo. Thursday’s announcement also included the launch of A/B testing for Amazon Appstore apps, which will allow developers to vary content based on a number of parameters and analyze which content is received most favorably by users.