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CNET Update: Amazon touts Appstore before smartphone launch

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CNET Update: Amazon touts Appstore before smartphone launch

2:50 /

Prior to showing its rumored smartphone, Amazon says its Appstore library nearly tripled in size since last year. Also, Apple is allowing Bitcoin wallet apps back into iTunes.

Amazon is ready to shake things up, with a new smart phone. I'm Bridget Carey, and this is your Cnet update. [MUSIC] This is going to be a big week for Amazon. The company is expected to reveal its first smartphone on Wednesday. But, just before we see a new phone, Amazon wanted to boast about the size of its Appstore. It announced there are nearly triple the amount of apps, in it's app store since last year. Amazon is selling more than 240,000 apps and games, that's roughly the same amount of Windows phone apps. It's also a quarter of the size of the Appstores for Apple and Google. Kindle tablets can buy from the Amazon Appstore, and it's also available to anyone with an Android device. A large Appstore is crucial to convincing consumers, that an Amazon smartphone would be worth buying. The company also says Amazon's coins, are growing in popularity as a credit to buying things in the Appstore. The benefit to using Amazon Coins over normal money, is that sometimes it's cheaper to buy things with Amazon Coins. And in other digital currency news, Bitcoin is back in the Apple Appstore, iPhone owners can once again download Bitcoin wallet app. To make payments using the digital crypto-currency. Coin Pocket was the first to return to the US Appstore, which let's us send and receive Bitcoins and transfer coins between wallets. Late last year, Apple removed and rejected virtual currency apps. But, it reversed its stance and its now allowing approved virtual currency apps, at least for the time being to keep Bitcoin users from switching to android. If you're unfamiliar with Bitcoin, it isn't a currency you can touch, there are no actual coins, everything is digital. And its not tied to any nation, bank, or central authority, it's growing in popularity as more businesses accept BitCoin for payment. Just last week, Expedia began accepting BitCoins for booking hotel reservations. And if you're looking for some, shall we say, more traditional apps, well check out the new SwiftKey on Android. The popular keyboard app used to cost $4 but now it's free. Instead of charging you up front, you only have to pay for the extra keyboard designs and add-ons. It comes with 14 free keyboards, and new designs will cost of dollars. Now, this app will be coming to the iPhone in the fall. Apple is allowing custom keyboard for the first time, in iOS 8. That's your tech news update but there's always more at Cnet.com, and you can stay updated by following me on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey. [MUSIC]
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