Mar 23, 2011

Amazon Appstore for Android

In what could be the best news for Android gamers in a while, Amazon has finally got their Appstore for Android launched. I've complained about many shortcomings with Google's Android Market ever since this blog went live and while Google has addressed some of those issues there has always been plenty of room for improvement.

So, what does the Amazon Appstore do for you other than create market fragmentation? And, yes, I'll admit that it stinks to have multiple 'stores' to go to for the same basic supply of Apps. But to entice you over to Amazon's corner they are giving away a free game every day. Yesterday it was the hot, new Angry Birds Rio (which appears to still be available for free). Today it's Glu Mobile's World Series of Poker. Not too shabby for freebies. But if that doesn't have you clicking here to go and download the new Appstore App then maybe the following features will.

First, there's a wider range of categories. Want a sports game? Look under sports games. Much nicer!

Second, there's filtering of submitted apps. Not everything is eligible for Amazon's store and supposedly the crap that really bogs down the Android Market won't be there. Win! I only wonder if we're going to eventually hear of some 'tales of app rejection' a la Apple.

Third, there are a much wider array of search/sort options. Much better!

And my favorite feature... the ability to 'save for later'. Find something that sounds interesting, but not quite ready to try it now? Save it for later and then come back to it. I can't tell you how many times I stumble across something thinking I'll remember the name, but it just doesn't stick. Awesome!

Amazon Appstore QR code, install directly from your phone
Download the Amazon Appstore
via this QR code

The only real problem, and it's not even Amazon's fault, is that lack of integration. Downloading an app is easy, but you have to uncheck the 'Install from unknown sources' option in order to use Amazon's store so that it can auto-run the install process. I love the on-line tutorial... "You can unclick it... come on... we're Amazon". Yes, just ignore the man behind the curtain and the fact that you've just opened the door to install from any 3rd party source. I don't know what kind of security implications that could have. I do know that I had already unchecked said box on my phone and haven't had any issues. Aside from that, I also wish I could 'import' my Google purchases over to the Amazon store so that I could more easily see if I've already purchased something.

All in all, I'm thrilled to see this arrive. And while this doesn't affect me... the new market also improves the ability to sell apps by opening up a paid app market in many countries that didn't have access to Google's. Plus, now it's possible to give AppStore gift cards (aka gift cards) which is something I've wanted to do to promote this blog.

I can only wonder... will Apple sue over the use of Appstore in Amazon's title? Oh, wait, they already have.


  1. "the new market also improves the ability to sell apps by opening up a paid app market in many countries that didn't have access to Google's"

    Right now the Amazon AppStore is available only in the US. And it only informs you about it after you download the app and try to order something...

  2. Maybe one day they'll release it for countries outside the US....

  3. Interesting... I had read that opening up a market to countries where Google couldn't yet accept payments was among the reasons Amazon was creating the market. I guess that's still on the drawing board. Obviously, living in the US, I couldn't test that. My bad.