Amazon App Store for Android
March 23rd was a huge day for Amazon. It marked their foray into the application industry. The company finally released its long-awaited App Store for the Android platform. Aesthetically, it’s strikingly similar to the Android Market & the third party application search giant(only on Android) AppBrain. But, it’s the technical differences which set the Amazon App Store apart from the competition.
The Amazon App Store has some exclusivity to itself with the latest Angry Birds: RIO(It’s brilliant, btw) and Call Of Duty:Modern Warfare:Force Recon releasing only on the Amazon App Store and not on the Android Market.
Also, the Amazon App Store promises to give away one paid app for free everyday. And who doesn’t love freebies? 😀
The Amazon App Store has started off with 3800 applications. Not much, you’d say. But with its exclusivity, it may be a serious contender to the Android Market.
The installation of the Amazon App Store on an Android device is pretty straightforward. Sign up for an Amazon account over here. You have to make sure that your device accepts installation of third-party applications(You can do this by going into Setting–>Applications and then check “Unknown Sources”). Once you do this, enter your e-mail ID or mobile number on the Amazon App Store & they’ll send you an e-mail or an SMS to a link from which you can download the apk(Installer file) of the Amazon App Store. In case, that doesn’t work for you, go here from your computer and download the apk & transfer it to your phone via Bluetooth or USB. It should work fine.
Once you install the apk on your phone, open it. You’ll be greeted with a well-organized home page. The ‘Paid App For Free’ is displayed on the home page itself.
You can start searching for applications as soon as you start it up. But, there are quite a few glitches in the searching function. For example, typing ‘ang’ will pop up ‘Angry Birds’ but if you type ‘angry’, nothing shows up. This is a bug which may be fixed in the future update.
The Amazon App Store has a nifty little feature which they’ve taken from the original Amazon website. It’s the ‘Customers who viewed ultimately bought’ feature. Anyone who has ever used Amazon would know of this useful feature which can help in making purchases much easier. Right now, it’s slightly chalky but, it’ll definitely catch up.
The only difference between the Android Market & the Amazon App Store is that the Amazon App Store doesn’t tell you how many times an application has been downloaded. Also, the size of the download needs to be dug out of the Product Description box.
A cool new feature is ‘Wish for Later’ . This enables the customer to bookmark an application so that he can buy it later. But, for now, it is personal. Maybe Amazon should make the Wish List public so that people can gift you applications. 😛
The Amazon App Store can be browsed from the comfort of your PC, too. The only problem here is that it doesn’t have Android Market’s push-to-phone installation feature(by which the customer can choose which app to install through his PC and the app gets downloaded onto his phone automatically. Cool, isn’t it? 😀 ). Instead of the push-to-phone feature, the Amazon App Store on your phone will give you a notification that there’s an application pending to be installed.
If you try to search for an app installed via the Android Market, on the Amazon App Store, the Amazon App Store will refuse to recognize that you have that app. Instead, you have to buy the app from the Amazon App Store & then, it will give you an option to update the app(only if an update is available, of course). What Google can do here, is strike up a partnership with Amazon. But, then again, Google has a huge ego. 😡
At the end of the day, the Amazon App Store is a spectacular effort by Amazon to enter the application industry. Yes, it was inspired by the Android Market but, it is slightly different(and might i say, slightly better). This is Amazon’s very first release & if you compare to the first release of the Android Market, this is absolutely phenomenal. Amazon will obviously have a huger customer base thanks to its free apps and exclusive titles.
Looks like Google has gotta step up its game. GO GOOGLE!!!
P.S.– The Amazon App Store is currently available only in the USA but, it worked for me. I have no clue how! 😆
Apple has sued Amazon over the usage of the term ‘App Store’ and they claim that “it will confuse and mislead customers”. Like Apple customers aren’t misled enough already. 🙄