Android Community 101: Amazon Appstore

May 16, 2011
3

So you got yourself a brand new Android device and it's time to take it for a spin. You've got a couple of apps pre-loaded but you want to see what everyone else is messing around with. You want some bird-related games, some scanners of codes, some live cameras watchers and whatnot - where do you go? You might go to the Android Market if it's loaded on your device, Google's official store for apps, or you might consider going to Amazon, that online sales giant that you've grown to trust after purchasing 10 billion CDs in the early 2000's - they've got an App Store too? Yes they DO have an app store - want to know more? [Amazon Appstore] Android Community 101 the re rescue!

The Basics

The way you get the Amazon Appstore on your phone is to submit your email address or phone number to Amazon via their browser-based representation of the app store. They've got a list of carriers that work with the download, noting that normal data fees apply (as you'll be downloading data, of course.)

You'll be receiving a message via email or text with a URL directing you to a download of the store directly to your Android device. More than likely you'll need to go into your Settings on the device, clicking Applications then checking the box next to "Unknown Sources" so that you can install the Amazon Appstore (and consequential apps downloaded from the store.)

Once you've got the Amazon Appstore downloaded and installed, you'll be able to open the store like you would any other app, accessing then Amazon's collection of apps to download. To download an app from this Appstore, you'll be using your Amazon account. You will have to sign up for an Amazon account to purchase apps from the Amazon Appstore. Once you're signed up and are prepared to purchase an app, you've just to approve of any purchases you make and the apps you purchase will be downloaded to your Android device. They'll be downloaded in a manner that's slightly different from an app download from the Android Market in that you'll have to, again, have "Unknown Sources" check in order to install.

Why Would I Want to Use Amazon's Appstore?

Amazon is in a rare position where they've got brand leverage as well as developer backing, enough to present a real threat to Google's Android Market for business. The following reasons are amongst those leading people toward the Amazon Appstore, away from the Android Market:

1. Trust : there's both loyalty and brand trust going on here - while there's still a general distrust of Google's Android Market for one reason or another, Amazon is a worldwide proven winner when it comes to online sales of products of all shapes and sizes. People already have Amazon accounts and they trust the name.

2. Exclusive Releases : The best example of an exclusive release on Amazon's Appstore at the time this post is written is Rovio's Angry Birds series. Their game Angry Birds RIO has been released on Amazon's Appstore both initially and for its first big update several days before any other source, driving business to Amazon's Appstore via them being a loss-leader. They certainly don't lose much in giving the app away, but as the traffic goes toward Amazon and away from alternate stores (who at first do not have this exclusive app,) they win.

3. Door Opening : While to get the Android Market on a device a manufacturer wants to produce requires that Google approve both the hardware and the software on a device, Amazon has no such requirements. You can release a phone with Android without Google's permission without the Android Market and to do whatever you like with the device, now with the Amazon Appstore you can also have a viable source for bigtime apps.

App Testing

Amazon Appstore offers a test-drive system via their Amazon EC2 system. With this system you're allowed to test out apps without any obligation. This is different from the Android Market's test system which only allows you to test apps after purchasing them, allowing you to return them if you're not satisfied after a certain amount of minutes (this minute amount has changed several times.)

Developer Benefits

Developers are either paid 70% of their sail price or 20% of the developer's list price. If the app is offered by Amazon for free in their Free App a Dar feature, the developer is given 20% of their list price.

Free App a Day

Amazon's Appstore has a free app a day, the first of which was Angry Birds RIO, a game that was then not available from any other app store for several days. Each day a new app is given away for free - more often than not this app is a game. This [Free App a Day] promotion is still active when this post is written.


Recent Stories

  • Zulaxia

    I hate tto point out the very basic maths flaw, but the 70%/20% things that Amazon does is normally a worse deal for us devs than the flat 70% that Google gives us. If our app sells for what we wanted it to then we get the same as we would on the Market. If Amazon reduces the sale price then we lose out. Then the fees, which are extortionate. Google charges a one time $25 to be able to sell forever, Amazon charge $99 PER YEAR. Next the payouts; Google pay out every week regardless of what you made, giving you what you learnt pretty much right away. Amazon (and the Moto store in fact) only pay out in chunks of $150, and if you only make part of that then tough. Then the final kicker for most of the world is that we can’t even use it because Amazon only serves the US. I’d love to sell my apps on Amazon, but we certainly don’t get ‘perks’ that make it attractive. Even once they open it to the rest of the world there’s no chance I’ll be accepting their terms.

    • Zulaxia

      That should be ‘earnt’ obviously. Can’t edit comments.

  • Richard Bown

    Hmm, no cons in your article, here’s a few for you:

    1) Amazon app store only available in the US – the rest of the world gets the shaft. It’s no good waving free app a day at us, when the rest of this oblate spheroid still have to pay for them. That just pi$$es us off! And no word to when (if?) amazon are extending outside of America.

    2) if you do spoof a US account and have access, you need to still be logged in to amazon account to access the app you just got – Angry birds rio is a prime example, you’re not logged in, you’re not playing it. This is a control freak mentality of Apple levels.

    3) Gameloft have just signed up to release their games (arguably the best on the operating system) on Google Marketplace.

    4) T&Cs that are restrictive for DEVs

    thanks, but no thanks Amazon