Amazon’s Android App Store, I don’t think this will work

Amazon launched their App Store for Android this morning (I hope I don’t get sued for calling it an App Store), curious as ever I decided to take a look.  First I searched in the Android Market, but found nothing new from Amazon there, so I went back to Amazon and clicked “Get App” which gave me instructions to install the App Store:


The instructions then go on to provide download and installation instructions for the Amazon AppStore.

So lets examine, first you have find and select the “Unknown Sources” box to allow installation of an app that is not in the Android Market.  Of course if you are on AT&T they don’t support this setting, so you are out of luck (I guess it really sucks to be an Angry Birds fan with an ATT Android device).

Once installed, you log in with your Amazon account, which makes purchasing apps easy.  The application itself is easy to use, and search, I would say better than the Android Market app which though improved still needs some work.


I just wonder what the long term plan is for the Amazon App Store, I think a lot of people will be turned off with the install process, and I suspect that Google will not allow the app in the Android Market, since an App that downloads other Apps violates the terms of use.  Google might want to reconsider, given the recent problems with Apps that contained malware on Android, giving Android owners a trusted source like Amazon to download apps from might actually help grow the platform, not hurt it.  In it’s current state  though I think many people won’t even install it, and some can’t even if they want to, does not sound like a promising launch to me.

For anyone wondering, no I still have not downloaded Angry Birds, and don’t plan on it, even if Amazon is giving it away today.

4 Responses to Amazon’s Android App Store, I don’t think this will work
  1. Arthur Fontaine
    March 22, 2011 | 9:18 am

    Good observations Mitch… Written like a true IT guy familiar with end user issues. ;-> You and I can work through these things pretty easily but of course Amazon is going for mass market.

    I gotta think Google will authorize the Amazon app because it’s fundamentally good for them to partner with AMZ against Apple. Otherwise the carrier lockdowns will cause a real mess. One more reason the subsidized handset model in the US sucks.


  2. jake
    March 22, 2011 | 9:26 am

    It’s a rocky start, but it’s inevitable that there would be app store fragmentation and ultimately desirable (IMHO) Part of the tax of Android is the app store and there will definitely continue to be cases where vendors want Android but not the app store. In cases like that, there will be more custom app stores for approved or vendor specific apps. Look to the low-end to lead the way on this eventually as semi-smart devices peter out in favor limited android implementations

  3. Kevin Pettitt
    March 22, 2011 | 11:03 am

    You can also download the app from a link on the opening screen of the main android app, which is what I did. Of course, to be truly “easy” your phone prefs already have to allow apps from unknown sources, which to your point, is rarely the case by default.

    The way I see this succeeding is through carriers. If the Amazon app store provides carriers a way to deliver “safe” apps to their customers (and take a cut in the process), I see a big future for Amazon in this space. As you also point out, the Android Market is still a bit rough.

  4. Chris Pepin
    April 5, 2011 | 2:45 pm

    I like where Amazon is headed with the new app store, cloud drive and the cloud MP3 player. The new app store is clean (the Android Marketplace has too many poor quality apps to sift through). Amazon also has a free paid app each day. Rumor is, Amazon’s next generation Kindle will be Android based so having the ecosystem in place in advance of the launch is a smart move and further diversifies Amazon’s offerings.