Monday, February 6, 2012

Amazon Appstore

Not to be confused with the Apple's App Store, the Amazon Appstore is a third-party App store available for Android devices. Like the Android Market, the Amazon App Store is filled with downloadable apps. Most apps available in it are also offered in the Android Market that comes stock on any Android phone or tablet. So why even bother with a second App Store? Wouldn't that just make things more confusing? Find out in my full review of the Amazon App Store by reading more.

App Profile:
Type: 3rd-party app vendor
Platforms: Android phones and tablets
Developer: Amazon Inc.
Reason for downloading: To expand the number of apps available for your android phone and to get a free paid app of the day.

The homepage of the App store brings
you here and immediately features the
Free Paid App of the Day at the top
Amazon has really expanded into the mobile market in a big way. They first launched the Amazon Kindle, a reader to help people get around carrying tons of heavy books around in a backpack. They improved on that design by making it a touchscreen device and by adding 3G connectivity while finding ways to keep the cost of the equipment down. Then, they moved into the tablet market by releasing a low-cost, ultra-portable alternative to what was already available and offered the Kindle Fire. Along with it, they released their own App Store, the Amazon App store. By cutting out the middle-man (Google) they have increased their profit for their own devices. They've also lured in outsiders (people who don't own a Kindle Fire) by making their App store available for download on practically every Android device. But why would I care to go through the trouble of having two App stores on my phone?

Free paid Apps is why.

Amazon offers one free App a day. The free App they offer changes everyday, but whatever they offer for free normally costs money. For example: I own a great game from Disney called "Where's My Water" - a puzzle game. It normally costs $0.99 on the Amazon App store. Because I downloaded it for free and it turned out to be a really fun App, I've told a lot of people about it. At least three people that I've shown that App to have then paid the dollar to download that App... and they've gone to Amazon's App store to download it, even though it's available on the Android Market.

The "My Apps" page shows the Apps
you've downloaded in the past and
allows you to either update them if they
have an available update or download
and install them again if you've
downloaded them before.
Example two: I love the game "Plants vs. Zombies." I have it for the iPhone. At the time of this writing, it is not available on the Android Market. It IS available on the Amazon App store for $1.99.

Amazon has done two things very successfully with their App store. 1) They've successfully attracted buyers by offering free Apps to them for everyday that they're a member. 2) They've offered unique options that you can't get anywhere else. In those ways they're a success. Nothing, however is perfect. There are a couple things I can point to with the App store itself that are a bit annoying.

First, the App store App itself is glitchy. Everyday at some point I get a notification in the upper bar of my Android phone that says I have new apps to download. When I click on it, it opens up the Amazon App store and brings me to the "My Apps" page, showing me all the Apps I've downloaded in the past. There's no indication from there of what they're trying to have me do. It's gotten to the point that I just clear the notification everyday.

Second, updating Apps is awkward and ineffective. Sometimes when I try to access one of my Apps, it brings me to an install page and I have to hit install and have it basically re-install the app in order to get it to work. The app then opens, and works fine, but when I try to access it again, it does the exact same thing. In some cases it was because there was an update available for that App. In others, it's a glitch. This never happens with Apps that were downloaded directly from the Android Market so I've narrowed it down to the Amazon App store being the culprit and I don't know how to make it stop.

These couple things aside, the App store works just fine.

This is a screenshot of the App store website from my phone's
browser. The red circle is where you enter in your e-mail or
phone number.
How to download the App store on your device
So how do you get the App store on your Android device? First, go to the settings menu on your Android device. From there tap Applications. There should be an option that says "Unknown sources - Allow installation of non-Market applications" Make sure the checkbox next to it is checked.

Next, visit
from any web browser. There is a blank on the right side of the screen telling you to enter your phone number or email address. Enter one  of those into the blank and hit enter. If you enter your e-mail address make sure it's an e-mail address that's set up on the device you're trying to download the Amazon App store to.

You will now receive a text message or e-mail with a link in it. Click on that link and this will open up a blank webpage and start the download of the App store. Once it finishes downloading, install it by tapping on the notification in your notification pull-down menu at the top of the screen. It will install and then become an App in your normal applications menu. You're done!

Before you're able to download any Apps you will be required to either sign-in with an existing Amazon username and password or create a new one. It will also need to be set up with credit card information (even if you're downloading nothing but free Apps). It won't charge you to set up the info, just if you ever download an app that costs money.

Now you can enjoy the benefits of the Amazon App store. If you're anything like me you'll check back daily to download the Free Paid App of the Day!

1 comment:

  1. TOO BAD, the links provided above are not working. I tried it and just a suggestion, do not waste your time guys! Good news is that, I already found the real file, after some searching all around. I want to ease your burden looking, so I am just giving you the real download link.