Appstore integration forces Amazon to pull its app from Google Play

Appstore integration forces Amazon to pull its app from Google Play
A pretty standard stipulation in the terms of service for modern app stores is that you're not allowed to publish an app that conflicts with the content sales of the platform. The usual target of these rules are competing app stores that would sell apps and games, but the rules can extend to other content. So, it really shouldn't be any surprise that Amazon has been forced to pull its app from Google Play for including its own Appstore.

The story goes like this: Amazon pushed a big update to its central Android app in the Google Play Store back in September. The app update included big changes which allowed users to access their Prime Videos and other digital content purchased from Amazon, including apps and games from the Amazon Appstore. The interesting thing is that at the time that Amazon published this update, all of this was sort of legal, per the Google Play terms of service, which only said that you couldn't publish an app "whose primary purpose" is to sell apps and games. This was a feature of Amazon's app, but not the "primary purpose", so it was technically legal. But later in September, Google changed those terms to include the following stipulation:


As you can see, the new language broadens the affected apps to any that "has a purpose", rather than those with a "primary purpose" to sell apps and games. The result of the change is that Amazon had to pull the version of its app that contained the Appstore. Oddly, though, rather than replace that listing with an updated app, Amazon did pull it completely (it is still available for sideload directly from Amazon), and added a new Amazon Shopping app to the Play Store. No one really knows about this change, apparently, because the Amazon Shopping app has very few downloads. So, if you want to get updates, you should probably grab the new Amazon Shopper app. 

The change to the Play Store terms probably isn't just affecting Amazon though. The Humble Bundle app recently disappeared from the Play Store, and it is suspected that the new terms are the reason for this disappearance as well. Though, Google is still only targeting app and game stores, and seems to be leaving media content stores alone, unlike Apple, which has removed all digital content stores from the iOS App Store. 

Download: Amazon Shopper

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13 Comments

1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Google isn't playing fair here.

2. tedkord

Posts: 17312; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They sure aren't. They should allow all other content, just like Apple does... wait, what?

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I hope Google don't stop side loading. If they do I will need to look for alternative mobile OS that isn't lock down.

9. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

"The app update included big changes which allowed users to access their Prime Videos and other digital content purchased from Amazon" Last time I checked, you could still watch Amazon videos on an iPhone or iPad. As has been possible for years. Hopefully Amazon will stop trying to pollute Android so much and just make an Amazon video player for Android phones/tablets like they do for iOS.

3. Heritor

Posts: 47; Member since: Nov 05, 2012

Its funny how whenever Google does something that invalidates the "moralist" argument that Google fanboys made to support google, they turn around and say "well apple does it!'. Guess what? If your defense is "well he does it" then you are no better than that person or institution you pretend to have the moral high ground on.

7. ManusImperceptus

Posts: 724; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

I didn't see this argument in the article... And even if I did, Google didn't write the article.

4. mike2959

Posts: 694; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

I have been a avid cell phone enthusist since the early 90's. I've seen the ecosystems evolve, and wow has it come full circle. Apple is opening up and Google is closing the doors a little more each year. I prefer Android, but vanilla Android isn't so vanilla much anymore. Yeah, I don't like Hangouts, sorry. Not allowing a competing brand to sell on the Play Store is no different that Apple not allowing 3rd party keyboards. Oh wait...

5. wkm001

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 04, 2014

The Play Store is a Google service, not part of open source Android.

6. geusan

Posts: 137; Member since: Oct 19, 2014

its all about the money ... oh wait ...

10. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Google Play is just malware. If there was a real app store not run by a bunch of dicks (hello Amazon), many people would use that instead. There's no reason to have all of Google's spyware running on your system just to download/buy apps.

11. balu25int

Posts: 10; Member since: Dec 11, 2014

Spy ware running on system? I thought send usage reports could be disabled.

12. tokuzumi

Posts: 1866; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

Since this app is part of the Samsung suite of apps on the S4, I'll need to see if I can continue to update it via the Amazon app store, since it won't get updated via the Play Store any longer. Thanks, Samsung.

13. mike2959

Posts: 694; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Stop calling Android open source please.

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