Do we need the Amazon Appstore for Android?

Do we need the Amazon Appstore for Android?
Three months and a couple of lawsuits ago, the Amazon Appstore defied the laws of the industry by seconding Android's Market functionality and virtually copying the name of Apple's storefront. The latter has unveiled into a legal saga of a huge proportion, but while that has helped the Appstore get wider publicity, question remains – what more does the Amazon Appstore offer over the Android Market and why should we use it?

Pure curiosity might have pushed you into taking a look, but Amazon's storefront brings a lot of benefits in comparison to the market that are not immediately obvious. And by immediately obvious we mean Amazon Appstore's daily giveaways of paid apps discounted to a price of zero, which are enough of a reason for many to check the store daily. But it also beats the Android Market when it comes to the most popular titles recently, which often arrive first at the store and are sometimes exclusive to it. The most recent examples are Cut the Rope and Plants vs Zombies for Android. This brings true competition between application stores, which can finally only be of benefit to consumers.

These are the two most obvious reasons, but if you weigh in the over 200,000 applications available on the Android Market, you might think that having a separate store for only some 12,000 apps is a waste of time and effort. On second thought, though, the unprecedented growth of apps has resulted in a somewhat messy Market with plenty of junk. After all, it's the quality of the applications that matters the most and that's where the Amazon Appstore has an advantage. Amazon sets the bar high for apps, so you can be sure that you're not dealing with junk as a user. If you're a developer, you get the bonus of better recognition on the smaller market along with more space for details and promotional elements for your app, so it's a win-win situation.

Amazon also gives you a test drive - not of that new Porsche you were dreaming about – but of certain apps, so you can try them before you buy them. Add to that a clean user interface with plenty of categories, user reviews, ratings and descriptions. Applications are neatly categorized with the most popular pointed out in the Best Selling and Top Rated apps, and there is even a Kids' section on the Amazon Appstore. It also includes Amazon's robust cross marketing system allowing you to see what other people bought along with a certain app.

Now, it's not all roses as the diversity of some 12,000 apps doesn't fare well with that of 200,000 on the Android Market, and we wished Amazon's store had a separate section for tablets – a feature sorely missing now on both markets. From a developer perspective, the biggest downside to participating in the new app store is the additional $99 annual fee (luckily the first year's fee is waived) and the approval process which might take a couple of days. We should also factor in the fact that Amazon's market is exclusive to the US only.

Amazon's Appstore for Android is not a replacement to the Android Market, but rather it's a nice addition. A new paid app available for free every day is a great incentive for users, who can also often enjoy early access to popular titles and the test drive option. Developers can participate for free for the first year getting even more exposure on the new market. So finally, while users and devs are not in dire need of another application market and many might argue that fragmenting the stores is not a good idea, the Amazon Appstore brings something more that we all need - it brings competition.



1. Egraves unregistered

its also cool that you can download/buy the free app of the day without actually installing it on your device. you you can have all the paid apps and if you don't use them so be it keep them connected to your account.

2. cj100570

Posts: 204; Member since: May 12, 2009

No, we don't need it. And the fact that the downloaded apps won't work if you delete the Amazon app makes it even less appealing to me.

11. jogutier

Posts: 324; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

AMEN !!!!!

3. Rotate

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

we need it, the daily giveaways are great, and it's great that the apps i have, doesn't vanish from my account when I change roms, as it does on the Android Market, which is pretty lame...

4. alc

Posts: 17; Member since: May 19, 2010

do we 'need' it? maybe not. but why not have it? Competition and choice is always a good thing for consumers. Android was built on that premise.

5. AndroidTroll

Posts: 359; Member since: Mar 05, 2011

I do love how it saves your apps to the cloud better than the Android Market does. That way, if you flash or get a new phone it is really easy to redownoad the apps you want. Amazon app store ftw!

6. iHateCrapple

Posts: 734; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

Yes, we do need it. It's the only app store I'll trust with my credit card information....if Anonymous can't hurt em, I feel pretty good!

7. Thump3rDX17

Posts: 2160; Member since: May 10, 2010

i definitely dig it.

8. Murfpass unregistered

The downside, (WHICH REALLY SUCKS) is that when you change to a new phone, all those paid apps that you got, don't get transferred to the new phone. So you have to buy them again. I signed into my amazon account on my new phone and it says I have no games or apps (I had about 10 before I got a new phone). So no. It's really not worth getting stuff on the Amazon App Store as opposed to the Android Market

9. ECPirate unregistered

Hey Murfpass; I did not have that problem. I recently upgraded to the EVO 3D and when I downloaded the Amazon Appstore again, all of my previous downloads (even the free app of the day ones) were there waiting for me and I downloaded them again for free. Sorry you had problems.

10. michael95gt

Posts: 45; Member since: Jul 19, 2009

I don't know what network you're on(or if it's an issue) but I'm with AT&T and I just switched from a DELL Streak to an HTC Inspire 4G and after installing the Amazon App and signing in all my apps were there ready to install..

12. Rotate

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

sorry to hear your news... i had my device name in appstore as Lge p990, but when I changed rom on my LG Optimus 2x, and reinstalled the appstore, it was shown as Lge p990 (1), so it was shown as a different device, although, all my apps were there, and I could install them as they were, for free, because they were already paid for in the past... and this is the best feature of the Amazon Appstore, because the Android Market quickly forgets your apps after you change a rom, or buy a new phone...

13. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

NO. Cause I try downloading the Amazon store APP cause one thing is. I try to get the new app few months ago Angry Birds RIO it didn't work foreclose uninstalled.

14. Rotate

Posts: 26; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

so you hate the appstore, because of one single app, which wasn't even made by the appstore? you can't be serious...

15. Feras unregistered

I think the apps I have downloaded from the appstore have messed up my device. Almost all of the applications ask for freaky permissions. I nearly lost half of my contacts for no reason! My advice is that you read the permissions carefully before installing an app downloaded from the appstore. And if there was anything suspicious, don't risk it.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.