April 14, 2011 // By: Heather McIlvaine // Attention All Android Users
Regular Amazon customers who visit the Appstore will notice the familiar and functional user interface. Amazon already organizes its other products with tabs like Bestsellers, Top Rated, and New Releases, and the Appstore makes use of these categories as well as genre tabs, such as Travel, News & Weather, and Productivity.
Amazon’s tried-and-true recommendation system – “customers who bought this item also bought” –works in the Appstore, too. Amazon suggests apps you may like based on your browsing and purchase history.
In addition, the information provided about each app is expansive. Most apps have at least four or five screenshots and extremely detailed product descriptions. Some apps also have video content, showing the app in action, and reviewers have the option to upload a video review of the app.
Appstore for Android also advertises a test drive function, which allows shoppers to try out an app before purchasing. In order to use this feature, you need to have Flash on your computer and you need to be signed in to your Amazon account. By clicking on the “Test Drive Now” button, you launch the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, which creates the effect that you’re running the app in real time on a simulated Android device. This feature is not yet available for all apps. Some web sites state that you can use this feature outside of the U.S. as long as you have a U.S.-based account, but we did not find this to be true.
All apps in Amazon’s Appstore are tested for malware and phishing before they become available for purchase. In contrast, Google does not pre-screen apps for the Android Market, but rather deletes an app from the store and from devices only after it has been proven to corrupt devices. While Amazon’s approach ensures security, it also slows down the acceptance process for submitted apps. It will take some time before Amazon is able to compete with Android Market in terms of selection.