In case you missed it, the Amazon’s Appstore for Android just opened up last night (March 22nd). As an incentive to get you to use it, they offer a different paid app for free every day. The opening one was Angry Birds Rio, their flagship app. Amazon has been publicizing this app because it is exclusive to their app store, and because it obviously has a lot of popularity. Don’t fret if you missed it, as it appears to still be free. I suspect that they’ll keep it free for a long time, to keep enticing people to download and install the Amazon Appstore.
Before you can get the app for free, however, there are a few things you’ll need to take care of:
- You need an Amazon account (your existing one will work)
- You need to have 1-click turned on. For this, you need
- A credit card on file
- An address on file
- Click to enable 1-click in your Amazon account settings
- You must have the Amazon Appstore app installed
Obviously, Amazon only wants to provide the free apps to serious consumers who have the ability to buy paid apps. They actually pay for each copy of Angry Birds Rio that you download (unless they struck some package deal with Rovio for a flat fee to buy the game).
Now, if you aren’t ready yet to just put your credit card into the Amazon app for accidental purchases, you might be able to create a temporary card number with your credit card – I created one with a $1 limit for 12 months. I can increase it later when I want to make purchases.
Installing the Amazon Appstore app and Downloading
You can get the appstore app in several ways. Once you have your account information set up, when you look at the sales page for the app there’s a button to enter your email or phone number for an SMS message. I opted for the email since I am over on my messages and don’t feel like paying $0.20 for a free game. You can also just directly download the app from the official link http://amzn.to/getamazonappstore.
Enter your account information after installing the app, and you’re in.
However, the download will fail until you enable 1-click ordering. I don’t know if that’s why I saw different numbers for “orders” and downloads for my free app, or if the 1-click thing only applies to the discounted paid apps. I’ll have to investigate later.
Some thoughts on the new Amazon Appstore app
After using it only for a few minutes, my immediate thoughts were:
- Sleek interface – they put some time into it
- There are a few advanced sort features like those found in SlideMe, such as sort by new release, average rating, and price.
- As a plus, it uses the familiar Amazon rating system which I figure will be a huge plus as many of us have used that to make buying decisions
- The page loads slowly, and in pieces. Eventually it all pops up
- The interface is a little clunkier than the Android Market – to see more details, you have to click through to another page rather than having the text box expand
Initial thoughts as an Android Developer/Publisher
In the first day, downloads were minimal (but larger than the to-date downloads from some of the tiny appstores I’ve been working with). Today so far, the downloads have been quite impressive. I think Amazon has started their Appstore off with a bang and will be a major player.
I’ll post more information soon on the Amazon Appstore – both as a user and as a developer.
Update 2011-3-26: I gave Amazon a big thumbs up in my just-released Android Alternate Markets report.
Update 2011-5-16: I published a more complete review of the Amazon Appstore for developers to the blog.
What about you, readers? What are your initial impressions? Did you just install the Appstore to get Angry Birds, or do you intend to use it instead of the main Android Market? For developers, have you taken advantage of this appstore yet?