The Amazon Appstore promises to provide a cheaper option than Google’s built-in Android Market, while offering exclusive titles like Angry Birds Rio and daily promotions, which include a free paid-for app every day. Sounds like a worthwhile alternative; let’s dig in and take a look.
The Amazon Appstore for Android experience starts on the Amazon.com website. Unsurprisingly, the mobile app isn’t available in the Android Market. You’ll need to download the app through Amazon.
Just add your phone number or registered Android email address and you’ll get a text or email with a link to download the apk file to your handset. It takes a couple of minutes but once your set-up, the means of downloading apps is two-fold. You can download through the mobile app or from Amazon.com, just like on the Android Market.
The web store is easy enough. The design follows Amazon’s house style in that you have the chance to view top 100 charts, recommendations, product descriptions, star ratings and a really decent breakdown of the categories on offer.
Once you’ve registered your device you can download with just one click. Unlike the Market, apps aren’t remotely installed you’ll need to enter the mobile app and install through the My Apps section. That makes the experience a little bit fiddly and we prefer the Android Market here.
Downloading through the mobile app is the easier option as the experience mimics that of the Android Market. It boasts a slightly better design than the Market with a rolling category carousel and an integrated search bar on the home screen. If you don’t want to download an app you can choose to save it for later.
There’s also easy access to charts and recommendations and from launch there’s a complete set of applications for Android owners to choose from. All of the big hitters are here. The only price discrepancy in the top ten paid for apps comes in the form of Swiftkey Keyboard which is 20 cents cheaper on the Amazon Appstore. There are already three exclusives from Rovio in the form of ad-free, paid-for versions of Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and the free Angry Birds Rio.
The Amazon Appstore for Android is exactly what we expected. It’s very well designed with great functionality, a complete selection of apps, and the odd-deal here and there. There’s very little to choose between the stores at the moment, but Amazon’s arrival can only be good for us app-lovers.
Amazon App Store for Android launch date: Out now from Amazon