Cross the streams

Now this is interesting. Seems that some of you who have purchased apps from the Amazon Appstore are starting to see conflicts with the Android Market. A couple scenarios appear to be playing out. In some instances, the Android Market sees an app that was purchased from the Amazon Appstore, knows an updated version is available, but then fails on updating because the app wasn't actually purchased from the Android Market.  While we're not exactly sure what's going on, it may be an issue where some developers use the same signing key for applications in both the Android Market and other app stores.  This could cause your phone or tablet to see the applications as identical.  That's just a hunch, and chances are Google has a better grasp of the situation than we do.

Reversing things, as TWiT's Jason Howell points out, the Amazon Appstore can see that you have an app installed and offer to unassociate it from that other market so that you can get updates and such through its services instead. How handy. But it also smells of someone standing next to your car in a parking lot, pointing out a dent you know wasn't there when you left your car, and then recommending a friend who can fix it on the cheap. There's just something offputting about it.

This could end up being an interesting push and pull, but we've got a feeling Google's got the upper hand here, being able to more easily and quickly tweak code to keep things in line. And as violent23 points out in our forums, Google's already aware of this and is on the case. Should be interesting to see how it all works out.

Source: Android Forums; More: +Jason Howell

There are 38 comments

Small_law says:

Excuse me Egon, you said crossing the streams was bad.

frmorrison says:

I have had my Market app think my "paid" Amazon apps can be updated at the Market, but only if I browse directly to the app. Did something change so it now shows up as an update on the My Apps list?

I would rather keep apps on their specific market.

vansmack says:

Timely. When I was having trouble with Titanium Backup and ICS, I decided it would be easier to have Amazon house all the apps. So I moved a few (like SportsTap) from the Android Market to the Amazon App Store.

Well, SportsTap failed to update in the Android Market this morning (unsigned error) and Amazon didn't realize there was an update.

So much for that "convenience" - I went back to the Market and Titanium Backup with single app install.

Oh well.

shadowgod says:

I uninstalled Amazon appstore because of this. Didn't notice this happening until a few weeks ago. It's Amazon not playing nice.

jimweda says:

Amazon is and has always been kind of shady especially with developers. I've read a lot of complaints about how they try to take too much control over their apps. On the customer side their market has tried to trick me into updating an app I got from the Android Market and when I hit update it tell me it will replace my already installed app and from that point on I could only update through them and their apps are not always the most current. Now I only go through them if they have a good free app of the day so I can see if I like it before purchasing it. I really hope Google steps in and forces Amazon to play fair with developers and customers.

I noticed this at least a couple months ago, and I've stopped getting anything from the Amazon app store until this is resolved. I was so irritated at the updates in my Market list that I just bought them all from the Market instead. Now, the only reason I keep the Amazon Appstore installed is for my ad-free Angry Birds. That aside, I stick to the Android Market for all app purchases now.

Gekko says:

i had a feeling this would happen. this is why i have refused from the beginning to mess with the Amazon Market - even despite some pretty good "free apps of the day". i didn't want any conflicts or confusions on my device. hence - i have stuck exclusively with the Android Market.

PeterPhan says:

I uninstalled the Amazon App Store due to being constantly nagged about updates, daily, of itself.

Somehow, Angry Birds Rio remains add free now.

That, I like

Broncho says:

I haven't seen this happen with Google Market (but I'm still stuck on the old green one on my Evo3d) but I do have the issue where Appbrain thinks an app from Amazon needs to be updated in the Google Market and when I go there it won't update because Google doesn't think I bought it. I also have two apps that I got through the Amazon Market but then realized they were free and updated more frequently through the Google Market so I switched them and now the Amazon Market is always telling me they need to be updated but when I do they want to uninstall the Google version and install theirs. It is irritating, especially now that the Amazon Market puts notices in the notification area letting you know you have updates.

bjn714 says:

Amazon has been giving me these issues for a while, but the problem less annoying if it didn't take Amazon so long to publish updates. If they published them the same time as the Android Market, then if it pops up in the wrong place I can just go update it from the right one. I hate getting an app update notification from the market for an Amazon app and then having to wait 2 weeks to be able to install the update.

Also, any time I have that happen, I go un-associate the app with the Android Market with Titanium, so it doesn't happen again.

Bones72 says:

I started doing the same thing with Titanium Backup as soon as I noticed this happening as well. I'm also with ya on the lag time with Amazon getting their updates out in a timely fashion.

dragonol2 says:


Just detach the app in question from the Android Market using Titanium Backup (I think it's only a pro feature though, but it's well worth it), and problem solved.

Amazon's incredible slowness with getting and issuing updates really is a pain in the @$$, and I'm glad that I can alleviate that somehow with TB...

BrianTufo says:

I contacted Google about this after I deleted the Amazon app store. Apps I got for free as the apps of the day even though removed from my phone show up as purchased in the Android Market. It is annoying because of the fact I wanted a few select apps from the Market and had to end up creating a 2nd account to use to purchase those apps. It works well but is annoying when checking for updates.

cvmaas#AC says:

This is an issue with the latest update of the Android Market app, not Amazon, as it occurs with pirated content that isn't associated with any account.

violent23 says:

It looks to be an issue with both, cause I have and Android Market app showing as needing an update on the Amazon App store. But you are right only the Android Market is showing pirated content as purchased and needing updates.

violent23 says:

Thanks for writing an article on this Phil. The real problem for me is that the apps I have purchased from the Amazon App store are showing up now as purchased in the Android Market. Even on a fresh stock rom installed, the Android Market shows that I have purchased the apps, but I have not and they will not install or let me purchase them. That means every app I have gotten for free from Amazon I can not purchase from the Android Market. If I were a developer I would be bitching up a storm at Google and Amazon for this. As it is I have quite a collection from Amazon's free apps built up. that is a lot of non purchasable apps. On top of all of this my Pocket Casts app that I purchased from the Android Market is showing up in my Amazon App store as needing an update. So it is going both ways apps from one store showing on the other.

DG42ac says:

I've had a problem with the Amazon app for months. I installed SwiftKey when it was a free app of the day. Later, when SwiftKey X came out, I decided to buy it on the Android Market. Now the Amazon app constantly lists an available update to SwiftKey, even though it's not even installed. I clicked update just to see what would happen, and it would download it and then show an error when it tried to install, because only then would it detect that SwiftKey (it doesn't see it as SwiftKey X) was installed via another market. The Amazon app is so annoying. I also want to be able to hide apps from the New list if I know I will never install them again. Because Amazon annoys me so much, I only ever use it for the free app of the day.

dyastrab says:

Uggh. I have the exact same problem. I've accidentally uninstalled Swiftkey X twice because the original Swiftkey shows up in My Apps. I asked Amazon Cust. Supp. for the ability to delete apps. They said this is an often requested feature and are looking into it. Unfortunately, that was at least two months ago.

meballard says:

I see it from both sides. If it's an app that I installed using the Amazon App Store at some point, but then later do it through the market, then even though the version installed from the Market is newer, Amazon still shows it as needing an update, which is really annoying (ie if it is a different version than what is in the Amazon App Store, it considers it needing an update, regardless of where it was installed from).

Many things from purchased from the Amazon App Store show up in the market, but they can't be updated...

I did find a work-around on the purchasing something from the Market originally purchased at the Amazon App Store - buy it from the web version of the Market instead.

violent23 says:

"I did find a work-around on the purchasing something from the Market originally purchased at the Amazon App Store - buy it from the web version of the Market instead."

I can not even do this as the Android Market shows the app as purchased (even though I got it from Amazon), even on the full web page on my PC. As the web version is still tied to my account.

meballard says:

It took me a couple tries to do it (not sure on the details, I've only done it once), but I did manage to get it to go through.

Suntan says:

The endless insinuations that the Amazon store is shady by a lot of blogger sites is starting to get tiresome.

It's an alternative store that you can use if you want. You have to go out of your way to manually install it, so nobody needs to be bellyaching about how it is no good compared to the regular market. Just like nobody walking through Target tells every passerby how crusty Wal Mart is.

By all means, posts letting people know that there are compatibility/upgrade issues going on are valuable, but the snarky comments likening it to a shady type in a parking garage is tired and unhelpful.


moosc says:

There is a easy fix to this that is of course if your rooted with titanium backup u can break the market link.

violent23 says:

This will take it out of the installed list on Android Market, but the apps still show as purchased if you search for them and will not let you purchase them or upgrade them.

flan says:

You need the paid version of titanium backup to do this, correct?

rpankoe says:

I too experience this issue. Currently it's telling me in the Amazon AppStore that I have an update for Redbox and Enhanced Email. It's my understanding however that some apps (such as EE) are not updated as much in the Android Appstore and that the market version is more up to date. For instance, v1.28.2 is available on Amazon right now, but I have v1.28.5 from the Android Market. For that reason, I leave them sit in the Updates Available section of Amazon, but it is annoying that there's always updates in there. I purchased EE from the Android Market last year, but Amazon wants me to update too!

shamelin73 says:

I am having this issue as well. I had the free Swift key from Amazon and not Google market is telling me I have an update to Swift key X. I know I didn’t buy this app from Google or Amazon. However I want this new version and want to buy it but as it says it has been purchased it won’t let me download it from Google.

I have been working with Google android support for over a month and they can’t seem to get it where I can buy the app.

I have tried the TiB trick and does not work. Something has been triggered on Google’s servers somehow.

dyinman says:

I've noticed this, and while I can handle it fine myself for apps I install, what I'm concerned about is apps that I develop. With the success of things like the Kindle Fire and the Amazon app store being a major source for your apps, this now means that when you publish something in the official Android marketplace, you probably should also push it with the same app/author name in the Amazon marketplace so some nefarious douche doesn't come along and publish something not so great in order to confuse people with your real app.

BigKenW says:

Yep, this has happened to me both ways.

PS - I am just amazed that Amazon received updates BEFORE the Android Market. The rest I didn't care about.

levelm says:

+1 for the pic! Brilliant!

gdbjr says:

Can you say fragmentation?

These are the kind of things that Google needs to get control of before it becomes really out of hand and does serious harm to the android platform.

slcbtf says:

Whew...glad to see I wasn't the only one having problems.

I did find one way to update all the apps. You can use AppBrain to see the apps you have from Amazon and the Google Market. I use that to see what apps have updates. It then directs me to the market and I'm able to update them.

movielover76 says:

I have had both since Amazon came out with their market, but I seem to have been spared this problem so far, but I've always kind of been concerned as others have since they largely overlap each other.

Basically I've always used the Android Market as my default app store, I really only download from amazon when their is a cool free app of the day and I haven't run into any problems yet that I know of, though it's possible their were issues that I blamed on titanium backup, as I'm a frequent custom rom flasher.

Hope they resolve the issues.

rfranken says:

the amazon app market turned into Complete crap with its last update.
it is the most annoying horrid app I have now.

JEvoUser says:

I had this problem with my soundhound app from amazon app store and when I email google about it they tried blaming my rom well I switched roms and guess what it wasnt the problem. How dare they blame cyanogen. HTC EVO 4G. I just used titanium backup to force remove market link.

JEvoUser says:

I think google is to blame because many apps I update from the app market that I bought from the app market will be updated and then I will go to my apps and it will show it still needs an update but when I click on the application link all it says is open and uninstall and no update is available. So quick to blame the new guy poor amazon.

dunneldeen says:

This problem is so annoying that I won't use the Amazon App Store for anything other than the free apps (since Market has a better selection.)

Jon Me says:

I am having this same problem now with several apps. The version on Amazon is much older and won't update. Wish I had seen this before.