Android Central

Android is an open platform. Many folks mistakenly think this only refers to hacking, or source code, but the main part of being open means that you're free to install outside third-party software from any source. It's part of the whole "diversity equals strength" argument, and one that worked pretty well for companies like Microsoft.

Since it's open, we're free to install other non-Google application markets on to our phones and tablets -- like the Amazon Appstore. For a while, everyone used it, if only to get that free app of the day. But lately it's not been in the news as much so we're wondering who still uses it?

Of course, on a Kindle or on of the new Kindle Fire HDs it's a no-brainer. But what about the rest of the Android devices? Amazon's apps are now available outside the US, so it's time to revisit. You'll find the poll in the sidebar to the right, or you can just click past the break for it.

Before we go, let's discuss last week's poll. We asked if you were interested in a dedicated camera that runs Android. The results were about what we expected:

  • Yes: 62.05 percent
  • No: 28.85 percent
  • Yes, but not a point-and-shoot: 9.1 percent

With over 60-percent of us interested, Samsung and Nikon putting one on the shelves seems to be a great idea!

There are 60 comments

radgatt says:!

CMercs says:

The question should have included an option for "Yes, but only to download the 'Free App Of The Day'". I don't think I've bought anything from them since they had their holiday sales.

Is there any reason to Buy from the App Store, as opposed to the Play Store?

mulasien says:

Pretty much this. Also the only other apps I've downloaded from them were ones not available for the TF300 tablet. Namely Plants vs. Zombies and Pinterest. If they were available on the Play store, I would have used them instead (haven't found much of a use to Pinterest, but that's another story).

I've also noticed that their free app of the day selections have been pretty poor. It's free, yes, but it's a free crappy app is still crappy.

alantsay says:

Agree... this should be one of the selection...

mtmerrick says:

This, very much this. If it weren't for the FAotD, i would have uninstalled the appstore a long time ago.

DrLouie says:


marisdaman says:

I use to do that too but i thought hey, why not use them, after all they give me something for free everyday. But then I noticed that up were not updated on a timely matter so now I just buy app keys/unlocks from them. Again they give me something for free everyday so i could at least buy something every now and then.

mwara244 says:

When the amazon app store updated apps before the play store did over a year ago and had apps that the play store didn't, but now it sucks. Their apps don't update till a week or too later than the playstore and its too hard to use the amazon app on the phone to find apps. they need to update it in a bad way.

jestermx6 says:

I've switched from using the app store for the FAotD to using a bookmark to amazon's online app store. I'm always logged into amazon via browser so I can grab the app without having to launch the bloated Amazon App Store app.

engineerga says:

Yeah, this. Free app of the day every day. When I got some free MP3 credits from Amazon, I didn't even get the Amazon MP3 app from the Amazon Appstore - I got it from the Play Store. LOL

The Appstore is slow, forces me to download via wifi for large apps, even though I have unlimited data and couldn't give a crap about download size, and it does tasks in series - each install/update it was already doing has to completed or canceled before I can install the app I really wanted. I don't like it.

emcknight23 says:


The only reason I have the Amazon App Store is for the free app of the day. Most of the free apps are games and I'm not a gamer but once in a while there's something useful.


TidBit says:

Should have another option... FREE Daily items only (Never bought any App from Amazon)

icebike says:

Have in the past used Amazon, but I no longer bother to install the app, or even the music player. They have no apps I can't get elsewhere.

Any music I might buy from Amazon goes directly to my computer's Google Music folder for automatic upload. I seldom buy e-books from Amazon, but when I do they go right thru Calibre (and the third party plugins that remove drm) and emerge as ePubs for use on any device.

markyoung04 says:

icebike - if you could provide any help in getting kindle ebooks to be read on google play books app I would gladly donate to any developer of your choice including you.

KCC123 says:

But you'll need another ePub reader as Google Books does not allow sideloaded ePubs. I personally use FBReader and its TTS+ Plugin and the Ivona TTS Engine.

Granted this does not fully meet your requirements, but if you still feel like donating, the developer of Enhanced Email is doing a really good job:

facedown41 says:

Haven't really used it except for the random update to a free daily app. Now, the free daily apps are so awful it isn't worth using the app anymore with the lack of updates from developers compared to the same app on the play store.

Jordan2348 says:

That's my biggest complaint with the Amazon Appstore, I always feel like anything from there is about 2 versions behind the one in the Play store.

bboyairwreck says:

Agreed with everyone elses comment. There really should've been an option "Yes, only for the App of the Day". This shoulda been an obvious option.

atlas9171 says:

Yeah same here, occasional free app of the day download is about it.

NeuroMan42 says:

I would if the Amazon App Store did not require you to keep the app for bought and free apps to function. You remove the AAS and the bought AND free apps cease to function. So I no longer use and even bother with it.

Unibrow says:

That's only if the games developer opts for the drm mechanism Amazon uses. For instance, Jelly Defense works just fine without the appstore installed.

I think the Amazon appstore is just fine and I purchase apps from both Amazon and google play

randyw says:

Jetpack Joyride. Great game. Only on Amazon.

Exactly what I was going to say. I use Amazon Appstore for the rare day the FAotD is not some junky app. But occasionally you'll come across an app like Jetpack Joyride that is exclusive to Amazon.

aNYthing24 says:

Yep...several apps that I got free from there are ones I use everyday.

reeper55 says:

Yes but VERY sparingly!

markyoung04 says:

I check it every day mostly for games for my kid - but the 3 or 4 steps needed to install and then heaven forbid if you need to update that is another two steps they need to streamline that puppy first.

burritoville says:

I only really use it to get updates from free apps I've downloaded from there, I.e. swiftkey when it was free, and they are of course always after the update is available in the play store

TechGuy21 says:

Another vote for "Only the Free App of the Day" and they haven't had many good apps lately either.

MMcCraryNJ says:

There's a ton of performance issues, it's a pain to install, and it keeps spamming my notification bar with useless notifications that could be better described as ads.

So no. The free apps aren't worth it. I'd rather support the developers in the Play Store

jeffreyd_tx says:

If I know my wife and I are both going to use it I will buy from appstore as it is not tied to gmail acct but rather the Amazon account which we share anyway... otherwise only to check faotd

NoSpin says:

Yes, because competition is GOOD. Can't let Google have the only successful app store on the platform!

jeffreytz says:

As Jerry said, pretty much just for the free app of the day.

Mobius360 says:

Stopped using it as it seemed like a battery drain according to the battery stats. I have a ton of free apps and paid apps as I used to use their service. If I ever go for a Kindle I'll use it again.

I find both options frustrating though. Some applications from Amazon work perfectly fine on my Nexus but can't be installed via Google. On the flip side Amazon is very slow at updates.

In the end I looked at how many applications I had installed, repurchased the paid ones via Google and haven't thought about the Amazon Appstore since. It's not a bad service at all, in the end I felt that the days of quality paid apps pretty much ended so there wasn't much reason to keep both.

gsmalleus says:

I had the exact same experience. I saw some battery drain from the Amazon App store, so I uninstalled it. Suddenly all the apps I had gotten there ceased to work without the App Store installed. Went over to Google, purchased all the free apps I had gotten through Amazon. Couldn't be happier... supported the devs and have no more battery drain/notification spam.

sdreelin says:

I do but the free apps have really been stinking lately. I've considered just re-buying the apps I got from Amazon (free or discounted) from the Google Play Store and bagging the Amazon Store. Amazon is not bad, but the upgrade process for apps from there is slower. Sometimes you read here at AC a favorite app has an upgrade, but it will take a week or more for it to show up at Amazon. Also the Amazon App Store app will show you upgrades available, but it doesn't show you what is new in the app like the Google Play store does. If you uninstall an app and later there is an upgrade, it shows up as a new app to install and you cannot get rid of it short of deleting it from your Amazon account. These reasons make me hate the store.

cj100570 says:

I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot pole.

rmiles7721 says:

I used to but it's such a damned battery hog I got rid of it. If I want stuff running in the background I'll tell it to run in the background.

Murphy5111 says:

I used to get free apps. But I have a couple apps that neither I norbmy phone know where I got them from. I keep getting update notifications and then the update fails. I think that used to happen with angry birds and now with cut the rope. So I try to get rid of it but it won't let me purchase it again. It's a real pain.

rap1 says:

Only for the free apps and updates but lately they haven't been any good. I don't see any reason to use it over Google Play. It just makes another place to check for updates.

kctony says:

Yes,on two different devices for two completely different reasons . I have a tablet which is locked down and unable to access the play store (without rooting) therefore I use amazon as a work around. On the phone only for the free app of the day which as of late aren't worth grabbing even for free. Down side to this is having to buy some of the apps twice and the updates in Amazon are well behind the play store.

I used to use it quite often, but lately it just sucks for me.

I also realized I was pulling some of the same apps from both stores, when I would update on Play inevitably I would receive the same update from Amazon, Amazon has now been removed from all devices.

Every day. Free apps and paid ones. Games like Aralon are exclusive to the Amazon store and are worth the download.

Incitatus says:

I am actually able to get Flipboard for my Galaxy Tab P7510 using the Amazon appstore, but not in Google Play. I find it odd, but am nothing short of happy with how it functions on the tablet.

red.foxx15 says:

Mostly for the free app but if there is a price difference of a dollar or so I find myself tempted to go amazon

movielover76 says:

I used it for awhile, mostly to get free apps that are on promotion for the day.
But I got tried of using two different app stores and the play store has everything that
amazon has, so their isn't much of a point to me.

facemymusic says:

I still use it because I got a free copy of SwiftKey on there. Also I have a couple of word-processing apps I got as free apps of the day, so I use it just to reinstall my already-"purchased" apps periodically.

1966cah says:

I use it for the free app of the day whenever there is something good there. If it's a keeper I will buy it on Google, but I try it first from Amazon because 15 minute refunds ala the play store are far too short

d2globalinc says:

used to do the free app a day.. then their app just never received any real updates, had annoying notifications and kept trying to update my play store apps, so i just got rid of the hassle.

bespinct says:

Perhaps I should read more closely to the fine print and maybe I'm violating some license agreement, but I will use Amazon for the apps that my wife is likely to use or that my daughter would like to use on my wife's phone. By purchasing it from Amazon we only have to purchase it once.


giltnerj0 says:

That is exactly the reason I use the Amazon market as well. Can install on all the phones and tablets in the house. I'm pretty sure we're violating the license agreement though.

You should have had options for yes but only for the free apps of the day and yes but not on my primary device. I still have it on my thunderbolt for the free apps I bought but haven't really looked at it in months

terpdog says:

Free App of the Day is the only reason to use it that I have found. Got a couple good apps there and now if I want to keep using them I need to have the app store installed.

Of course there was 2 times when the Amazon App store had issues and non of the apps that I had downloaded from the Amazon App store worked. I had to start from scratch(meant less apps from Amazon). Mostly for the games but I am annoyed when it tries to update apps from the play store, only for a few apps but it is annoying.

davidnc says:

Use to use it for free apps of the day.Not anymore though ,its not used for anything by me

tailsthecat3 says:

No. Cause it's constantly running and/or checking for updates.

PeterPhan says:

I used it for about a week on my old DroidX. Got tired of it being updatrd EVERY day, so I removed it.

Haven't installed it on my Razr Maxx

Yes, but only for the Free App of the Day.

Hand_O_Death says:

I check the FAOTD daily. Gotten some good ones there. Other than that I use the play store.

hairball45 says:

I check the FAOTD daily. Usually it is junk, but worth at least reading the reviews on it. I've caught a couple of real jewels - Audubon Birds for free for example, and sometimes the prices of various apps on ad favor Amazon. And, for my wife's KF there isn't much choice since I won't root the thing. A nice, easy, rootless install of Play Store would be much appreciated........

mumnosh says:

I use Amazon Appp store occasionally because sometimes the apps are cheaper there than the play store. This was especially true for Printer Share app. Play store price was $12.95...Amazon price was $8.95. Soundhound (ad free version) - originally $4.99 in Play Store....$1.99 on Amazon.