For some time, you’d have to download the full-fledged Amazon Appstore app for Android from web to access the mega-retailer’s own selection of apps and games. Surprisingly, that changed this autumn.
Out of the blue, the previously less-equipped Amazon app available on the Play Store suddenly had the ability to sell apps and games directly, without users needing to grab the app from web and then enable Unknown Sources to install the software.
But that has changed again: the usual Amazon app, which had 50+ million downloads, has been removed from Google Play. It's now replaced by Amazon Shopping, the simplified version from months back that lacks the ability to sell digital content. You can still find the original app from web, but not by searching on your Android device (as of this writing).
So what happened? It seems that Google wasn’t so keen on Amazon’s stealthy move, and thus decided to amend its Developer Distribution Agreement to prevent the Amazon app’s continued existence on the Play Store.
Android Police dug up the change - it’s a small one, regarding the release of “Alternative Stores,” but it was apparently enough for Amazon to launch the stopgap Shopping app while it likely retools the pulled version of the original.
You can still sideload the full version of the Appstore app from Amazon’s website, of course, and download games and apps from its store to your heart’s content. But Google unsurprisingly isn’t going to allow easy access to a direct competitor within its own storefront. Good try, Amazon.
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