22
Mar
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Moments ago, after months of preparations and precisely on the rumored release date of March 22nd, the Amazon Android Appstore finally went live.

Update: The Amazon App Store is now back up, but it looks like it's US-only. Also, the Test Drive is not available anymore, at least for now.

If the appstore is still down for you, try downloading the app using this direct link to the appstore APK (I got it via an SMS from Amazon): http://amzn.to/getappstore. You should be able to log into your account, browse, and download apps this way.

You can filter apps by featured categories, such as Instant Trials, Bestsellers, Top Rated, New Releases, Free, and Deals, as well as conventional categories, such as Games, Music, News & Weather, etc.

In the best traditions of Amazon's content presentation, each listing contains multiple screenshots as well as a nicely formatted description that is far more versatile and appealing than anything we've seen in the Android Market. Of course, don't forget Amazon reviews - they work exactly the way you think and can be text or video (it looks like you don't need to actually download something to review it, which should probably be fixed).

It goes without saying that you will need to install the Appstore client on your phone before downloading any content, which you can do by entering your phone number on pretty much any page of the site.

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There are a few interesting details to point out.

Test Drive

Some of the apps support a full preview mode, which Amazon called Test Drive, which allows you to take them out for a spin right in your browser window. On the client side, it's using Flash, while the actual code runs on Amazon's EC2 servers in the cloud.

I've tried this with Traffic Jam, the results of which you can see below. It's pretty impressive - you can rotate the screen, and the buttons work pretty much as expected. There is some awkward lag, understandably, but the preview functionality serves its purpose completely.

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Free Premium App Of The Day

Every day, Amazon is going to feature a premium app for free. This should give the store continuous traction and is very similar to the daily Goldbox deals that have grown very popular on Amazon's primary site.

This brings me to the next point. You guessed it - the first free premium game is...

Angry Birds Rio

Usually $0.99, the first free premium app of the day is, you guessed it - Angry Birds Rio. 60 new levels and a completely new game style await:

  • Let the feathered artillery fly! Rescue rare birds from smugglers, then make your escape through the jungle
  • Recruit a whole flock of unique birds to join the cause, including Blu and Jewel from the movie Rio
  • Play through 60 Rio-themed levels with a mixture of strategy, skill, and brute force
  • Find hidden secrets, win trophies, and earn coveted 3-star ratings on each level
  • More birds and levels are on the way! Expect more characters with unique abilities and more content from Rio

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All in all, I am VERY impressed with the new store. I have no doubt that it will be highly successful and will surely give the Android store itself a run for its money. Your opinions may differ, so hit up those comments down below and let us know what you think.

Source: Amazon Appstore, with some help from TechCrunch

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://chriskd.me Chris Dehghanpoor

    It was up for a second! At this point though (3:13AM CST), it has vanished completely from Amazon's website, and the app is no longer refreshing on my phone.

    I managed to download and install Angry Birds Rio from the site first though. Pretty impressed with the store so far.

    • Kane

      Interesting. You're right - it's been pulled down for some reason. Hopefully, it'll be back soon.

    • http://www.twitter.com/0mie 0mie

      pull the apk for me, please? :)

      omie07[at]gmail[dot]com

  • Aghnaar

    Can't acces, maybe it's because I'm a non US resident ?(Fr)

  • MexyRicanBeauty

    Ugh I'm so mad I missed it !!! I wanted to download it...

  • pat

    same pissed
    I CANT GET IT TO WORK

  • Bear

    App store is currently nowhere to be found...nice job with the launch Amazon :(

  • ari-free

    what launch? most people are sleeping right now

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Most people in the U.S. but there's the rest of the world, although by the looks of it, they're shut out of the store.

      • ari-free

        yeah...they just have to start with the US first, huh? But Amazon will get there since they already sell to many countries.

        Also, AT&T blocked sideloading but they will make an exception for Amazon. Again, probably not in time for this launch.
        http://www.appstoreaccess.com/

  • ari-free

    -test drive is a surprise. Amazon managed to out-cloud google tech.
    -Amazon reviews are a big deal. There are just too many stupid "it suxxx!!!!" reviews on Market that need to be rated down.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Check out the update I posted towards the top and try downloading the app straight to your phone.

    • AndroudFTW!

      It didn't work, you might have to go thru amazon and have it send you the text.

      Once you get, then it probably matches your phone for the download $.02.

  • Rana

    I tried downloading the app straight to my phone, it did not work. Gave me the error: "access denied" with a bunch of letters and numbers and gobbley gook.

    I'm VERY disappointed with the lack of information about this. Nowhere on the Amazon site does it say ANYTHING about the app store. Before I found your site here saying it was up and then had been pulled I was very confused because I couldnt find it anywhere despite all the news articles saying it had launched.

  • Jason

    You guys are freaking out over nothing. Its 3am,that was not the launch. I'm sure it will offically up and running once the sun actually comes up. Lol

  • kalev

    appstore is working now (thanks for the link) but unable to download the Angry Birds Rio - has anybody downloaded it ?!?

    I'm in europe

  • Ron H in Schenectady

    I wonder if it has anything to do with Apple suing them for using their precious "App Store" trademark.

  • Hampus

    all i get is "since you looked at nagry Birds Rio, the price has changed. Would you like to see more details" and "see details" or "cancel Purchase"

  • element4life3

    Anybody pull the .apk and host it?

  • http://stuarthalliday.com Stuart Halliday

    Link to apk Still not working...

  • Álmos

    There is no way on earth this will be successful.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gavinlew @gavinlew

    I've downloaded the APK and installed it, however I think the app is designed for the USA and not for us in the UK - I get "Attempting to Purchase, Purchase failed try again".

  • Paul Baarn

    When will companies start to realise that the internet is global? It's so annoying that stuff comes out for the US only and no word on when it will be available in other countries. A good way to stimulate piracy.

    • Randy

      I don't think anybody wants to pirate.
      Everybody's just keen on angry birds rio.

  • anelectricmind

    FYI : Amazon Appstore not yet available in Kanada.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gavinlew @gavinlew

    Confirmed, Amazon Appstore is not yet available in the UK :(

    Now, we need that APK hosting somewhere.

  • ales

    Unfortunatelly don't work for CZ and I tried also my second US addres (but with czech phone number)

  • Vivec

    Can someone please pull the apk and send it to
    vivec28 @ gmail . com
    please?

    Or what would be better is to host it and post the link.

  • Antiph3d

    Its now up and running. Was able to DL the Appstore and Rio.

  • http://twitter.com/anujahooja Anuj Ahooja

    "The Amazon Appstore for Android is not yet available in your region."

    Looks like it's not available in Canada just yet. *sigh*

  • Randy

    I tried installing it.
    Then it forced me to register my credit card.
    (which i don't have one since going debt free one year ago).

    Having a credit card wasn't even important since there's no paid app for my country on android market anyway...

    This alone gave me a bad experience of the amazon app store. I'll probably never return to download anything from them.

  • Kip
  • Alex

    I'm also located in Canada - just got the same error msg. It's not available in Canada indeed.

  • http://www.twitter.com/gavinlew @gavinlew

    Pulling the APK wont help - RIO requires the Amazon App store to be loaded and you to be in a region that is supported.

    Otherwise it will fail with "Not Authorised to use this application" and "User is not allowed to use this application" messages.

  • http://vidandroide.wordpress.com Vidandroide

    We're in Venezuela, however we did access the site (both phone and PC) and downloaded to the phone without any trouble. This was done at 8 am, local time.

    Probably they're fine tuning for Europe and other big markets.

  • Mitch

    Not yet available in Australia.. just another reason to hate amazon..

  • http:www.TheRideAhead.org Neil

    Amazon_Appstore is awesome. They have done what Google has refused to do. You can purchase once, and download to your family phones without having to purchase for each device separately. I will most likely never purchase through the Android Market again. Google was too greedy. Now, Amazon App store allows you to do what the Apple App Store allowed for family phones all along.

  • Sarah

    I have a US phone number (an HTC Evo 4G on the Sprint network) and live in the US yet I keep getting 'the Amazon Appstore for Andriod is not yet available in your region'.

    Can anyone please shed any light on this?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.shitfilmreviews.co.uk greyman

    It's daft that you need to be in the US to download Angry Birds Rio. Since I and many others do not live in the US I've uploaded it to my server

    Grab it from http://shitfilmreviews.co.uk/angrybirdsrio.htm

  • http://www.myrecipebookspace.com Alec5216

    So free app of the day? That's really cool.