01
Aug
unnamed (1)

If there's one thing that's annoyed me about the Amazon app for Android, it has been the lack of a shop by department option. Sometimes you just have an urge to peruse the "Everything Else" section. Today's update to Amazon's official mobile app for Android finally allows you to do just that.

Screenshot_2012-08-01-10-32-45 Screenshot_2012-08-01-10-32-59 Screenshot_2012-08-01-10-33-12

And this is the full Amazon shopping experience - you get all the sort and filter options you would on the website, which is awesome indeed. While the look of the app is basically the same (a bit odd for a 2.0 release), Amazon has done some under-the-hood performance optimization that has really sped up scrolling and page load times (at least on my One X).

Tablets are still listed as incompatible, unfortunately. Here's the full changelog:

    What's New in Version 2.0.1
    · Take advantage of Amazon.com Subscribe & Save and save 5-15% plus get free shipping on thousands of eligible products.
    · Explore and browse products by category with Shop by Department.
    · Search corrections to help you find what you need quickly.
    · Bug fixes and performance enhancements.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

    ...and it still isn't Holo themed.

    :(

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

      Not every app needs to be Holo themed, especially if the design predated ICS and lots of work went into the app's design already.

      • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

        I'd like to disagree. ICS themes are the new and clean user interface. Just because the app's design has a lot of work done doesn't mean that the UI shouldn't be updated. It's not necessary to throw it all away and restart. Things could be re-used and still support holo themes just as well. By your logic a UI created in a Windows 98 program should keep it's design because it has a lot of work done to it.

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

          I agree that some elements, like the ActionBar should be added, but I disagree that the Win98 analogy is valid here. A lot of apps have unique, custom UIs which were specifically developed to make them different from everyone else and, more importantly, they're not just using a bunch of standard OS UI elements. PowerAMP is a perfect example of that - it needed and did get the ActionBar update, which is great without a doubt, but it doesn't need to be all Holo because its UI is completely custom. Think Winamp on Windows - it wasn't built using the standard menu and window system, so it doesn't need to look any different now that Win7 is around because it doesn't use most of its UI elements. And the ones that it does use (like the options page) are already skinned automatically by the OS, just like in Android - standard OS elements look differently based on what OS you have.

          • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

            Yes the Windows 98 analogy seemed a bit far off but my point still stands, the app has Pre-ICS (standard) plastered all over it. For example, the menu is still that ugly looking black and gray contrast, and they could simply replace the amazon bar on the top with the action bar that serves the same exact purpose but gives the users an Android feel that defaults the way that the buttons will appear. Like I said, I'm not against custom components, I even mentioned that the old components could still be used, but placed inside an ICS themed app would look much better.

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

            Yeah, in this case, I will agree that it could use a lift. In general, I get quite frustrated with sweeping comments about Holo that don't account for custom designs or compromises, so I was airing my thoughts about these statements in a more generic case.

        • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

          It's not that I'm going to defend Amazon here (I think they should do some updates too), so read this as it's intended.

          You've got to take into account that they are living in their own reality distortion field. Almost every Android developer working at Amazon is using a Kindle Fire (or something older) as a development device. Also, Amazon is a VERY numbers-driven company, so they are looking at the ~85% of devices still running Gingerbread or older. From their perspective, making that upgrade just isn't prudent yet.

          All things considered, they actually have an incentive to stay a bit more Gingerbread-y a bit longer. They value their branding quite a bit, and changing the styling of this app means they will have to change all of their other apps at the same time (something their team is gearing up for, but not ready to do...trust me, they are ramping up hiring right now). Also, if they update these apps, it will start to make Kindle Fire owners feel like they are using something antiquated and boring. If you consider all of the rumors about a new Kindle Fire coming soon (talk about obvious), they are likely to update these apps right about the same time they release the new hardware, just to further incentivize customers to buy a new Kindle Fire.

      • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

        An app like this is made to be Holo themed. If we (the users and sometimes developers) want Android to be viable platform for developers, the Holo theme needs to be more widely used. Android is catching up to the iPhone's dominance in that area, but it's not quite there yet.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

        For me an applications priority is content first, UI second (unless the UI is embarrassingly bad). However the ICS GUI is a real upgrade from Gingerbread and I would like to see more applications with the ICS GUI.

  • http://twitter.com/Xeratun Xeratun

    Any idea why tablets aren't supported? I was really confused when I got my Nexus 7 and went to install it and it wasn't available. I feel like it would be much easier to shop on it than my phone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

      Very good question, the new ics fragments are very easy to work with and provide an extremely easy to use api both for tablets and phones. In fact I find that coding with ics style ui is 5 times easier than the old method of styling.

      • jammer

        I find it to be only 3.71 times easier. :(

        • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

          Touchè

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I'm guessing they want people to buy Kindle Fires. Also, they could be working on a tablet version separate from the phone one, who knows.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

        +1 For rumoured Kindle Fire marketing scheme. Nexus 7 is nasty competition for Amazon!

      • http://twitter.com/Xeratun Xeratun

        I had that same thought, but can't believe a company like Amazon would make buying every one of their products harder just to push one of their devices. Unless they just view the broader Android tablet market as just that insignificant.

    • ins0mn1a

      i was also surprised to find out the amazon app is not compatible with nexus 7, but have since discovered that you can install it from amazon app store. mine just got updated to 2.01. it works fine but the layout is the same like on the phone.
      i don't think it makes sense for amazon to be "blocking" nexus 7 as a kindle fire competitor. they just want to sell their stuff, and they don't care what device you use to do your shopping. they probably just don't have a version suitable for android tablets yet.
      on a related note, amazon instant video app for ipad just got released. i wonder if the android app is in the works. somehow i am not terribly optimistic about this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

    remove***

  • http://www.facebook.com/andresdroid Andres Schmois

    Seems like today is a good upgrade day for Android. However with a lot of apps starting to update to Holo themes (ICS style ui) I think Amazon should have done the same.

  • leftovermagic84

    and how is this better than going to amazon.com in the browser?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      Amazon.co.uk is awkward in a mobile web browser.