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Amazon appstore gets a refreshed Tablet interface


The Amazon app store is the second largest app store for Android right behind the Google Play store. It comes as the default app store on all the Kindle tablets which tie in all of Amazons various services.  For other Android devices, its claim to fame is the "Free App of the Day" where for 24 hours they offer a paid app for free.  They rarely repeat these app promotions so if you miss out a day then you'll have to purchase it.  For some devices (usually carrier devices) the app will be bundled in but usually the app has to be manually sideloaded for use on your device.

Getting the Amazon App store app on your device

To get the Amazon app store the first step is to navigate to amazons app store web page on any web browser.  Before you click to download the app confirm that your device allows the installation of applications from unknown sources.  This allows you to install apps on your device from outside the Google Play store.

To confirm your device allows the installation of applications from Unknown sources:


  1. Open your devices settings and navigate to the Unknown sources option (under Applications or Security depending on your device).
  2. Tap the checkbox and then tap OK on the confirmation popup.
After you have completed these steps go to your "Download" app or folder where you will see a file called "AmazonApps-release.apk" and tap the file once.  You will then be prompted to verify that you are installing the file. Click OK and go through the prompts and in about 30 seconds the app will be on your device.

The Amazon app store is the 3rd icon on the right in the first row.
Once it has finished installing then go to your apps drawer and start the application.  Log in with your amazon account and you will be allowed access to the store.  

The app store experience:

Navigating through the new version of the app store is a effortless with the "Free App of the Day" prominently shown on the main screen as soon as you log in.   You can swipe left and right to reveal more promoted apps or scroll down on the page to see featured Apps and Games.  Tapping on the top left of the screen reveals a menu that shows different categories.

Tap on the "a Appstore" on the top left of your screen to reveal this slide out menu
The slide out menu also includes your settings where you can toggle parental controls and notifications.  You can also access your account info in this menu and as check the balance on your amazon gift card if you have one. 


This updated version (7.0008.3519C_6370008100) navigated and responded quick and smooth on my installation of Android 4.3 Jellybean.  Taps registered instantly on my HP Touchpad and everything loaded quickly.   

The catch:

The Amazon appstore does not have anywhere near the amount of apps as the Google play store does.  However, it does get some exclusives (such as the tablet version of the Citibank app and Amazon video) occasionally before the Play store does and has all the expected popular apps.  Amazon occasionally has its own sales, and prices in general can be higher or lower than the play store.  Once you download any app from Amazon (even the free app of the day) be aware that to use the app you must have the Amazon appstore installed to use it.  It does not have to be running, just installed on the device for verification purposes.

Protip: You can purchase Amazon apps in your PC web browser and then download them through your device later.  The web store also lets you "test drive" certain apps before purchase. 

Overall:

This updated version of the Appstore is a big step forward in both design and usability compared to earlier versions.  Performance has improved and what you see presented to you is relevant to your individual tastes.  

Comments

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