Amazon’s App Store Update Includes Test Drive Feature, Try Apps Before You Buy Them



While most of our Android attention is focused on Google’s own Play store, the Amazon Appstore has become its own competitor and a new update makes it even more so. The change-log for yesterday’s release highlights a new “Test Drive” option: a “beta feature that lets you instantly try apps before buying them.” If this works the way we all hope it could, I’m adding this to my Android Challenge.

The on-app version is a “beta feature” included with the 2.6.53 release of Amazon’s Appstore app. Amazon says they are making it available to a select group of Android phones now with a limited selection of apps, and plans to roll it out to many more devices over the coming months.

This could be the reason to give Amazon’s Appstore a try if you haven’t already done so. Hit the link below to give it a go, make sure to hit the link on your phone.

Amazon AppStore

Update Info on Test Drive:

How do customers Test Drive your app?

Customers click the “Test Drive” button on an app product page and in seconds, they can use their phone’s touch screen and accelerometer to control the app, simulating the experience of the app running on their phone.  Test Drive provides customers with the experience of running an app for the first time, as if it were freshly installed.  Customers can purchase or download the app at any point during the Test Drive experience.

The Test Drive beta is available for free to customers who update to the latest release of Amazon Appstore for Android on their phone (version 2.6.53 or higher).  Initially, Test Drive will be available on select phone models but over the coming months, we will roll it out to many more.  When new phone models are supported, the Test Drive button will automatically appear on apps that are enabled for Test Drive.

How does Test Drive work? 

Amazon brings the Test Drive experience to and Android phones using the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides on-demand compute capacity in the cloud for developers.  When customers click the Test Drive button, we launch a copy of the app on EC2. As customers interact with the app, we send those inputs over the phone’s WiFi Internet connection to the app running on Amazon EC2.  Our servers then send the video and audio output from the app back to the customer’s computer or phone. All this happens in real time, allowing customers to explore the features of the app as if it were running locally on their mobile device.

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  • i uninstalled the Amazon App Store long ago .. from the stupid update notification that never really pointed me to “new apps” like it said, to the resource hogging to the slow updates on apps .. I just decided to stick with the Market .. hopefully the Play Store gets this feature.

    • WW

      Amazon’s app store has never set off Watchdog’s excessive CPU usage alarm on my (former) Sensation 4G but the newest version of Google Play does.

  • fixxmyhead

    too bad i uninstalled it about a week ago. the faotd are always garbage and they always take a while to update the apps too 

    • WW

      Over the months, Amazon’s given away 2-4 $10-$15 office apps (QuickOffice, Documents To Go & I think some others) and some great PopCap games premiered on Amazon’s App store for free  (Plants vs Zombies, Bejeweled 2, Peggle).

      • fixxmyhead

        yea i know the office ones are the only ones i downloaded just in case. didnt like bejeweled,peggle,plants vs zombies

  • WW

    Wow…no comments?   

    Here’s one.   

    I love Amazon’s Android App store.  The free app of the day feature is great.  I love that there’s competition/alternate places to buy applications.   

    If an app I want is available from both Google Play and Amazon App Store (for the same price), I’ll get it from Amazon just to support the underdog/competition (funny calling Amazon an “underdog”).

    If you have an Amazon account, their app store links right to it so you can buy and install apps from your phone.  They do frequently take longer than Google Play to roll out updates when the dev puts out a new version.

    • WW

      Heh…took me so long to compose, 2 comments appeared.

  • steveb944

    I use the Amazon appstore for the FAOTD, simply because you never know when you’re going to find a great deal. I’ve found a few good ones and hopefully this new feature works on my devices as it may make me purchase more apps

  • Wex

    Testdrive has been available for certain apps on the AMZwebsite for quite some time