Monday, July 25, 2011

Amazon Appstore’s Dark Secret

amazon_app_store_logo_webThe Amazon Appstore for Android has become a bit of a sweetheart for a LOT of users.  It entices us to use its services with exclusive publishers, such as PopCap Games.  They encourage us to check daily to see what the Free App of the Day is out of the list of paid apps on the service, which many are excellent apps.  However, Amazon’s little darling has a dirty little secret.  A secret that could very easily hurt her reputation if it isn’t nipped in the bud soon.

The problem with the Amazon Appstore is that it doesn’t have the updates to the apps as soon, or as current, as the official Android Market.  This can be detrimental for the functionality of an app.  If it does not get updated frequently, certain features could suddenly cease to work.  If that is the case, and the user purchased a paid app at Amazon’s Appstore, they can’t get it for free over at the Android Market by default.  They would have to repay for it, request a refund from the developer, and HOPE they honor it.  In some cases, it could cause the user to simply stop using the app all together, and then switch to a competitors app.

Take these two apps as examples.

Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom on the Amazon Appstore is listed as version 1.10.5.  On the Android Market Majesty is listed as version 1.10.9.  TweetCaster Pro on the Amazon Appstore is listed as version 3.1.2.  On the Android Market, TweetCaster Pro is listed as version 3.3.  What gives?  Is this a discrepancy on Amazon’s part, or is it the fault of the developers for forgetting about their Amazon Appstore users?

Regardless of the issue here, this is something that needs to be URGENTLY rectified, or Amazon is going to loose out to the Android Market, and quickly.  No one wants to have an app that isn’t updated frequently.  It is a sense of honor and commitment to a product when a developer puts out updates.  The more frequent the updates, no matter how small, makes the end user that purchased the app feel secure in knowing that they did not waste $0.99 to $4.99 on that game.  If this is on the developers end, Amazon needs to push them to ensure equality in app updates between their Appstore, and Android Market.

I have already emailed Handmark, and Herocraft in regards to the issue.  I am hoping to receive a response soon to help shed light on the matter.  When I do receive information, I will do a follow up blog to discuss this further.

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