Amazon’s primary Android app is rather mysteriously missing from the Google Play store. The application is not completely gone of course, but has been pulled from the official store and no longer pops-up in searches, although it is accessible through a direct store link.
This comes as a direct consequence of Amazon’s fairly recent addition of an “Apps and Games” section into its main application. The functionality was mostly their own app store baked right into the primary shopping software. This was a huge leap forward for the Seattle-based online giant as it allowed for applications to be delivered seamlessly to devices, instead of having to be download from the website and side-loaded like before.
But the real reason for Amazon’s sudden withdraw is legal in nature. Google recently made some alterations to its Developer Distribution Agreement, presumably precisely to prevent third-party app stores from being available within the official Play store. Prior to the alterations section 4.5 of the policy stated:
Non-Compete. You may not use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of software applications and games for use on Android devices outside of the Market.
Which has now been changed to the much more concrete:
Alternative Stores. You may not use the Store to distribute or make available any Product which has a purpose that facilitates the distribution of software applications and games for use on Android devices outside of the Store.
This of course is a pretty justified move on Google’s part. Although many users are sure to disapprove of the decision it makes little sense to facilitate direct competition in delivering applications. Furthermore it might also put Google’s tight control over customer security and content quality in jeopardy, as the policy would theoretically allow most less than reputable app stores to be easily available to users and install questionable content on their devices. Amazon issued an official statement and had this to say about the matter:
We launched a new Amazon App for Android Phones on September 9 that provides an award-winning mobile shopping experience, enables customers to discover and purchase all of Amazon’s digital catalog, and provides customers access to the Prime Instant Video player and unlimited streaming of over 40,000 movies and TV episodes. Google subsequently changed their Developer Distribution Agreement on September 25. As a result, we removed the app from Google Play and published the Amazon Shopping app. Customers who want the best Amazon experience on their Android phone, including access to Prime Instant Video and Amazon’s entire digital catalog, can still get the Amazon App for Android Phones at amazon.com/androidapp.
As of writing this article the main Amazon Android app still does not appear in Play store search results. As already mentioned its direct link is functioning and it appears that Amazon has simply done away with the “Apps and Games” section and is only a matter of time until their app is easily accessible once again. The statement also made it clear that a full version of the application will still be available on Amazon’s web site, so not all is lost. Amazon still plans to deliver an ever-growing array of content to its Android users, including apps and games in whatever manner they can.
In any case it appears that Google’s new policy on alternative application stores is here to stay and has affected a lot of other similar services as well, like the Humble Bundle app, which was recently pulled for the same reason. So if you enjoy Amazon’s Free App of the Day or an awesome local content supplier, who happens to break the new rules as well you will probably have to look for updates and support outside the Play store in the future.
Source | Via