Amazon may be one of the most widely known online stores in the world, but a recent stealth tactic may help it become one of the most widely known app stores within the Android market.
News reports from several publications revealed that, with little fanfare, Amazon integrated a way to purchase apps not only through its standalone Appstore, but within its Android app. Experts estimated the changes to the Amazon Android app might have taken place more than a month ago.
Developers on Twitter sounded as surprised as anyone--and a little dismissive.
So Amazon embedded their own appstore in the Amazon app for Android: http://t.co/L3PdmvuIqZ Feels like a desperate move.— Kohan Ikin (@syneryder) October 25, 2014
Some wondered if Amazon might find itself in Google's bad books for potentially misusing its position in Google Play.
Amazon snuck an app store into its main Android app-violates Play Dev Disti Agreement sec 4.5 "Alternative Stores" http://t.co/1PDamv19Hb)— Martin Barclay (@mbarclay) October 24, 2014
Others realized that the integrated app store was part of an over-arching strategy by Amazon to drive app downloads.
@verge I got an email this morning giving me $10 credit toward apps. I sense this may be a reason it's just now getting attention.— Damon K. Seymour (@typogrammer) October 24, 2014
While the move might make Amazon apps more widely available, developers suggest there are still some issues to be worked out before it is seen as a true competitor to Google Play.
I wish Amazon App Store payments weren't split in 6 each month. I mean, some are as low as $3.. it looks sadder like this.— Davide Pasca (@109mae) October 28, 2014
And if the average developer finds discoverability difficult, some said that Amazon's move may have gone unnoticed for a reason:
@verge because the amazon app store is annoying anyway— GGGGhost! (@patcartelli) October 24, 2014