Amazon Appstore Exposed…

You’ll notice that in the top right of my blog, I provide an easy way to view the “Free App of the Day” from the Amazon Appstore. Like everyone else in the world, I love something for nothing. I’ve always questioned the Amazon Appstore though – something just did not seem right about it to me.


Well, today I read an amazing post from a developer who recently went through the process of submitting his app to the Amazon Appstore. They have just recently pulled their app from the Amazon Appstore. His insight into the process and his thoughts I think are great.


The developer, Emil Romanus from bithack, had this to say (LINK TO HIS POST) about their app, Apperatus (which is my FAVORITE physics-based puzzle game). Here is a link to the paid version in the Official Market.


Here is a reader’s digest version of most everything he said:


  • Amazon has an app review process, but much like Apple’s; it is a long and ridiculous. Even updates to already approved apps take a long time.

  • Once the app was approved (by adding an “s”), it could not be found – because the “New Releases” section is identical to the “Top Rated” section.
  • Every notice all the poorly rated apps in the Amazon Appstore? Yeah, they don’t filter by device – even when the app’s Manifest says which devices to block. In this case, small screened devices and low-density devices should have not been able to install Apperatus. What’s worse… the developer cannot contact/respond to the people making these comments.
  • Why do I hate on these low-end devices? Because these people rate great apps poorly because they have a bad experience. Well, they should not have been able to even get the game – why make a developer, his app, his name, and his income suffer because some clown can’t play a high-end game on his terrible phone?
  • Think I am making too much of that? One review called the game inoperable without connecting to an ad-server (not true) AND that it is tracking you (not true)… this same review got voted as a “Most Helpful” review… then others started thanking him and that they would not pay for the game because of these false statements.
  • The developer said he receives a lot of email from Market customers – but of the 180,000 from the Amazon Appstore, he heard from 3 (two were on twitter). SO… it’s basically impossible to contact the developer. I had to look him up in the Market – sent him an email – less than an hour later I had a response. THAT is customer service, but people on the Amazon Appstore are ill because they can’t contact him. Ironic.
  • The developer said he “values customer satisfaction greater than income” and has refunded many on the Market (for issues and for helping test bugs). Yet, he is not able to refund people on the Amazon Appstore.
  • If you did buy the app from the Amazon Appstore, please follow the link posted above to his article – he will refund you since you will not be able to get updates from the Amazon Appstore since they pulled their app. This does not count for the 180,000 who got it free (they process these manually).


In summary, all of those people with big issues, who should not have had the app in the first place, who can’t contact the developer, and who can’t be refunded by the developer could have certainly benefited from the policies of the official Market, don’t you think?


I realize the Market is not perfect and I love free apps…. But don’t neglect how good we do have it. And lets certainly not take it out on developers who are trying to get their name out there.


If you would like to help Emil / Bithack – please consider buying their app, Apperatus in the Official Market:



Here is a video of the game (Yeah… it IS that amazing):


About s15274n

I will do what I can to help support the Android Community!

Posted on July 6, 2011, in Advocate, Apps and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That’s frustrating that they don’t filter results based on your system… if the product isn’t supported, it shouldn’t be offered. And that someone could blatently lie about the product without giving the developer any chance of response? Weak sauce.

    What if I walked into a Best Buy and bought a PS3 game for my XBox… of course they aren’t compatible… but with Android there’s no flag to alert before making the purchase…

    But I personally appreciate the (maybe broken) review process. Yes, users should be educated enough to know when something might be malicious, but there is some responsibility in the distributor to know what their customers are using. With so many developers out there, I’d rather have somebody prescreen so I don’t have to wade through the junk. If I’m going to pay money for a product, I want to know that it’s going to work before I buy it…

    And I know from coding that one “s” can make a huge difference.

    So now I’ll use Appstore solely for the free app of the day and Marketplace when I want to support a dev.

    As a side note – how long before Amazon starts charging for updates to the free apps? Or puts limits on the number of times the product is used. $180,000 of lost income for the day of distribution? they’re going to try to make that up somewhere else… ahh, WinZip, when I could continue to use the product over three years after my “free trial”…

    • The “s” was because they wanted him to use https.. which meant his server was having more load, for stupid things like when the app was downloading new levels.

      Strongly encourage reading his full post. My digest version is not adequate.

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