Back in September, when Amazon updated its app on the Play Store that allowed users to pick apps and games, as well as Prime videos directly from the Amazon Appstore, we couldn’t help but wonder if Google would come up with something to stop it. Turns out they have. Google has updated its store policies and as a direct result, the Amazon app has been pulled from the Play Store.
To get a clear understanding of what’s going around, we should of course refer to the Google store policies. The policy until now 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.” Since Amazon’s primary purpose wasn’t selling apps, it was in its full legal rights to have the app in the store.
However, Google has now made changes to section 4.5 of the policy and it now reads as:
“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.”
So its cleverly included Amazon as a violator in the new clause, thus making the app illegal. Amazon has responded by saying:
“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.”
Oh, there’s a new Amazon Shopping app in place, which we suppose will be there till the time Amazon removes the app section from its main app and brings it back. Although for some reason, the direct link to Amazon’s original app in the Play Store is still working.