Amazon Appstore lets users preview Android apps

Posted by Mark Raby

Adding to the many features that make Amazon's Appstore better than the Android Market, the platform lets users preview apps before they buy them.

The feature, called Test Drive, enables customers to navigate around an Android emulator and play around with any game or app for a limited time. It's a feature far beyond anything the official Android Market has to offer.

It highlights just how more ingenious Amazon is when it comes to selling product. While Google may do a great job at creating software and coming up with ideas, Amazon is king in the world of consumer sales.

From day one, the Android Market has been one of the most disappointing features on Android, due to a lack of organization and a clunky search feature (ironically, for Google). Ever since Amazon started offering Android apps through its own online portal, though, customers have been flocking there and some developers have even decided to release their apps exclusively on the third-party platform.

As for previewing apps, Google used to offer an ad hoc 24-hour trial period. That is, if you paid for an app and decided within 24 hours that you didn't like it, you could request a refund. It later ditched that feature.

Amazon's "try before you buy" feature is much more user-friendly and less likely to rile developers, since users don't actually get to play the app on their phone, only on a Web-based Android emulator. For the full experience, they'll need to buy the app, but they no longer have to blind buy.

The Test Drive feature is live right now, so go check it out.