Competition between Google and Amazon over their Android app stores is hotting up – it has emerged that Google has kicked Amazon’s store off of Google Play.
The official reason is a change in Google Play’s terms of service, which states that:
“4.5 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.”
In other words – if you want to be on Google Play, then don’t let people download apps without it. Which makes sense from Google’s perspective, as having users tied to Google’s eco-system is essential for maintaining its position. If people use Amazon’s store, then Google doesn’t get a cut of the cash.
According to Android Police, Amazon has since released the following statement about what has happened:
“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.”
The good news for users of Amazon’s other services, who don’t want to install a separate app store just to get access to Amazon Instant Video or Amazon’s shopping apps is that Amazon has already published a ‘new’ app to Google Play, which is almost identical, but doesn’t let you buy apps through it.