One of the things that set Amazon’s Appstore apart from the others (particularly the big guys like Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store) was their ability to offer a trial period for apps you are considering (before taking the plunge with an actual purchase). Introduced back in March 2011 at the same time as the Appstore, the feature was eliminated earlier this month on April 15 (with next to zero fanfare).
According to Amazon, TestDrive had experienced significant decline in usage (with speculation that the popular “free to play” app model make most popular titles free to grab anyway).
It doesn’t seem that developers really embraced the feature either, in 4 years there were only about 16,000 titles that took advantage of the service (which means lots of the apps users wanted to try weren’t included, not to mention it was only available for those in the United States).
Not to worry, there are still plenty of ways to get apps for free (or nearly free) –temporary sale prices, lite versions that offer a preview before purchasing an ad-free or fuller-featured pro version, promotional apps that change over time, and Amazon’s own “Unlocked” feature that operates as a sort of Amazon Prime subscription service for apps.
Jillian Koskie is an experienced software developer, content writer, project manager and usability design expert. With over 17 years in these roles, Jillian has enjoyed applying her skill-set to assist clients and users across a wide variety of sectors including: legal, health, and financial services. Combining these professional opportunities with a love of technology, Jillian is pleased to contribute articles, opinions, and advice to numerous news outlets, websites, and publications.