In September, Amazon updated their Android app such that it was actually a completely functional app store. Flash forward to today, and it appears Google has made Amazon’s signature application un-findable using search in the Play Store (though the Amazon direct link does seem to work, for now).
There is a new app in its stead (we presume) called Amazon Shopping that looks pretty much like the old app did, minus the App Store bit.
The moral of the story, is that it appears as if Google wasn’t thrilled with Amazon making their digital catalog available for sale in this manner. When asked for a comment, Amazon noted:
“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.”
Of course, the question that begs asking is if Amazon didn’t think it was doing anything sneaky or against the rules… why did they keep it so hidden?
Google hasn’t responded with a comment so far, but it has to be making Android fanatics a little nervous… the search giant seems to be locking things down in a way that labels them more like the thing they hate the most (Apple).