After months of waiting, the Amazon Appstore for Android is open for business. If you’re an Android user, take note: this has the potential to be a huge development for Android-powered smartphones and tablets, and introduces some much-needed competition for Google’s Android Market.
There are several things you need to do to get started using the Amazon Appstore.
To use the Amazon Appstore for Android, you’ll need an Amazon account. You probably already have one, but if not it’s free to setup. Next, on your Android device, enable app installation from unknown sources; this allows non-Android Market applications to be installed on your device. If you’ve ever installed an APK file directly from your Android device, you’ve already enabled this feature, but if not tap Settings > Applications on your phone or tablet, then check the box next to Unknown Sources.
Now you’re ready to install the Appstore app on your device. On your PC, go to the Amazon Appstore for Android page and enter your phone number or email address in the box labeled Get Started on the right side of the page. You’ll receive a link to download the Appstore app. It’s probably best to use email so you won’t have to pay for a text message (unless you have unlimited messaging). If you use email, be sure it’s an address you can view from your device.
Once you receive the email or text message, tap the link to install the app. After installation, the icon Amazon Apps will appear in your Apps Menu. Open it and input your Amazon Account credentials.
Using the Amazon Appstore
Once your phone or tablet is linked to your Amazon account and the Appstore has been installed, you’re ready to start installing. You can view apps from within the Appstore on your device or from the Amazon web site on your computer.
If you’re on your PC, viewing an app will display the price, a product description, and reviews from other users. On the right side of the page, you’ll also see a box listing the Android devices you’ve linked with your account and compatibility of the app with your devices:
As you can see, Angry Birds Rio is compatible with the Motorola Droid, our test device. You can get the app by clicking the Get now with 1-Click button at the top of the box. Purchased or selected apps appear in the My Apps menu in the Appstore app for installation.
If you’re browsing the Appstore from your phone or tablet, you can also install directly from the device by tapping the Get App button at the top of the screen.
Other Appstore Features
Amazon lists the top 100 free and paid apps on the Appstore Bestsellers page, which is a great way to find new software. You can also view New Releases and Movers & Shakers, apps that have moved up in the rankings over the last 24 hours.