Amazon App Pulled from Google Play Store

Spot the difference: the new Amazon Shopping app
Spot the difference: the new Amazon Shopping app

Google has removed the Amazon app from the Play Store.

The decision seems to be driven by a recent update to the Android app which made it possible to install apps from Amazons own app store (as seen on its Kindle Fire tablets).

Amazon told Android Police that its app was removed due to a change in Googles Developer Distribution Agreement made on 25 September. The relevant change seems to be in section 4.5 of the agreement – previously headed non-compete, now alternative stores.

While the agreement previously prohibited any app “whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of software applications”, it now forbids any app which “facilitates the distribution of software applications” in any way. Given that the app store was just one section of the wider shopping app, not its “primary purpose”, this small change looks like the root of Amazons problems.

Amazons response has be to replace its app with a new one, Amazon Shopping, which is identical except for the removal of the app store. This isnt an ideal solution – while the original app had received in excess of 50m downloads, the replacement has between 1,000-5,000 downloads, which has negative consequences for the apps listing in the store.

Whether Amazon Shopping is a temporary measure while Google and Amazon sort out their differences, or a permanent replacement, remains to be seen.