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Amazon Appstore Update Includes Test Drive Feature – Instantly Try Apps From Your Phone Before Buying Them

According to the notes in the latest update for the Amazon Appstore that was released today, you can now “Test Drive” apps from directly within the Appstore rather than having to do it through a browser at Amazon.com. For those not familiar, “Test Drive” is a way for users of Amazon’s store to check out apps before purchasing them to see if they indeed would like to purchase them. The on-app version is a “beta feature” that comes with Appstore version 2.6.53. Amazon is making it available to select devices at this time, but plans to roll it out to many more over the next few months. So far, I’m not seeing any Test Drive love on either the Galaxy Nexus or One X.

For whatever reason, I cannot get any phone to update to this new version. Should you find a way, be sure to let us know if the Test Drive feature works well or not. This could be worth giving Amazon another shot…well, maybe.

Update:  If you click on this link from your phone, it should download the latest version with Test Drive. 

Update 2:  More info on Test Drive:

How do customers Test Drive your app?

Customers click the “Test Drive” button on an app product page and in seconds, they can use their phone’s touch screen and accelerometer to control the app, simulating the experience of the app running on their phone.  Test Drive provides customers with the experience of running an app for the first time, as if it were freshly installed.  Customers can purchase or download the app at any point during the Test Drive experience.

The Test Drive beta is available for free to customers who update to the latest release of Amazon Appstore for Android on their phone (version 2.6.53 or higher).  Initially, Test Drive will be available on select phone models but over the coming months, we will roll it out to many more.  When new phone models are supported, the Test Drive button will automatically appear on apps that are enabled for Test Drive.

How does Test Drive work? 

Amazon brings the Test Drive experience to Amazon.com and Android phones using the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides on-demand compute capacity in the cloud for developers.  When customers click the Test Drive button, we launch a copy of the app on EC2. As customers interact with the app, we send those inputs over the phone’s WiFi Internet connection to the app running on Amazon EC2.  Our servers then send the video and audio output from the app back to the customer’s computer or phone. All this happens in real time, allowing customers to explore the features of the app as if it were running locally on their mobile device.

Cheers Dustin and @expertontech!

  • http://www.zco.com/ Jacqueline

    I think if they enable this on more apps, it could be a great feature. I have accidentally downloaded the wrong app quite a few times and ended up disappointed and out a few dollars. Being able to test apps can prevent this from happening and make both customers and mobile app developers happy (no more angry reviews due to accidental downloads!)

  • PowerPlayGraphix

    Man…. if they would just make it where it wouldn’t constantly run and drain your battery, that would be even BETTER

  • jon

    the day i uninstalled amazon app store is the same day my Droid X started working flawlessly.

    worst app in the history of apps.
    i hope it rots in he11

  • balthuszar

    per amazon…they only have enabled “test drive” on 5000 apps atm…what percentage of the apps out of the thousands if not millions of paid apps there are out there is this? and you’re complaining about not having stumbled upon one?

  • SD_Scott

    You know what else has a “test drive” function? Side loading…

  • http://twitter.com/howzball Mike

    What’s this called again? Amazon AppStore..? #whatsthepoint

  • Edwin

    Had the update come to my rezound a couple hours ago .. haven’t tried it out though

  • arod111

    Nothing will make me install that crap market on my phone again! Even free unlimited apps!

  • http://twitter.com/standardsdt Dave Tarantula

    I have the updated app installed, but no option to try before you buy on any of the paid apps from what I can tell.

    • Davy B

      Likewise. I checked and I am on version 2.6.53 and looked at a game and a utility but couldn’t find the option on either.

    • Josh Groff

      “Initially, Test Drive will be available on select phone models but over
      the coming months, we will roll it out to many more.”

      There was also a clause in the update that it only works with some apps now.

      • http://www.tedpavlic.com/ Ted Pavlic

        Moreover, even on the Desktop web site, Test Drive only works with a few apps.

        So you have to pick the right app and have just the right phone.

  • David Cohen

    After they stopped giving good free apps there is no point in using this unless you are forced to on your kindle fire. The apps are slow to update, which makes it annoying.

    The only practical application (pun?) would be to install it with your account on another person’s phone to share apps.

  • Murphy

    Does anyone still use this?!

    • http://twitter.com/standardsdt Dave Tarantula

      For those of us that have the apps installed from Free App of the Day. Yes.

      • Murphy

        Oh, you mean the ones that are hardly ever updated…

        • Josh Groff

          I could care less about app updates as long as the app actually works.

    • michael

      I paid .99 for ad free versions of angry birds trilogy at amazon cause droid market didn’t have hem for first 3, ads slowed down and hid game play. Its too hard to search for apps at amazom app store, i never use it.