Amazon Shuts Down TestDrive, The Appstore Function That Let You Attempt Apps Earlier than Downloading
Amazon is shutting down TestDrive, one of many differentiating options of the Amazon Appstore which allowed shoppers to check out new purposes forward of buy. The function was launched again in March 2011 alongside the launch of the Appstore itself, the place it then utilized a browser-based mostly emulated occasion of Android operating within the cloud. This let shoppers management an software and expertise it like they might on their Android gadget. The function later arrived on Android telephones, too.
Amazon says that the choice to shut the service was based mostly on “a big decline” in utilization, and cited the recognition of “free to play” enterprise fashions as an element.
Most of the apps that provided TestDrive have been cellular video games, as these are usually the sorts of apps that buyers needed to take a look at forward of creating a purchase order. However recreation publishers nowadays are likely to generate income by means of gross sales of digital items and different in-app purchases – not by providing their app as a paid obtain. That signifies that shoppers who needed to expertise a recreation might merely obtain it without spending a dime on their cellular system and play it. There was no want, actually, to check it out first utilizing one other means.
So far, sixteen,000 apps took benefit of the service, which by no means expanded outdoors the U.S., Amazon’s web site notes. That cited determine signifies there was little developer curiosity in utilizing TestDrive in recent times – it’s the identical quantity that was talked about because the variety of out there TestDrive apps again in 2012.
As a result of the function wasn’t universally adopted by builders, shoppers would typically discover that the apps they’d wish to “check drive” weren’t supported. Different occasions, shoppers weren’t even conscious that such an choice existed.
The function was truly decommissioned on April fifteenth, at which level the apps that provided TestDrive would not have the choice out there. They’ll nonetheless be out there and promoted within the Appstore, says Amazon. The TestDrive class may even be faraway from the Appstore shopper software, and Amazon will not be enabling the choice for brand spanking new app submissions.
TestDrive was an fascinating and progressive function for its time – and it helped Amazon’s new Appstore stand out from rivals like Google Play and iTunes.
However nowadays, the highest app shops supply quite a lot of methods to expertise and uncover new apps, together with the power to observe movies alongside viewing app screenshots, for instance. And even within the case of paid downloads, app publishers often run promotions to briefly make their apps free, so as to appeal to new customers. Amazon, too, runs comparable promotions on behalf of app publishers. Actually, it’s doing so now – a sale launched this week is providing 26 purposes, which might often value round $one hundred and five.00, without spending a dime.
Plus, as TechCrunch just lately found, Amazon is rolling out new methods to attempt apps that are simply as progressive as TestDrive ever was – together with Amazon “Unlocked,” a type of Amazon Prime for apps that may give away paid apps free of charge as a part of an upcoming service.