Google and Amazon have an interesting relationship. In some respects, they're competitors but in others, they're almost colleagues. Their relationship is a bit like siblings; different but in some weird way, similar. Amazon use Google's Android software as the basis for the Fire OS that's installed onto the Fire products, the Fire Phone and a number of tablets. Amazon and Google are competitors in several spheres away from the devices, including music, movies and books, not to mention shopping. You'll find the Amazon Kindle app on the Google Play Store (and on at least one of my devices) and you'll also find the Amazon app on many devices, too; this is an easier way to do your Amazon shopping online. There's a version optimized for tablets too, but a few weeks ago, Amazon updated the app in the Google Play Store to allow users to download and install apps from the Amazon Android App Store. It always seemed unusual that Google either allowed, or let slip, these changes to the Amazon app store but now we've news that the original Amazon application has been removed from Google Play Store search listings (although oddly enough, as at the time of writing if you have the direct link you can still find it).
However, whilst Amazon may be in the throws of pulling the original application, it's been replaced with a new Amazon application called "Amazon Shopping." This appears to be the exact same application as the hidden one minus the Amazon Android App Store. We don't know for sure what's happened but we do know that Google has rules against app stores within the the applications available from the Google Play Store. And at first glance, it seems unusual that Amazon launched a replacement application rather than updated the current one but actually, it makes perfect sense. You see, if users can still use the original application to get their online Amazon shopping complete, plus install applications from the Amazon Android App Store, then they're going to continue using it. If there was an update to this application that removed the App section, they would lose this So, this way Amazon can comply with the Google rules (presumably, the original Amazon app store will be removed at some point).
Amazon have used the App Store to release hundreds of dollars worth of free premium applications but one of the conditions is that you have their app installed on your device. We'll see what happens, but I'm expecting the original app to disappear from the Google Play Store and things to return to how they were: users will need to turn to the Amazon mobile website in order to install the . It remains to be seen if the replacement app will suffice. But, over to our users: how many of you use the Amazon application? If so, will you keep the current application on your device as it appears to offer the same functionality as the new one? Let us know in the comments below.