Amazon creates an Android virtual machine, test apps before you buy

In the new era of App stores, if you purchase an app that you do not like, there is little chance of being able to return it. In most cases, you cant even try a demo version of the application either, so what did Amazon do? They created a virtual machine that allows you to test out any app from their store in your browser before you buy. 

Amazon refers to the feature as Test Drive and it is a great solution to a issue that end users currently face. The one downside to Test Drive is that you have to be at a PC and it currently does not work if you are browsing on your mobile device. Amazon states, via Engadget:

Clicking the "Test drive now" button launches a copy of this app on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides on-demand compute capacity in the cloud for developers. When you click on the simulated phone using your mouse, we send those inputs over the Internet to the app running on Amazon EC2 - just like your mobile device would send a finger tap to the app. Our servers then send the video and audio output from the app back to your computer. All this happens in real time, allowing you to explore the features of the app as if it were running on your mobile device.

This feature should be popular among consumers and will help to drive users to Amazon's new App store. In a market where features drive consumers, Amazon has unleashed a top notch product that may draw users away from Google's own Marketplace. 

Image Credit: Engadget

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19 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Why was my comment about buying a $0.69 music album to take advantage of the 20GB cloud space? What the hell Neowin.. can I get a pm or something?

Just let every app have a time limited trial and or crippled mode so we don't bloat the store with 2+ apps slots for every 1 app.

that's one of the most annoying things about the apple app store(I assume other as well, not sure as I dont have another device) they might have 300,000 apps, but of that it seems like half are trials and when you cut out the clones, ripoffs, garbage there is probably less then a thousand good apps.

This allows even non-Android owners to go and play with apps for 30 minutes, which is about how long I would ever want to play with a random application/game.

I believe Amazon has just become my favorite new game site.

Alan Cone said,
This allows even non-Android owners to go and play with apps for 30 minutes, which is about how long I would ever want to play with a random application/game.

I believe Amazon has just become my favorite new game site.


Seeing this I imagine they will block out games ?
Perhaps lower trial time for games.

Yakuzing said,

Seeing this I imagine they will block out games ?
Perhaps lower trial time for games.

I think they will give developers tools to specify the limitations on the VM for their titles (Sorta like publishers on the Kindle can specify things or block it from the device entirely). I'm sure those who do not will see a drop in sales overall since people are more likely to buy the ones they are able to try out.

why not just force devs to release free trials? i dont wanna test on my pc then i dont get an accurate representation of speed

jasonon said,
how is this better than getting a free trial?

It's not better than a free trial, but it is better than nothing which is what many apps give you for trying out the app.

jasonon said,
how is this better than getting a free trial?

It's more convenient. You don't go through the process of purchasing the app and having to return it if you don't like it.

the PC thing is inconvenient but totally understandable. nothing would prevent me from testing the app over and over while i am on the road. plus I don't download new apps while out with my friends so this shouldn't really be a down side.

good job for making this amazon. i hope app developers jump on the wagon and let people use this with their apps.

Ambroos said,
Hm. Might be because I'm in Europe, but I can't get it to work... Any suggestions?

"The Amazon Appstore is only available to customers located in the United States."

MightyJordan said,

"The Amazon Appstore is only available to customers located in the United States."

use usa proxy, try, remove proxy, buy