Amazon is ending the feature that would allow users to try an app or game before they actually purchased it. While the concept was something that seemed interesting when the feature was designed and launched in 2011 – it quickly became something that would see serious decline, and now cancelation entirely. Purchasing apps isn’t something that smartphone or tablet users have a problem with anymore. However, Test Drive as it was called, wasn’t a bad concept in design. It was an interesting concept, which could have seen some success – but on the Amazon marketplace, it wasn’t something that was going to see any growth.
Amazon points out that there were 16,000 apps that were available to be tried through the service. They even pointed out that there was a significant amount of money put into this project, and for it to end like this, it isn’t much of a stretch to point out that the company lost something with this deal. At its core though, what the company really lost with this venture was trust.
This was intended to be a venture that would drive up trust and bring reliability to a place that doesn’t really have a lot. An app store on any device is a place where value isn’t the top priority. Reviews, name recognition, money spent in development – are all things that matter to the developers who put these apps and games together. Giving users the ability to see what they’re going to get before they purchase is something that is great on paper – but hurts the developer if the user is being pushed away from their app.
Ultimately, the reason for this failing probably has less to do with the actual success of the system. Giving users the ability to try apps before they download them is a great idea, but at the end of the day – being given the ability to try an app first, especially if it doesn’t cost much – doesn’t seem like the most necessary thing for users to worry about today.