Amazon Appstore for Android is set to launch later this month, allowing customers to “easily find and purchase applications that best fit their needs and lifestyles.” However, the DRM verification process proposed by Amazon could prove to be bit of a pain the bum for users.
The Amazon Appstore Developers Blog states: “Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app. When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app. If the user does not sign in or does not have an entitlement to that app, then the app will not be usable. However, any user can gain an entitlement by purchasing the app through Amazon.”
The verification process isn’t required every time an app is accessed; the Amazon Appstore client stores a token on the host device which is “periodically” refreshed. However, if you find yourself without a data or Wi-Fi connection and the authentication can’t complete, the app will become unavailable.
Furthermore, the process demands that the Amazon Appstore app remains installed on the phone, as the DRM verification thingy can’t function without it.
To be fair, it probably won’t be a huge deal for the majority of users. The Android Market already adopts a similar technique. Also, it’s not mandatory for developers to make use of Amazon’s DRM process.
Still, it could be annoying if you find yourself settling down to an Angry Birds marathon on the plane only to find the app locked out.