Test Drive Begins Beta Rollout on Android Phones - Amazon Mobile App Distribution Blog

Test Drive Begins Beta Rollout on Android Phones

Test Drive is an innovation that removes the friction for customers to try new apps and games.


 Jerry Heinz, general manager of Test Drive, is our guest blogger for this post.



Over a year ago we launched Test Drive on Amazon.com, allowing customers to instantly try apps from their computer web browser.  Similar to customer reviews, product descriptions, screenshots and videos, which help customers make purchase decisions on products across Amazon.com, Test Drive is an innovation that helps customers learn about new apps.  The more we remove friction for customers who want to try apps, the more apps they will try. Those customers are more likely to find apps they are excited to download.   In this way, Test Drive helps customers understand the value of premium apps and helps drive downloads of freemium apps.  Since Test Drive launched, it has been enabled on over 16,000 apps.

Today we begin the beta rollout of Test Drive on Android phones.   Now customers can instantly try apps on their phone -- where a majority of app purchases take place -- without downloading or installing anything. 

What do you need to do?


Nothing -- no effort is required on the part of developers to be included in Test Drive.  When you submit apps and app updates we automatically test these apps for Test Drive and we strive to make all apps available for Test Drive. Today we have enabled over 5,000 apps for Test Drive on Android phones and are adding more all of the time.   

Test Drive currently supports apps that utilize the touch screen and accelerometer inputs.  Apps that require Java Native Interface (JNI), keyboard, multi-touch, microphone, camera, gyroscope, near-field communication or GPS are not currently enabled for Test Drive.  As Test Drive adds these features, apps will be automatically re-tested for inclusion.    If you have questions about Test Drive for your app, you can contact us by emailing us at testdrive-inquiries@amazon.com.

How do customers Test Drive your app?


Customers click the “Test Drive” button on an app product page and in seconds, they can use their phone’s touch screen and accelerometer to control the app, simulating the experience of the app running on their phone.  Test Drive provides customers with the experience of running an app for the first time, as if it were freshly installed.  Customers can purchase or download the app at any point during the Test Drive experience.   

The Test Drive beta is available for free to customers who update to the latest release of Amazon Appstore for Android on their phone (version 2.6.53 or higher).  Initially, Test Drive will be available on select phone models but over the coming months, we will roll it out to many more.  When new phone models are supported, the Test Drive button will automatically appear on apps that are enabled for Test Drive. 

How does Test Drive work? 

Amazon brings the Test Drive experience to Amazon.com and Android phones using the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides on-demand compute capacity in the cloud for developers.  When customers click the Test Drive button, we launch a copy of the app on EC2. As customers interact with the app, we send those inputs over the phone’s WiFi Internet connection to the app running on Amazon EC2.  Our servers then send the video and audio output from the app back to the customer’s computer or phone. All this happens in real time, allowing customers to explore the features of the app as if it were running locally on their mobile device.