Amazon intends to stir up the Android app-sale community with the introduction of its own marketplace to compete with Google’s. When we got a sneak preview of the store’s terms for developers last fall, we learned that Amazon would be offering DRM options to attempt to secure apps sold through the store against piracy. Now Amazon’s explained a little more about how its DRM will work, and some of its requirements are a bit disconcerting.
In those documents from last year, we saw that Amazon reserved the right to force DRM upon app developers, if they want their apps sold through Amazon’s store. Yesterday the company posted on its Appstore Developer Blog that this DRM would require phoning-home to Amazon’s servers when running an app in order to authorize it.
This sort of DRM has gotten heavy flack from PC users, but at least they have the benefit of a mostly reliable internet connection. What do you do when you’re out in the middle of nowhere and your GPS navigation app won’t start up because Amazon’s servers can’t be reached?
Amazon doesn’t specify if this is a once-and-done thing, where maybe you’d have to “activate” the app after purchase, or if it’s as bad as we fear and would require re-activation every time the app is launched. While Amazon may still clarify or revise its policy, if that latter possibility is indeed the case, Amazon shouldn’t expect to drive many sales away from Google.