If you own a Kindle Fire, and you live in the United States, Amazon’s announced another great new freebie. They’re offering $5.00 worth of free app downloads in their Kindle Fire store. You can browse the store’s selection at tinyurl.com/FreeAmazonApps It’s all part of a special promotion to celebrate the launch of a new service called Amazon Coins.
ABC News described it as Amazon’s “own digital currency for Kindle Fire owners”. (Or, in Amazon’s words, it’s “an easy way to purchase apps and in-app items on Kindle Fire.”) Amazon’s Vice President of Apps and Games proclaimed proudly that “Today is Day One for Coins”, and to commemorate the occasion, announced that “Today we are giving Kindle Fire owners $5 worth of Coins to spend on new apps and games, or to purchase in-app items, such as recipes in iCookbook, song collections in SongPop or mighty falcon bundles in Angry Birds Star Wars.” They even added a 10% discount on the purchase of coins — so you could create your own stockpile of virtual cash.
I’m guessing you could also use this credit to buy apps for your Android smartphone (since that’s where I’m mostly likely to play Angry Birds). In fact, one technology blogger wondered whether Amazon might someday extend the ability to use their Coins for all purchases on Amazon.. But Amazon’s move provoked a variety of strong reactions — not all of them positive. “We already have money, it’s called money,” complained one app developer. He acknowledges that in the computer games industry, other companies are already offering their own currencies (like the Microsoft Points available for XBox systems). But his ultimate concern is that “at the end of the day, you’re still giving Amazon hundreds of dollars that you might not spend for months or that you have to worry about managing separate from, you know, your bank accounts.”
I’ll admit that I’m much more likely to spend money on an app than I am to spend in an app. But I still appreciate the fact that Amazon’s let everyone try out the program with 500 free coins. Even if I never spend another virtual dollar of Amazon’s money, I’ll still end up with $5 worth of free apps on my Kindle Fire.
Browse Amazon’s selection of apps at tinyurl.com/FreeAmazonApps