Amazon ditches TestDrive feature that let Appstore users try out software for free

retailers no more sales confederate flag amazonphone
Twin Design
Amazon has axed a feature from its Appstore that let users take paid-for apps for a spin before deciding whether to hand over the cash. The e-commerce company rolled out ‘TestDrive’ for U.S. customers four years ago – at the same time as the Appstore itself launched – but has now decided to shutter it because too few customers were using it. This was put down to the increasing number of free-to-play apps that attempt to generate revenue through in-app purchases.

Developers of around 16,000 Android apps on the Appstore had made use of the TestDrive service – not that many when you consider there are currently some 330,000 offerings in Amazon’s store. The company said in a statement that apps offering the TestDrive option will continue to be available and promoted within its store, only without TestDrive functionality. In addition, the TestDrive category has now been removed from the Appstore, and Amazon said it’s also stopped enabling the feature for new app submissions.

While many developers working today are more inclined to create free mobile software that includes in-app purchases, a number still hit the Appstore as paid-only offerings. For its part, Amazon occasionally launches limited-time promotions to take paid-for apps to a wider audience, with one offering $105 of apps for free turning up just last week (sorry, folks, it’s already over).

iOS app refunds

While Amazon’s Appstore has ditched TestDrive, Google’s Play Store continues to let Android users request a refund within two hours of purchasing an app. Meanwhile, toward the end of last year Apple started making it easier for Europe-based users to get refunds for apps purchased from its App Store.

However, some users noticed the app would still work on their device even after they received a refund. With some users reportedly building up their app collections via repeated download and refund requests, the tech company apparently started to issue warnings stating that repeated abuse of the system would lead to the reintroduction of the old system – which is the current system in the U.S. – where refund requests are evaluated by Apple on a case-by-case basis.

Product Review

Simple and reliable, Apple's AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds

Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones have dominated the market essentially since they hit stores in December 2016. Though not without some faults, they cracked the connectivity code to rank among the best fully wireless earbuds you can…
Home Theater

Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you?

It's hard to dispute Netflix's leadership in on-demand streaming video, it's not alone. Two great alternatives are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu; each with its strengths and weaknesses. Which one is better? We pick the winner.

Get your hands (and ears) on Apple’s new AirPods — here’s where to find them

Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for March 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.

New gold finish makes Frederique Constant’s hybrid smartwatch flashier than ever

Frederique Constant has found considerable success with its luxury hybrid smartwatch, the Hybrid Manufacture, and has launched several new color schemes to help bring it even more attention.

Tag Heuer’s Golf Edition smartwatch is a lot more than just a flash of new color

Tag Heuer's Golf Edition Connected Modular 45 smartwatch has a lot more going for it than just a flashy new color scheme. From the titanium body and black PVD coating to the new Golf app, this is a true special edition.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!