The Amazon Appstore launched fairly recently and it’s really cool — offering a paid app for free every day — but unfortunately it’s limited to US customers, making the rest of us feel like that kid who’s not invited to the cool party down the street.
I recently got a new Android phone and I realised that it’s crazy that I, living in the UK, can’t access the Amazon Appstore. So I did some searching around and discovered that there is a fairly easy workaround to give access to their store to everyone, not just those in the USA.
Editor’s note: While you probably won’t go to jail for doing this, it is against the Amazon Appstore Terms & Conditions (see Section 4 here). I don’t intend to use this trick myself, but if you really can’t wait for the site to launch in your country and are willing to accept the consequences, go ahead and follow the instructions below.
Using the Appstore requires a US credit card, address, and phone number, but fortunately not a USA IP – and there are ways to meet these criteria without living in the USA.
Creating Your US Amazon Account
Firstly, to use the Amazon Appstore you need an Amazon.com account; it should be completely separate from your main account with a different e-mail address. To sign up just visit this sign in page and select ‘No, I am a new customer’, then enter the email address that you wish to use.
You can use a fake email address if you wish because you wont actually need to do anything with it, however it’s recommend that you use a secondary email address if you have one
Setting Up a Billing Address
Next you will need a US shipping address which is the billing address needed for the account; you can do this at the Manage Address Book page and this must be a valid US address.
I recommend using Fake Name Generator because it gives you information for a random fake person, including a valid US address and much more information: all that you need to set up this account.
Alternatively you could just enter any US address because you’re not actually going to ship anything there, so ‘1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014’ would work (this happens to be Apple’s HQ).
Setting Up a Phone Number
Again you will need a valid US phone number. There are multiple ways of doing this; I recommend using the site given above because it gives you a valid number that you don’t have to worry about. Alternatively you could just enter any number starting with +1
Setting Up a Payment Card
You need a valid US payment card, a number for which can be once again found on the link given above if you do not own one. Or you can just use one of these sample ones from Paypal.
Install the Appstore on Your Device
Now that you have set up your Amazon.com account, you will need to install the Appstore App on your device. You can download the APK from numerous places; opening this URL on your device will download it directly and from there is it simple to install.
Using the Appstore
Open the app and you are up and running and can now download that free app of the day and any other free apps. If you have set up the account with a valid payment card then paid apps will work and you can get those Angry Bird Ad-free apps, or any of those Amazon exclusive apps you’ve been salivating over (just me?). If the card information you entered was just from the random person website or anything else that is not a valid US account, to buy an app you will need to:
- Purchase the app on the Amazon website or on your device – the initial payment will fail
- Visit the Digital Orders Page and you will see your pending purchases
- Choose the option to retry the purchases, this time using your non-US card
The payments will complete and you will be able to purchase paid apps.
So there we go. By following the fairly simple steps above, you too can use the Amazon Appstore outside the US. While I cannot confirm it will work in every country, I can see no reason why it wouldn’t (and it is definitely working here in the UK). I must reiterate that this is against Amazon’s Terms and Conditions, and that we take no responsibility for anything that occurs as a result of you doing this; we are simply showing you how to use the Appstore.