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Amazon AXES try-before-you-buy AppStore TestDrive facility from shopfront

No, you can't pet that dawg in the window

Amazon customers can no longer preview apps via the online retail giant's TestDrive service before making a purchase, after the firm quietly killed the function on Wednesday.

The try-before-you-buy feature was introduced by Amazon in March 2011 and was considered at the time to be a clever way to drum up more sales of apps.

However, Amazon said in a blog post on 16 April that it had "decommissioned" the facility the day before announcing that the service had been axed.

The company's Corey Badcock said that over 16,000 apps had been launched via TestDrive. He added:

With the increasing use of "free to play" business models, we have seen a significant decline in customers using TestDrive, and effective 15th April 2015, we will decommission the TestDrive service.

Badcock said that customers would continue to see "Apps that are currently using TestDrive ... promoted in the Appstore, but without TestDrive functionality."

Amazon didn't break out the figures to reveal exactly how much usage of its TestDrive feature had plummeted. ®

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