As first noted by Droid Life, Amazon updated its Android Appstore with an awesome Test Drive feature that was first highlighted on Amazon’s Appstore website. For those who do not know, Test Drive allows users to try apps before buying them, thus letting them choose if that extra $1.99 is worth spending on one fart app. All jokes aside, the feature is cool, and we are happy it made its way to Android users.

Using various server techniques (as explained below), users can try the app without downloading it. If the app is worth buying, they can click the Buy button to get the full-featured app instantly. The new feature comes in version 2.6.53 of Appstore and is available only on select devices, but Amazon said it is working on more devices over time. However, anyone can try it out by downloading the file from your phone (here). We are hoping Google rolls out a similar feature for its Google Play store soon.

Here is the full breakdown of how TestDrives works by Amazon:

Image via Droid Life

How do customers Test Drive your app?

Customers click the “Test Drive” button on an app product page and in seconds, they can use their phone’s touch screen and accelerometer to control the app, simulating the experience of the app running on their phone.  Test Drive provides customers with the experience of running an app for the first time, as if it were freshly installed.  Customers can purchase or download the app at any point during the Test Drive experience.

The Test Drive beta is available for free to customers who update to the latest release of Amazon Appstore for Android on their phone (version 2.6.53 or higher).  Initially, Test Drive will be available on select phone models but over the coming months, we will roll it out to many more.  When new phone models are supported, the Test Drive button will automatically appear on apps that are enabled for Test Drive.

How does Test Drive work? 

Amazon brings the Test Drive experience to Amazon.com and Android phones using the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a web service that provides on-demand compute capacity in the cloud for developers.  When customers click the Test Drive button, we launch a copy of the app on EC2. As customers interact with the app, we send those inputs over the phone’s WiFi Internet connection to the app running on Amazon EC2.  Our servers then send the video and audio output from the app back to the customer’s computer or phone. All this happens in real time, allowing customers to explore the features of the app as if it were running locally on their mobile device.