Why has Amazon pulled its Music Android app from Chromebooks?

Over the weekend I received an interesting email from Jeremy, one of the readers of this site. He noticed that his previously installed Amazon Music Android app disappeared from his Chromebook. Here’s the email:

Wondering if you know what’s up with the Amazon Music app basically disappearing from Chromebooks (I have an HP x360 14) and then nowhere available on the Google Play Store for download. Below is an infuriating chat with two Amazon reps who didn’t seem to really know what was going on and kept referring me to links that were just for PCs and Macs. 

I don’t use Amazon Music but I did look into this. Not only did I verify that the Android app is missing from the Google Play Store on my Chromebook, but I found out that this situation has actually been happening for months. Here’s a Reddit thread from June where a Chromebook owner reported the exact same experience.

When I use the Google Play Store app on my Chromebook, a search for Amazon Music comes up empty. I can find the app when searching the Play Store on the web, but as you can see, Amazon Music is now only compatible with my phones, not my Chromebooks or my Android TV devices, for that matter:

I’ve reached out to Amazon’s PR team asking why the Chromebook compatibility is gone and when this action occurred. I’ll update this post if/when I receive a response.

All I can think of here for a cause is the ongoing, behind-the-scenes battle between Amazon and Google.

Amazon makes its own Android tablets, for example, but chose not to license the suite of Google apps and services. Instead, it has its own app store for the FireHD tablets. Amazon and Google also compete head-to-head in the smart display market: Amazon makes the Echo Show devices while Google sells its Google Nest Hub products. Indeed, YouTube was originally available on Amazon Echo products but Google pulled support in 2017. Only recently did the two work out some of their differences and bring YouTube to Amazon’s FireTV along with Chromecast support for Amazon’s Prime Video.

For consumers of either ecosystem, this kind of tit-for-tat services approach is simply a poor experience.

I can’t think of a technical reason for the Android version Amazon Music to be pulled from Chromebooks, so I’m curious to hear what Amazon has to say on this matter. And while you can use the Amazon Music website to stream music to a Chromebook, that’s not at all helpful for those who want to download tunes for offline playback. My hope is that Amazon reconsiders this situation and restores Chromebook support for its Android app in this case.

9 thoughts on “Why has Amazon pulled its Music Android app from Chromebooks?

  • September 23, 2019 at 11:38 am
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    Who/what is Amazon? And, unless it’s a river, why should it matter?

    Reply
  • September 23, 2019 at 3:00 pm
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    By your logic the app should not be working on Android Tablets also. But I just checked the app is still available and working fine on Android tablets. Most likely the app is designed for Portrait orientation and not Horizontal orientation and specially not for resizable windows and that’s why they removed the app from Chrome OS to avoid bad reviews.

    Reply
    • September 24, 2019 at 9:41 am
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      Apps that are designed to run in portrait simply are displayed in a portrait sized window. They don’t get stretched or flipped and run just fine.

      Reply
      • September 24, 2019 at 12:46 pm
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        Bingo!

        Reply
  • September 23, 2019 at 4:57 pm
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    The Amazon Music app can be sideloaded and works just fine whether in Laptop mode, tablet mode landscape or portrait. You need to be in Developer mode to enable sideloading. If you are interested in having sideloading available, you can star https://bugs.chromium.org/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=761329 to add your support.
    There are more and more apps, that I used to be able to install directly from the Play Store, that now show as unsupported. Most of them install and run just fine when sideloaded. Some work far better than when on a phone since you can resize the screen. Some apps that are “unsupported” and even refuse to install when sideloaded, defy understanding. The Alexa app won’t install. ?????

    Reply
  • September 24, 2019 at 7:44 am
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    I use a PixelBook and a Dell Inspiron 7486 as my daily road and home devices. I have Amazon Music Unlimited and I do not believe I’ve ever used an “app”, so to speak, for my music – I believe it is a website/url that just works, and works very well. “I guess I am missing the point of what it is I am missing”? LoL … enlighten me?

    Reply
    • September 24, 2019 at 2:59 pm
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      It’s so that music can be downloaded and played offline. For me, it’s mainly because I can’t be streaming music while at work.

      Reply
  • September 24, 2019 at 1:25 pm
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    Amazon Music is still working on my CTL Chromebox. Just checked.

    Reply
    • September 24, 2019 at 1:37 pm
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      Some people still have the app, while others have reported it pulled. Can you see it in the Google Play Store on your Chromebox?

      Reply

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