Amazon Coins branch out to all Android devices

The virtual currency has expanded beyond Kindle owners to all Android users in the United States and elsewhere.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon customers in the US, the UK, and Germany can now earn, buy, and spend Amazon Coins via their Android phones and tablets.

Previously available just for Kindle users, Amazon Coins were minted last year as another form of virtual currency but one good only on Amazon . The retail giant introduced the online coins as a way to coax customers to buy apps, games, and in-app items from the Amazon Appstore. Shoppers can get discounts when they buy the coins in bulk and earn coins through certain apps.

Android users who want to check out Amazon Coins need to download the latest version of the Amazon Appstore onto their mobile device. You can buy the coins through Amazon and then spend them on any compatible game, app, or in-app item for your device.

"Since the launch of Amazon Coins, we've been amazed by the number of customers using Coins, as well as how many Coins they're spending on apps and games," Mike George, VP of Amazon Appstore and Games, said in a statement. "Because customers can earn Coins when they buy apps in Amazon's Appstore, and because they can buy Coins themselves at up to a 10 percent discount, customers love the extra value they get when shopping in our Appstore."

How have actual users reacted to Amazon Coins? Among more than 1,500 reviews on the Amazon purchase page, the currency has so far garnered four stars out of five. Curious consumers may want to read the reviews before plunking down real money in exchange for the virtual version.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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