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Amazon retires its Windows Phone app, but something is in the works for Windows 10

Online retailer Amazon is set to retire their old app for Windows Phone users today. The news first broke back in June right as the fiscal year was ending and since then multiple reminders have been sent to users notifying them of the impending change.

Amazon has not kept up with the times with infrequent updates and missing the wave of Windows 10 apps starting in 2015. Nonetheless, the app was still quite functional and did let users have easy access to their accounts as well as online shopping on the go.

Its removal from the Store and subsequent loss of support is a big blow to Microsoft's mobile ambitions. While consumers can still access their Amazon account through the web browser, the experience is less than ideal compared to an app not to mention the loss of notifications, Live Tile, and other integrated features.

Amazon Windows 10 app - Truth or fiction?

In July, WinBeta caught wind that a new app was in the works for Windows 10 presumably for mobile and PC. The information came via Amazon's internal apps team through customer support channels, which sounds more legitimate than regular customer support. Moreover, they had two different groups convey the same information. Then again, any consumer-facing support can be unreliable especially if the information is not current.

Almost to prove the point above a few days later German site WindowsUnited.de ran a story contradicting WinBeta. The press office of Amazon Germany told Windows United that the WinBeta story is "misinformation" and they were asking for a correction.

I did some digging on this story and the truth, as always, is somewhere in between. Amazon is starting work on an app for Windows 10 but at this time it is only planned for PC and not mobile. Nonetheless, being a Universal Windows App does lend itself to being adapted for mobile with modest changes at any point. Plans could certainly change during development.

That's the good news. The bad-ish news is as of now I am hearing from people at Amazon that the app could be using Project Westminster making it a Hosted Web App.

Westminster apps are quite remarkable when compared to the old 'web wrappers' on Windows Phone 8.1. Windows 10 projects based on Westminster are true UWP apps and can leverage Live Tiles, Notifications, Calendar, Contacts, Cortana voice commands and authentication making them nearly indistinguishable from "native" UWP apps. They can also dynamically update server side negating the need for updates through the Store.

Of course, it should go without saying that a lot could change over the coming weeks and months during development so take the above with a grain of salt. Amazon could decide to make a native app, cancel the project, or let their Hosted Web App on to other platforms like Phone, HoloLens, and even Xbox. The takeaway, for now, is that not all is doom and gloom when it comes to Amazon and Microsoft's Windows 10 ambitions.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

157 Comments
  • It sucks because it is my #1 used app.  I always scan barcodes at the store to compare prices before I buy and if it is cheaper at Amazon (not always) I pop in my cart to purchase online.  Typing in the product description will be a PITA!
  • have my upvote and know that i use the app for the exact same thing... there is nothing like oh man that looks like a great deal pull out he barcode reader of amazon app... nope cheaper in amazon, keep the walking...
  • That is how I use it as well.  This is going to suck.  I started to look at SCAN as alternative App but the reviews seem to be all over the place.
  • Ditto. This for me was an essential app. I don't understand why companies like Amazon who make money from sales would want to make it more difficult for some of their customers to buy things.
  • Stupidly, I only took any notice of the barcode feature when someone mentioned it in comments on the original article advising the removal of the app. Damn my stupidity. Will really miss the app, functions much better than the current Windows app.
  • meh.  Amazon just ticked me off with their refusal to implement quick-linking in the original WP7 Bing Vision  [Which was Freaking Awesome!!]  I contacted them multiple times and got the polite form-letter response, "thank you, we'll pass this on to our developers," but no action.
  • Even if they had implemented this feature, Microsoft removed Bing vision when Cortana turned up to the Windows Phone party so it wouldn't have been a feature you could have used for long.
  • Ditto, plus I use it in the library to tell if a book has a good review or not. It works wonders when perusing used books drastically marked down books at booksellers too.
  • Ditto
  • I'm sure your wife has an iPhone.. Just have her scan them for you......
  • This is probably you're single most ignorant comment. 
  • Thanks!... We call that sarcasm..... Now, what's your excuse for that profile picture?.... What do y'all call that?.. Hahaha.
  • I can't banned for stating facts and this clown is posting stuff like this. Way to bend your policies.
  • It was an honest question.
  • What
  • Ummm, I think his original comment was unnecessary, so if you want to cry about me joking about his profile picture, then you should seriously examine who's the "mouse" here. Get over it.
  • What ever, enjoy trying to bait people into your game.
  • Lol. What?. Ok. Dude enjoy your evening. You're obviously sad, alone, and looking for someone to argue with. Lol. Like I said get over it, son. Bye
  • Sure thing
  • And WHATEVER is one word. SMDH.
  • haha - i use my wifes iphone for a bunch of stuff - Lexus Enform, Vizio Smartcast, First Republic Bank, Verizon Fios Mobile, Amazon, and im sure theres more than a few more. 
  • Lol. I knew it. I knew you would say something along those lines. I was being sarcastic, but there was some seriousness to it as well...
    ......
    The fact is that everyone's wife, or GF, has an iPhone, to fill the gaps when our Windows devices fall short... And, as embarrassing as it is for us to ask, we do... Although, sometimes I play it off like certain apps (like Snapchat) aren't cool enough for me to download.. Lol. Either way, it is nice having app accessibility.
  • EVERYONE'S Wife? Grandiose all encompassing statements are such a bore. My wife is running a 950 and I have a 950xl, neither of us has ever had an iPhone. So much for your FACTS.
  • Same setup here too. Todd...you forgot...all the unnecessary...and....misused... ellipsis...
  • My wife has a iPhone, she has to use if for work, she also has a 950. She hates her iPhone. How does that fit in to your little equation...?
  • Tired of reading such negative news..stop publishing articles about apps leaving the windows platform..
  • Then you had better just stay off the WC news site altogether.
  • I cant..Now only I started learning to send messages on whatsapp thrgh WC articles
  • That's now how this works.
  • That's not how any of this works Windows Central... could save you 15% or more on accessories in 15 minutes. :)
  • LMAO!
  • News is news. I don't know about you, but I'll like to know if an app I care about is leaving the platform.
  • Yep. This dude is suggesting that we live in delusion.
  • Just use your wife's iPhone then.
  • She holds it in her bra in true Texan fashion...
  • I love it that WC posts the good, bad and ugly of Windows phone. It gives generally an unbias view of the platform, and thats all I can ask from journalists....
  • There is nothing wrong with publishing "bad" news when it is warranted. There has only been one (series of) article on this site that I took issue with (the repeated Pokemon ones), but when there is genuinely an problem, then it should be talked about. However, is this negative news? When the Windows Store started, they claimed that there were no apps so so the store was junk. When it was pointed out that there were quite a few apps on the store, the claim changed to either the quality was poor or they were all web wrappers. The poor quality argument is invalid - all platforms have poor quality apps, but somehow the fart apps on iOS are of higher quality than those on the Windows Store. For web wrapper apps, web wrappers apps routinely fill the top 20 on iOS stores. So if web wrappers make the store poor quality, then why isn't it the same for iOS/Android? I have an iPad Mini. I use it quite often because Microsoft does not have a Surface Mini, and the small form factor is better (interestingly, even though it is the largest seller rumor today is Apple is going to discontinue the Mini so they can make even bigger iPads). I have never used the Amazon app on my iPad Mini. I have never used the Facebook app on my iPad Mini. I have never used my bank's app on my iPad Mini. Even Steve Jobs himself claimed that you would never want an SDK, you just need a web browser. The short version - supposedly web apps in the store is bad, unless it is on iOS then they are good. But removing those web app wrappers from the store is also bad, possibly even worse. The even shorter version - the haters will say whatever they can to scare people away from Windows.
  • Amen!  Well said.  So tired of the exact same experience on iOS just being great, great, great, but on Windows it's horrible.  Just like when they changed the people app to have "circle" pictures of your contacts.  Oh my word, everyone went bonkers at how "ugly" it was.  I then posted a pic of the "cricle" pictures of the contacts on iOS that everyone thought was "just amazing awesome!"  Everyone whined about the hambuger menu in the upper left hand corner.  Nobody seemed to whine when Apple and Google introduces this stupid UX implementation, but as soon as Microsoft decides to ditch good UX to match what the rest of the world is going, oh my word, Microsoft is now horrible at UX design and just dumb, dumb dumb.  I hate to tell everyone, but if you don't like the state of the mobile world, stop blaming Microsoft.  They are simply giving you what Apple and Google have already been giving you that you seem so thrilled with!
  • If Edge or any other browser comes up with notification then I will uninstall number of apps.... Speaking of Amazon app that I never enjoined on windows phone or android either. The only app want on windows phone from Amazon is Prime music and video app.... just to make use of my prime subscription only. 
  • Chrome has notifications. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Oh I'd love Prime Video and Music on my Win10m. Would make it so much more convenient than just on my laptop :D
  • A few months ago Microsoft added support for push notifications. They added a feature that allowed sites to push info about coupons. People were pissed. How dare Microsoft add a feature like that, taking over my web browser and forcing me to get notified of coupons on sites that I visit? If I go to Amazon I don't want to have a notification of coupons forced out to me! Or, at least that was the common reaction to those here who just want something to be pissed off about when it is about Microsoft. Of course, other browsers have push notifications and they are great, but once again, for some reason, horrible when Microsoft does it. Also, if you would have read the article about Edge from a few days ago, it was discussed how the next version of Edge was going to support Service Workers, which is the standards way to make this happen. BTW, this browser push notification thing is not new, it was around in IE many, many years ago. But then it was declared a security hole by those who hate anything Microsoft, simply because it pushed data to you, those sites feeding data would have your IP address, and it was just another "Microsoft adds features without caring about security" rants, whereas today, you should want to give your IP address, credit card number, phone #, SSN, and so on - except to Microsoft, give it to anyone except Microsoft, because they can't be trusted.
  • If they stop reporting it, will the problem go away?  Or, are we just going to lie to ourselves?  I rather have the news.
  • It's good that they write about all these news, even if it's good or bad, because it gives us, readers a full picture of the state of the platform. Sadly, it wouldn't stop the trolls, who say that everyone here is a delusional fanboy, who doesn't whine all day... :/
  • You want doctored news?.. That's fascism.. Who would ask for that??????
  • Apparently most people of voting age in the US
  • Lol. Touché
  • I agree. I use Edge to view their mobile site and my orders work fine. No need for the app.
  • Well, the Mobile site also has more features, because like the article says,, the app wasn't tended to very well.
  • Wtf ... Oh come on atleast don't retire this app for those Lumia who is not getting windows 10 .. Pls
  • Just use the website. In getting used to it even though I have Windows 10 mobile
  • Mobile site is pretty good, but as others have mentioned losing the barcode scanner is a real bummer.
  • Without the barcode scanner, its just another website.
  • interesting news....don't call it a comeback :)
  • It is interesting for sure.
  • We all gotta use the websites since all/most the WP apps are shutting down. No more live tiles, just pinned websites on my start screen. #3rdalways3rd
  • Third isn't always remaining third. I started working at Vodafone a few weeks ago, and one of the first things they were talking about on the training was how they celebrated, that they became the second biggest carrier here in Hungary this year. And they're here since 1999, and were always third. With hard work, everything is possible ;) You just have to be patient.
  • Vodafone is a resilient company.
  • And Microsoft isn't? Or what? They've undergone so many changes lately.
  • @Random DS congratulations on your new job. Any chance you can lobby the "powers that be" to support Windows Phone on their own apps? My Vodafone would be a great start :)  
  • Thank you ;) Maybe later. I'm still pretty new at the company. But at least we have a Mobile Vodafone app :D Btw, some employees, even in higher positions have Windows phones as their corporate phones, so the situation isn't all that hopeless :D
  • I feel sorry for anyone that is stuck on wp8.1 unable to upgrade to wm10. The already depleted store will soon become obsolete.
  • Did you know the wp7/7.5 store is still available? and still has apps? apparently some people are still using them. I had to go back to my old 7.5 HTC Arrive for a brief time, while my phone was out of commission. I was shocked there was still stuff available. I don't think 8.1 will be gone that quickly (although it is starting to lose some stuff)
  • available doesnt mean its useful. you can actuall still get symbian apps but there is no real support. I had the lumia 900 and soon after wp8 came out, app support became less and less as well new apps were going to wp8. If an app is available on store, but its not getting updates then its nearly pointless. Soon wp8 will be obselete because most new apps coming in are rather going on WM10 store alone than on WP8
  • I agree, I was just commenting that it may not go away that quickly. But yes, it will become obsolete. But then again I really prefer WM10 over WP8
  • So, realistically, are there any good barcode scanner apps in the store? Perhaps something that comparison shops for us?
  • There is an App called SCAN.  It is $1.99 but the reviews are mixed.  While it has a 4.4 score, it looks like the most recent reviews are complaining about app issues.  It works with Amazon, but it is hit or miss.
  • Qr scanner+
  • We don't need surprises, they should have just said they are working on a UWP version before retiring the old one and quietly too
  • Amazon leads the online retailers in my country, too bad I have to use an another local app.
  • Wonder what was wrong with the app when so many of us were using it. They could have atleast kept it till a new one was developed(that is if they were developing one).
  • As Paul Thurott has recognised. Everyone is pulling their Apps from the W10 Phone Store, as they have all recognised as a dead platform by everyone except a few fan boys.
    UWP has been a failure. Goodbye.
  • Ok then. Bye!
  • I can assure you are no lung for any company to breathe with.
  • windows 10 overall is another Vista failure.total lack of quality control, cheap working resources, layoffs...good job Nadella
  • Take what you read on Paul's site with a grain of salt. Interesting reads, but it's got issues. Why just yesterday they discovered the Band2 weather tile doesn't update automatically.
  • This is bad news. Normally they wouldn't stop supporting the legacy app until the new one is released. Leaving a two month gap means they don't give a ship.
  • if MS does not give a "ship", why should the devs?
  • Need the Alexa app Amazon. I'd pay for it even though paying for prime.
  • I already dropped my Prime as of a few months ago and the end result is I am down to maybe one Amazon purchase in the past six months. It's harder to buy the impulse items without the app or Prime but the savings add up fast. You soon learn most of what they sell is unneeded or can be purchased locally. Found things much cheaper in local warehouse outlets like Ollie's or Costco.
  • For me is the exact opposite unfortunately. I'm from Italy. The same product in my city cost a lot more. When I can find it. Most of the time i can't find what I need in my city.
  • They should do the same thing with the kindle app
  • Dan are you aware of any developers that might use the project to bring web based apps like WebApps used to? That service was ok being that it worked with IE much better than edge and lacked the live tile and notification features. A developer like WebApps that can fill the app gap with web wrappers with notifications and live tiles will be huge for the platform altogether
  • when pokemo Go uwp was able to bring into Win10 y can't amazon...
  • If there is any truth to this at all, what is the point in keeping it a secret and why end this app early before releasing the new one?
  • Because it doesn't matter? There are so few Windows Phone users that it is inconsequential. Look at Amtrak. They said "less than 1%" of their customers were Windows Phone users. Amazon is likely no different. Also, notice a lot of these apps began their EOL cycle on June 30. End of fiscal year, so you stop paying your devs/support.
  • One other thing to note... If they stop paying their dev's to support the Win8 app they can move those developers to full development of the Win 10 app rather than using them to firefight issues related to the Win 8 app. This might be a move to garner more support to the deployment of the new app rather than hiring new employees to deliver it faster. If Amazon really wants to attract buying to their Instant Video and Music products a new app would make sense. I can watch my movies through Netflix app and listen to my songs via Groove, Spotify, and Pandora. Businesses that are competetors of Amazon's offerings and are available on all Microsoft platforms. While I dont see Mobile as a current driver for a Win 10 app, I can definitly see Amazon Xbox and PC apps with purchase ability as an attractive opportunity. While they have a Amazon app on Xbox they could write one app and have it delivered to all form factors (in theory). How that ties in with the rest of Amazon purchases (non digital delivery) I am not certain if a seperate app would make more sense. I have not used an Apple or Android version to see if they already include digital content delivery like music or video.  I am disapointed the app is going away, yet I am hopeful a single app for shopping and digital services is in the works for Win10. I have Prime yet never use Prime Music as its just easier to use Pandora (free) app... and I'm to lazy to run Amazon through the Web interface... Sad but true.
  • If it doesn't matter, why are you writing about, why are we reading it and why are we making comments?
  • He's saying that it obviously doesn't matter to Amazon,, not us.
  • That's Microsoft's fiscal year, not everyone's (Amazon for example goes with 12/31)
  • I'm going to be okay if it is a Project Westminster Hosted Web App.  I've been intrigued to see how a large company would use this tool to take advantage of all the tools that are available.   As long as it gives me quick easy access to Amazon, I won't complain.  
  • Reasonable
  • They really should've kept d old app available until a new one is developed, am on Amazon frequently and I only use windows phone... Honestly sometimes Microsoft make it hard to be a windows phone fan
  • The new app is going to be desktop only according to the article, so you would be losing access either way. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Re: kelvinrennie,
    I agree, they should have kept the existing app until the replacement is issued, but for some reason, current "software development" strategy is nonsensical? If car manufacturers used this line of thinking, cars would stop working, model years would be skipped, and each new model would be released without prior features that we have become accustom to.
    It makes no sense.
  • It's MS's fault that devs are leaving the platform, it's MS's fault that windows 10 is such a buggy mess. No experienced testers +no quality control + layoffs + cheap working resources + Nadella = Windows 10 mobile
  • haha
  • There's a lot of truth to some of this, particularly the testers.
  • In INDIA it is still working, I was able to search my previous orders and can make same purchases again. Buy Now option is still present in my amazon app.
  • What will be the future of Windows phone I love that OS but now is just a painful death like a I see it. W-mobile will prevail? Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • The email yesterday on the removal of the mobile app ended with, "We look forward to seeing you again soon. " Maybe there's hope?
  • I thought the same thing... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • They have likely seen already many customers moving to ios/android app since retrenchment was announced.
  • So, to be clear. I'm on the Fast Ring. My next update will or will not get rid of the Amazon app? Same question for firmware. I've got an AT&T Lumia 950 and we're still waiting on the new firmware.  And lastly, does anyone know if there's a way to side-load the Amazon app? This is one of the few apps that I care seriously about.
  • W10M feels more like Blackberry everyday. The rats are fleeing the sinking ship. 950 and 750 were dead on arrival due to MS refusal to support or market. In the end, this is the same mistake as rewriting the kernel twice. Just too many wasted years. You can't half-ass it, you have to be all-in with well-thought out and beautiful phones running an awesome OS with great app support.
  • If the eBay app goes away then I will really be disappointed. I don't use Amazon all that much any more.
  • I hope Amazon comes back with a worthy app. It is my daily go to destination. 
  • On Android I just use the website using chrome. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android (LG V10 or Nexus 5x)
  • I browse/shop at Amazon a lot, and I haven't missed the dated Amazon app since I uninstalled it back in June. The mobile website in Edge works better than the app ever did, and it provides access to the full range of Amazon's features, including list management, purchasing, subscription management, and one-click ordering. It's interesting to me that we don't particularly think in terms of apps on our PCs, and yet on mobile they're everything. That's a very dated mentality that in large part is due to iOS having a subpar web browser for most of its tenure. That said, yes of course it would be preferred to have an official app, even if it's just for mindshare. But apps do offer some really nice-to-haves as well, including some of the notifications and integrations that you don't really get otherwise. But faced with the choice of a solid mobile website experience or a half-baked app, I'm going to choose the website everytime.
  • Agreed
  • With you on this one. I use Amazon only in Edge and I am really happy with the experience...
  • Ok this is kind of bad news but if a new app is in the works great, maybe well get the same support as other operating systems.
  • Hmm, i hope we see it for W10M, but with international support if they do. The last app was only good for the US.
  • Looks like ditching windows Phone, it's the Betamax, vhs and laser disc war as in UK some years ago blackberry was laser, windows phone Betamax, with Android and iPhone being vhs and in UK vhs won, bye bye windows phone
  • Hi, I'm wondering, is it NL830 on the picture?
  • Understandable that they will only support Win 10 Mobile in the future. Sucks for people who got promised an Update but did not get it.
  • Or maybe they are just working on a classic program for PC and change its appearance to make it look like an app like their wanna-be-an-app program to download music and manage the music library.
  • What's wrong with hosted web apps via Project Westminster?
  • Tbh, it sounds like a solid strategy and one of the reasons MS pushed development of Westminster... ;)
  • It is crazy easy to make uwp work on more than one windows platform. Why cripple the app by not supporting phone, pc, Xbox, etc.
  • You access even more Windows machines if you make it x86. Why bother making UWP at all? Most machines are running Windows 7 anyways. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Making UWP means not supporting 90% of the phones.
  • It's not just "modest changes" to support mobile as well, especially if you start with an app for larger screens and you have to figure out what to do for the smaller screen later. Also, if it is a web wrapper and the website isn't progressive (and in Amazon's case, it isn't) it won't support smaller screens. A lot of companies use a different website for small screens so they can optimize more than styles
  • Iam a heavy amazon shopper, hope something comes soon
  • Heard that Amazon is working on new Amazon app for W10. Not sure though.
  • This Amazon app business is giving us all whiplash. Yes. No. Yes. No. It would be nice to see a full functioning app come to Windows 10 (mobile mostly) but will happily use the site if forced to.
  • If it comes back for just the PC and not mobile, just shut the whole UWP thing down. If guys like Amazon aren't going to do it, even though it is "so easy", then the whole motion is pointless.
  • Why can't most apps that have full features sites not make a Westminster app since it could require alot less effort and let them test the waters before going officially native. Even google could get behind this idea
  • Unless they make a real app, they shouldn't bother because their mobile site is good enough.
  • Said it before and will say it again, **** APPS! Make the web better
  • Amazon values their customers. I'm sure they are making a W10 app even though the number of users on the platform is negligible.
  • Well it's 16th here in India, and Amazon app is still working. Infact the notification on top of the app about it getting shut down is now gone. It has been replaced by the " pin barcode scanner" icon. I am able to view my orders. However, the app has become buggy, with some network related alerts showing up.
  • After a long time I just checked WC. I found there is no progress in WP/WM. Its is continue loosing ground. Thank god.... I have shifted to Android. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Boooooo! I use this all the time! This is terrible
  • I shopped at Amazon exclusively until now. It was easy on my Windows phone and I probably got a good price? Now, since their announced desertion, I've started looking elsewhere.
  • Amazon app no longer works <