Starting tomorrow, Amazon is evolving the program so that there will no longer be lockscreen offers and ads as an option. Now that many phones have face recognition and fingerprint readers, Amazon wants to be sure those features work well.
In December, Google added a new rule to the Google Play Developer Policy saying, "Unless the exclusive goal of the app is that of a lock screen, apps may not introduce ads or features that monetize the locked display of a device". The update will arrive as an update to the Amazon Offers app on Google Play.
When Amazon announced in 2016 it would spotlight an exclusive list of discounted unlocked smartphones for sale to Prime members, it was pretty exciting. As a user, it would be very hard to identify which app was displaying lock-screen apps, since any game or app would technically be able to take over the lock screen.
Without the lockscreen ads and offers, these devices will still have plenty of Amazon software inside.
Alcatel A30You're not totally free of Amazon branding should you opt for the company's Prime Exclusive phones. Given the attractive pricing available on these smartphones, this is a big deal that Amazon is essentially backing down from a steady revenue stream. Amazon says the change was partially influenced by new technologies like facial recognition for device unlocking, which requires use of the front-facing camera and screen, as well as customers' desire to personalize their phones with wallpapers of their own choosing.
Those with an Amazon Prime Exclusive phone will receive a free update, starting this week, that will remove existing lockscreen offers and ads. Pre-installed inside a Prime Exclusive Phone is Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos, and the Amazon Widget. To view the Prime Exclusive Phone line-up, hit this link.