Amazon Coins are now open for use outside of Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon announced today. More specifically, the e-commerce giant says that its virtual currency can now be bought, spent and earned on Android tablets and phones in the US, UK and Germany. You’ll still need to download Amazon’s proprietary Appstore in order to use its Coins — no Google Play access here — but today marks the first time the currency has been available on a non-Kindle Fire device.
For the uninitiated, Amazon launched Coins as an alternative payment method last year. In practice, they work similarly to the Xbox Live Points Microsoft used to employ on its gaming consoles. Amazon sells them in bunches — 500 for $5, 1,000 for $10, etc. — and you can use them in place of traditional dollars and cents when buying Appstore apps. The system is also gamified, as you can earn additional Coins by downloading certain software or hitting certain achievements in games.
The idea is to get people to commit more of their cash to paid apps, but so far Amazon hasn’t given any indication of how successful its currency has been since it launched. Getting outside of Amazon’s own ecosystem of devices would presumably help Coins either way, though it remains to be seen whether or not more people will be willing to download a third-party app store like Amazon’s in order to use them.