[h=1]Amazon Apps need to phone home or fail[/h] By David Chernicoff | August 12, 2011, 7:42am PDT Summary: When erratic DRM gets in the way of using appplications you have paid for, its a bad thing, OK? Amazon doesnt publicize this fact but they dont hide it either. It was covered by the technical press within a day of the launch of the Amazon Appstore. It really isnt an issue that you actually need to have the Appstore installed for applications to work; DRM is a way that developers can protect their investment, and if you dont want to have to allow this process, you can simply elect to not purchase applications from Amazon. The problem isnt the required Appstore installation. Its the fact that not only does the Appstore need to be installed, but it also needs to be able to phone home at some unspecified interval to, apparently, re-authorize applications. And it doesnt matter if those applications are paid for or free. Now this problem is likely completely invisible if you have the Appstore running on a phone, as there will almost always be a connection available for the store to use to check in, but with the growth of the WiFi-only tablet market, the need to check in actually becomes a problem, at least in the fashion that Amazon currently seems to handle it. Im not a stranger to devices needing to phone home for authorization. Ive been using a ZunePass for almost as long as they have been available and I know that I need to connect my Zune to my computer and allow it to sync at some point during my subscription period or I will get messages that content isnt authorized. But I also know that once Ive allowed the Zune to sync this way I wont have any DRM issues related to the ZunePass until the subscription period has expired. With the Appstore Ive run into this connection issue on more than a half-dozen occasions in the four months Ive been using an Android tablet. Ill have WiFi disabled, and when attempting to use an app from Amazon Ill get a message ranging from a very clear Application not authorized to less helpful, Unable to reach the Internet when an application fails to launch or some set of features fails to work within an application. As I said earlier, I dont have an objection to developers protecting their work with DRM, but I would like to know that I can use the applications that I have paid for, and it would appear that Amazon doesnt re-authorize their applications when you open the Appstore, something I do on almost a daily basis. Whatever the process is, it behooves Amazon to let users know that they need to check in, and provide a process for making sure their apps are authorized, so that they dont discover this while trying to use an application while on a long plane trip or in some other location where easy access to the Internet may not be possible.