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A few times after I've downloaded an app from the Amazon Appstore, I get an error pop-up similar to the following when opening the app:

Amazon Appstore

There was a problem verifying this application. Please download it again.

It hasn't occured on the first launch of an app, but rather the second (or possibly later). Uninstalling it and then downloading it again always solves the problem; it never occurs again for the same app (except Gentle Alarm. I couldn't shut it off because Amazon wouldn't let the app run, just the service. Gah).

My question is, why does this happen? If the app works fine, it shouldn't be corrupted, so I don't see why it couldn't be verified (especially since it was verified fine on the first launch). Is there some extra data downloaded? Is it managed by the app or the appstore? (I.e., would clearing data for one, the other, or both solve the issue without needing to re-download?)

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2 Answers 2

up vote 11 down vote accepted

According to their dev blog, the appstore does download a small token for DRM'd apps which it uses to validate them at launch:

How can you verify that the user has an entitlement to the app without internet access?

During the installation process for an app, the Amazon Appstore client downloads a small token that grants the user the right to access the application. A valid token permits the user that purchased the app to access their app offline. The Amazon Appstore client will periodically communicate with Amazon servers to refresh the token.

My guess as to why you see the error is that the token is either out of date or just got corrupted somehow (bug in the appstore maybe). Re-downloading probably refreshes the token since it's originally retrieved at install time, but it sounds like you may also be able to clear the appstore data and sign in to get a valid token, or possibly just launch the appstore and let it connect/refresh itself (haven't tried these myself as I haven't had this error yet).

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I just learned this lesson the hard way. Amazon requires at least a once daily connection to the internet or you won't be able to access your apps purchased from them. I was overseas with spotty internet service and after one day all apps gave me the same error message. Amazon made no apologies when I complained, but they refunded my purchases so I could buy them again through the Android Market, which doesn't have such idiotic requirements.

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2  
Hmm, this is probably the issue I was having. I was trying to use Gentle Alarm and I couldn't shut it off because Amazon wouldn't let the app start up! I had to pull the battery and uninstall the app later. –  Matthew Read Jun 9 '11 at 3:13

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