Amazon updated its main Android app to give device users direct access to the online retailer’s Appstore, enabling it to compete more effectively with Google’s Play store.

Rather than being a standalone product, “apps and games” now appears on the category menu of the main Amazon app, in much the same way as music, books and DVDs.

This stands to greatly increase Amazon’s reach beyond customers specifically seeking out an alternative app store.

Of course, most titles available from the Amazon store are already available on Google Play, while only part of the Google Play catalogue is available in the Amazon Appstore.

But Amazon does offer promotions and monetisation options that are different to that of Google Play, and obviously stands to benefit when customers download and use products from the Appstore rather than Google’s catalogue.

In order to install from the Amazon store, Android users also need to set smartphones and tablets to accept apps from “unknown sources”.

ZDNet noted that in order to gain access to Amazon’s Instant Video app – which offers a range of content including material that is available free of charge to Amazon Prime customers – it is necessary to download it from the Amazon Appstore – and it is not available in Google Play.

This means that users not only have to have the latest Amazon offering, with support for apps and games, on their device, but they also need to use it to install Instant Video.

The ecommerce giant clearly hopes that once users have been pushed into using the Appstore once, they may stick around to use it again.