Our mission is to make launching apps on Amazon devices as simple and straightforward as possible. This April, we hosted our first Amazon Appstore devDay as a free, virtual event for developers. During the event, we featured a variety of new and upcoming developer tools, key product updates, and monetization opportunities. Here’s a quick recap of the sessions and what we covered:
Whether you’re an existing Appstore developer or thinking about building with us, we shared latest updates during the devDay opening keynote. Jon Kirk, Director of Content Apps & Partner Engagement at Amazon, detailed how Amazon Appstore supports over 200 million devices in consumer hands worldwide and is the digital store supporting Amazon devices, including Fire TV, Fire tablet, in-car entertainment systems, and Echo Show.
In addition, the talk covered how you can reach new users with Amazon Appstore on Windows 11.
With Microsoft’s development of the Window’s Subsystem for Android™️, Amazon Appstore is now available for Windows 11. This means your existing apps can now reach hundreds of millions of PC gamers.
The opportunity on Windows 11 introduces new ways to grow your app’s reach at scale and across devices. In addition, Aabid Siddique, Senior Product Manager, gave a short demo of what Appstore on Windows looks like and how our upcoming Input SDK helps simplify user guides for supported controllers in apps.
Beyond Windows 11, Jon covered the Fire TV features that help both users and app developers have a great experience. A main focus was details on how to increase app visibility with Fire TV Recommendations:
Fire TV Recommendations encourage users to engage and discover new content they might not otherwise know about. By promoting these recommendations on the Fire TV home screen, there is increased visibility of your content, and the recommendation cards enable customers to jump back into apps with minimal effort. To get more information about how to implement the recommendations API for Fire TV, check out our docs to review the required parameters for your app.
Since launching apps can require a sizable investment in backend infrastructure and development work, the opening keynote also detailed the Amazon Appstore Small Business Accelerator Program.
This program supports developers earning less than 1 million US dollars through improved revenue share and AWS promotional credits. All eligible developers automatically receive the higher revenue share, and developers who would like to receive AWS credits can simply add their AWS Account ID in the Developer Console. Watch this section of the keynote and view program details on the developer portal to get started today.
In this second session of devDay, Giovanni Laquidara, Senior Developer Evangelist, and Priya Rajan, Senior Solutions Architect, shared the best practices for building for Amazon Appstore and Fire devices.
Gio started the talk covering Amazon Appstore development lifecycle along with the tech behind Fire OS.
Porting made easier with Guided Workflows
This talk covered the importance of confirming which frameworks and open source libraries are used while porting an app. Guided Workflows can help streamline the process for making your Android apps compatible with Fire OS. You can get up and running quickly with these workflows by answering a few questions about your app features, and you’ll receive customized guidance that help simplify your porting efforts.
Start by selecting one of one of the four available guided workflows that cover common porting requirements:
Abstract dependencies with A3L
We also explored how A3L support the same functionality across various app stores and services through a unified SDK. This includes launching Android apps through Firebase Cloud Messaging for Google Play Services and Amazon Device Messaging for Fire OS.
The A3L Messaging SDK abstracts dependencies on Firebase Cloud Messaging and Amazon Device Messaging. This allows you to create a unified and streamlined customer experience across both Android and Amazon devices. For additional detail, watch our code demo on the A3L Messaging SDK.
Reduce unexpected surprises with Live App Testing
Live App Testing (LAT) allows you to optimize the submission experience by gathering feedback, improving quality, and increasing the stability of your app before you publish. Priya’s demo highlighted LAT’s functionality in pre-publishing app testing.
LAT plays a critical role in verifying integrations such as In-App Purchasing, Facebook connectivity, Amazon Device Messaging, and Amazon Maps. Most importantly, LAT enables you to publish an app for a limited set of testers. By controlling where your test version is deployed, you can ensure your app can be installed on a specific set of testing group users. Both the live and production app flows versions can be tested. A key benefit for developers is that the production version of the app will reflect the end customer experience.
Prepare to launch your app with the Pre-submission checklist
Whether you’re preparing to submit to the Amazon Appstore for the first time or you’re updating your existing app, Priya walked through the process you’d go through with Amazon Appstore’s pre-submission checklist and the app submission steps. The pre-submission checklist covers essential areas our app reviewers will be looking for: content, functionality, intellectual property (IP), testing instructions, and supported devices. Our developers have found success by building this pre-submission checklist into the app update process to ensure a smooth workflow.
In this session, Anisha Malde, Developer Evangelist, and Nick Kalkounis, Principal Product Manager, focused on the new opportunities for monetizing with Amazon Appstore.
Nick kicked off the session with ways you can incentivize your customers with Introductory & Promo Pricing.
Nick walked through how to implement Introductory and Promotional Pricing through the Amazon Developer Console, located in your app’s "Subscription Terms".
To better understand the tech enabling these purchasing flows, Anisha provided a code demo on how to get up and running with the Appstore SDK.
This session also highlighted the latest feature for monetization: Improve parental control with Pending Purchases.
Pending Purchases allows developers to improve their in-app purchasing experience for customers. This feature is an extension of Appstore In-App Purchasing APIs. It allows children access to in-app purchases within the Amazon Kids experience to request parental approval for purchases on their behalf. For instance, a child can now request to buy digital goods and the caretaker can approve remotely. This allows kids to continue using their apps and games while their caretakers review the requests.
The Appstore Billing Compatibility SDK is one of our latest monetization features that enables you to launch an existing Google Play app with in-app purchases on Amazon Appstore without additional code work. Anisha explained how Android apps currently using the Google Play Billing Library can now use the Appstore Billing Compatibility SDK to launch on the Amazon Appstore without modifying existing API calls.
No developer effort is required to configure these retention offers - everything can be configured in the developer console promotional settings. This feature has performed well in preview and will be released later this year.