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September 12, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Amazon now offers electronic payments to E.U. based developers in select countries. If your bank’s location is not eligible for electronic payments,your payment will be made by check.

Using electronic funds transfer (EFT) gives you the benefit of having your payment sent to your bank through direct deposit, reducing the time it takes you to get paid. Plus electronic deposits paid in your home currency may help you avoid conversion fees that could be imposed by your bank.

To determine if you are eligible for electronic payments, sign into your Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portalaccount and select your bank’s location from the “Where is your bank/financial institution?” drop-down menu.  Based on this selection, if electronic payment is available, you will be prompted to choose between an electronic payment or check.  

You can see an example below:


EFT shot

If you do not wish to be paid by electronic payment, you may choose to be paid by check in the currency of the Amazon marketplace in which your apps are sold. Please note that you will receive a separate check for each marketplace in which your apps are sold. The following thresholds must be met before Amazon issues a payment:

 

·        USD Direct Deposit: $10

·        EUR Direct Deposit: 10

·        GBP Direct Deposit: £10

·        Check:$100, 100 or £100

For all Amazon sales – in U.S. or international marketplaces - we disburse payments on a monthly basis.

If you do not wish to be paid by electronic payment, you may choose to be paid by check in the currency of the Amazon marketplace in which your apps are sold.  Please note that you will receive a separate check for each marketplace in which your apps are sold. The following thresholds must be met before Amazon issues a payment:

·        USD Direct Deposit: $10

·        EUR Direct Deposit: 10

·        GBP Direct Deposit: £10

·        Check:$100, 100 or £100

For all Amazon sales – in U.S. or international marketplaces - we disburse payments on a monthly basis.

September 09, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

With the release of the Kindle Fire HD family of tablets and the all-new Kindle Fire, you may wonder how to ensure your apps run well and look great on the new devices. The good news is that out of the box, many apps will work as expected. However, we know that developers are eager to give Amazon customers the best possible experience on Kindle Fire tablets, and there are several things we encourage you to think about. This post provides an introduction to how you can prepare your apps for the new Kindle Fire tablets.

The User Experience

For customers one obvious change is the improvement in screen resolution on the Kindle Fire HD family of tablets, which feature stunning 7" and 8.9" high definition displays. The 8.9” screen on Kindle Fire HD features an incredible254 pixels per inch, the highest resolution of any of our tablets. And Kindle Fire HD’s 7” screen has a stunning 1280 x 800 HD display that gives customers deep, detailed contrast and rich, natural color. Apps should support both the existing1024 x 600 pixel display as well as 1280 x 800 and 1920 x 1200 layouts. The Kindle Customer experience Guidelinesdocument offers a detailed overview of the new displays as well as features such as the soft key bar and gestures.

To ensure that customers have a great HD experience on Kindle Fire HD, we have established guidelines to identify the apps that are high-definition. We also encourage developers to review guidelines for marketing your apps as HD. If you believe your apps meet the requirements,please include the notation “please review for HD designation” in the Testing Instructions field when you submit your apps.

 Kindle Fire HD includes a front-facing camera which influences the direction in which users choose to use the device. If your apps force landscape orientation, refer to our best practices  for information on how to control the orientation for Kindle Fire HD.

Even before you acquire a new Kindle Fire HD tablet, you can preview the customer experience on Kindle Fire HD by downloading the Kindle Fire HD Emulator.

 

The APIs

 One of the biggest differences between Kindle Fire and the new devices is that the new devices use Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich). For developers, the support for Ice Cream Sandwich and API 15 brings a richer and more robust set of APIs. The Kindle Tablets Development Best Practices document details the new hardware and APIs you can take advantage of. As with any change of API level, it’s a good idea to run through basic regression testing either in the Kindle Fire HD Emulator or a physical device even if you don’t recompile your APK with the new API support. Some of the most common issues you may want to review are support for pause/resume from the Quick Settings bar and not optimizing for the Soft Key toolbar.

One capability you can use is hardware acceleration. By taking advantage of hardware acceleration for graphics, you can present your users with a more fluid experience and save battery life. Implement hardware acceleration by upgrading your tool-chain and application to support the Android 4.0.3 API 15libraries (rather than the Android 2.3.3 API 10 libraries that Kindle Fire used).

To activate hardware acceleration globally, add the following attribute to the <application> tag in the manifest:

<application android:hardware Accelerated="true" ...>

While in most cases this will be sufficient (depending on how your apps make use of the drawing surface) you may also need to test and control hardware acceleration at a more granular level (Activity, Window, or View).

While it is easy to support optional APIs and device capabilities within a single binary, you may decide to generate different binaries for the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. To handle that, we now support device targeting so you can continue to support existing devices while also taking full advantage of the newer platform.

Get Started Today!

Visit the Mobile App Distribution Portal to integrate the Amazon Mobile App SDK, to join the program, and to submit your apps. Plus, continue visiting our blog, where we’llbe offering more information on optimizing your apps for Kindle tablets.

Whether updating existing apps or submitting new apps to Amazon, this is a great time to refresh your consumer marketing. Review past blog posts for tips on writing an effective app description,submitting visual marketing assets,and adding promotional images.

September 06, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Announcing the all-new Kindle Fire HD family of tablets,with stunning 7" and 8.9" high-definition displays, and the all-new Kindle Fire! The 8.9” screen on Kindle Fire HD features an incredible 254pixels per inch, the highest resolution of any of our tablets. And Kindle Fire HD’s 7” screen has a stunning 1280 x 800 HD display that gives customers deep,detailed contrast and rich, natural color in breathtaking high definition.

Kindle Fire is the #1 best-selling product across millions of items available on Amazon, and developing for Kindle Fire allows you to grow your business by engaging new customers and monetizing your app. Millions of Kindle Fire customers have already bought apps, and customers who buy Kindle tablets are pre-registered, so they can immediately begin downloading and playing apps.Because our 1-Click purchase experience is secure and easy to use, it increases conversion rates for your apps, thereby delivering a strong return on investment.

We’ve created resources below to help you build, optimize,test, and market your apps on the new Kindle tablets, and we encourage you to get started today!

Build & Optimize Your Apps

 

  • Device Targeting- Target APKs to Amazon devices. For each title, you can offer separate APKs for Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD 7”, Kindle Fire HD 8.9”, and general Android (all non-Amazon) devices.
  • International Localization- Localizeyour app for each marketplace where Kindle Fire will be sold. Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD are available for pre-order today in the United Kingdom,Germany, Spain, Italy, and France.
  • Amazon Web Services- Power your apps with AmazonWeb Services. Use the AWS Android SDK to call an AWS web service API directly from your mobile apps to add scalable storage,database, or messaging infrastructure.

Test Your Apps

 

 

Submit & Market Your Apps

 

  • Promotional Imagery- Submitpromotional images to capture the attention of customers using colorful artwork reflecting the essence of your apps. These images are displayed prominently to Kindle Fire HD customers when they browse and shop mobile apps. Submit your 1024 x 500 pixel image in PNG or JPG format today.
  • Localized Marketing Content and Pricing- We recommend you localize your marketingcontent and pricing for each marketplace where Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD will be sold.

 

Stay in Touch with Amazon

 

  • Development Best Practices- We’ll be offering tips, sample code, and strategies for optimizing your apps here on our blogand via Twitter. Follow us to stay up to date.

Thank you for distributing your apps on Amazon. We’re excited to see the apps you build and optimize for our new Kindle tablets!

August 29, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

We are pleased to announce that you can now distribute your games and apps to Amazon customers in Europe. Check out the press release here

Thanks to our community of app developers, Amazon's mobile app distribution has been very successful in the U.S., with millions of customers discovering and buying Android apps for their phones and tablets.  Our international expansion – which includes the easy to install In-App Purchasing API, Free App of the Day, and trusted 1-Click purchasing – gives you a chance to enjoy similar success in the EU.  Don’t miss this opportunity to grow your business.

All developers have the ability to select the countries where they would like their apps to be sold and set list prices by marketplace.  We encourage all developers to localize their apps with language translation for different regions and to think of creative ways to deliver unique experiences to their international customers.  By customizing your apps for different countries you can ensure customer shave an easier time discovering and using your apps, In-App Purchase items, and subscriptions.  You can learn more about Android localization tips and resources and steps for localizing your app in the Distribution Portal right here on the blog, or learn more about international app distribution on the Mobile App Distribution Portal

New to Amazon?  We’re waiving developer fees in 2012  It’s free to register for a developer account and it’s easy to download our SDK here.

August 28, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Aaron Rubenson, Director, Amazon Appstore for Android,provided his perspective on delighting customers and monetizing mobile apps at the Seattle Casual Connect conference in July.  Missed the conference?  Check out a video of his presentation to game developers on the Casual Connect website or download the presentation from this link:

Download Making_Money_by_Delighting_Customers_Rubenson_Casual_Connect.

Topics include:

  • Making great content
  • Creating the first reason to buy
  • Removing purchase barriers
  • Maintaining a relationship
  • Building a brand

August 26, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Jeremy Cath, Kindle Technical Evangelist, is our author for this post.

The Amazon GameCircle API gives players more ways to connect with your game and with each other using Achievements, Leaderboards, andcloud-to-device Sync. Achievements add an engaging way for players to track their progress in your game, Leaderboards let them see how they stack up against their peers, and Sync allows users to save progress to the cloud so they can resume their progress across their devices.

One issue we have seen developers encounter with GameCircle integration is the CANNOT_AUTHORIZE exception when they are initializing the AmazonGamesClient service. This message can occur even if developers have registered the signature for their application with the GameCircle whitelist.

If you encounter this error, there are a number of things worth checking:

1.      Are you testing on Kindle Fire or on a Kindle Fire Emulator?
Amazon GameCircle features are only available on Kindle Fire and in the Kindle Fire emulator.

 

2.      Is the device signed in with an Amazon account?
GameCircle uses the account that the device is signed in with to authenticate the player against the service. Most physical devices will be registered and signed in, but if you are using the emulator, by default it is not registered or signed in (you can do that from the Settings | My Account option)

 

3.      Make sure the device has been updated to the latest version of the Fire OS.
It is important that you are running the latest version of the OS. To check this, go to the top menu, tap More, tap Device, click the Update your Kindle button if it is enabled.

 

4.      Make sure you're using the latest version of the GameCircle API.
The current version is 1.2.1, but you can check if this has changed in the GameCircle API documentation.

 

5.      Make sure you got a valid result from the key tool command you used to get the signature.
To do this, run the first part of the command line separately:

keytool -exportcert -alias androiddebugkey -keystore

[path to your keystore file]

 

 

This command should return a very long string that represents your certificate.  If the path to your keystone is wrong, it will return an error message. After you get valid results from this command, run the full command line to get the signature:

 

 keytool -exportcert -alias androiddebugkey -keystore

 

[path to your keystore file] | openssl sha1 -binary |openssl base64

 

 This will return your signature string.  Please check that this is the string that you have registered in the GameCircle Portal.


 

 

1.     Are youtesting on Kindle Fire or on a Kindle Fire Emulator?
Amazon GameCircle features are only available on Kindle Fire and in the Kindle Fire emulator.

 

2.     Is thedevice signed in with an Amazon account?
GameCircle uses the account that the device is signed in with to authenticate the player against the service. Most physical devices will be registered and signed in, but if you are using the emulator, by default it is not registered or signed in (you can do that from the Settings | My Account option)

 

3.     Make surethe device has been updated to the latest version of the Fire OS.
It is important that you are running the latest version of the OS. To check this, go to the top menu, tap More, tap Device, click the Update your Kindle button if it is enabled.

 

4.     Make sureyou're using the latest version of the GameCircle API.
The current version is 1.2.1, but you can check if this has changed in the[GameCircle API documentation][link to API doc]

 

5.     Make sure you got a valid result from the keytool command you used to get the signature.
To do this, run the first part of the command line separately:

keytool -exportcert -alias androiddebugkey -keystore

[pathto your keystore file]

 

This command should return a very long string that represents your certificate.  If the path to your keystone is wrong, it will return an error message. After you get valid results from this command, run the full command line to get the signature:

 

keytool -exportcert -aliasandroiddebugkey -keystore

[path to your keystorefile] | openssl sha1 -binary | openssl base64

 

This will return your signature string.  Please check that this is the string that you have registered in the GameCircle Portal.

August 23, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Amazon is now accepting promotional images, and our marketing team is using these images in featured placements to highlight apps to customers. Promotional artwork gives you an opportunity to capture the attention of customers using colorful imagery that reflects the essence of your apps. At Amazon, we are constantly looking for new ways for you to grow your business by connecting you with new customers. We’ll be expanding our use of these images, and we encourage you to submit your promotional image now to take advantage of these new marketing opportunities.

When creating your image, we recommend that you strive for an engaging image that speaks to what your app is all about. Make your image colorful to catch the eye of customers, and choose imagery that promotes the essence of your app and brand. Text on your promotional image should be large, simple, and readable. Do not add the price to the image ($0.99) or any discount call outs (50% off).

Steps to Upload Promotional Imagery

1. Create or use an existing promotional image that is 1024 x 500 pixels.The images file should be in PNG or JPG format. 

DevPortal_Step0
 

2. From the Distribution Portal, navigate to the My Apps tab. Select the app you'd like to edit and navigate to the Images & Multimedia tab for that app. Then, click the Edit button.

Promo_images_1
 

3) Select Upload Image from the Promotional Imagefield. Choose the image you’d like to upload, and then save the image. Images must be 1024 x 500 in PNG or JPG format.

Promo_images_2
 

 

August 10, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

One question developers commonly ask us is how they can grow their business by introducing their app to new Amazon customers. The Amazon marketing team is here to help. Each day this week we’ll offer a tip on how to market your app on Amazon. 

Marketing Tip #5: Think global. Localize your app for international markets.

 

You may have read that Amazon will begin distributing apps in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain later this summer (with more countries planning in the near future). Now is a great time to begin thinking about localizing your marketing, title, and product descriptions for these new regions. 

Amazon highly recommends you translate your content to ensure customers in different countries have an easier time discovering and using your apps, IAP items, and subscriptions. Developers can provide translated descriptions for app detail pages by navigating to the Description tab, editing the English (U.S.) description, and then choosing the option to add a new language. Languages available include English (U.K.), German, French, Italian and Spanish. You will be able to add language translations for the app title, short and long description, keywords, and product feature bullets.

International description
 

Plus, visit prior blog posts to learn more about localization best practices and steps to localize your app within the Distribution Portal.

August 09, 2012

Lauren Stark

One question developers commonly ask us is how they can grow their business by introducing their app to new Amazon customers. The Amazon marketing team is here to help. Each day this week we’ll offer a tip on how to market your app on Amazon.

Marketing Tip #4: A picture is worth a thousand words. Submit visual marketing assets to make your detail page pop!

Customers respond well to great visuals, as screen shots and video help customers understand your app when they consider purchasing or downloading it. We encourage developers to submit visual marketing assets to grab the attention of customers who are considering download of purchase of your app.  Our marketing team has a few tips:

  • Think of your detail page as a way to tell a narrative about your apps.
  • Use visuals to demonstrate to curious customers how your apps look and feel.
  • Take screenshots of different levels or features of your apps and display them in a logical order.
  • Provide visuals that complement the story you tell in your description.
  • The more visual marketing assets the better!

 

Steps to Upload Video and Screenshots

1) From the Mobile App Distribution Portal, navigate to the My Apps tab.

 

My Apps

2) Select the app you'd like to edit and navigate to the Images & Multimedia tab for that app. Then, click the Edit button.

 

Edit Images and Multimedia

3) Upload your videos, images, and screenshots. 

 

Editing Images and Multimedia
 

Promotional Images

 

We are now accepting promotional images, and our marketing team is using these images in featured placements to highlight apps to customers. Promotional artwork gives you an opportunity to capture the attention of customers using colorful imagery that reflects the essence of your apps. We encourage you to submit your promotional image now to take advantage of these new marketing opportunities. If you missed it, learn more about how your app can be considered for featured placements by visiting tip #2.

Sample Promotional Image

Dragon Story

Recommendations for creating effective imagery:

 

  • Strive for an engaging image that speaks to what your app is all about. 
  • Create promotional imagery that is colorful and promotes the essence of your app and brand.
  • Text should be large and readable.  Keep text simple.
  • Do not add the price to the image ($0.99) or any discount call outs (50% off)

 

Steps to Upload Promotional Imagery

1) Create or use an existing promotional image that is 1024 x 500 pixels. The images file should be in PNG or JPG format. 

 

DevPortal_Step0

2) From the Distribution Portal, navigate to the My Apps tab.  Select the app you'd like to edit and navigate to the Images & Multimedia tab for that app. Then, click the Edit button.

 

Edit Images and Multimedia

3) Select Upload Image from the Promotional Image field.  Choose the image you’d like to upload, and then save the image.  Images must be 1024 x 500 in PNG or JPG format.

 

Uploading Promotional Images
 

August 08, 2012

Lauren Stark

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

One question developers commonly ask us is how they can grow their business by introducing their app to new Amazon customers.  The Amazon team is here to help. Each day this week we’ll offer a tip on how to market your app on Amazon.

Marketing Tip #3: Nominate your app for the Free App of the Day Program

The Free App of the Day (FAD) is a curated promotional opportunity, where Amazon offers one paid app to customers free each day.  Participation in FAD helps you gain greater exposure and drive significant traffic to your app. The apps we select are featured in some of the most visible marketing placements, including placements on mobile devices, Kindle Fire, and the Amazon Gold Box Best Deals page, and are complemented by social media exposure including a Facebook post and Twitter tweet.  These placements and the exposure they provide drive significant traffic to the featured apps and allow the developers to grow their installed base quickly. 

We work closely with developers to offer a high-quality app or game that we think our Appstore customers will like and make it available for free, for a day.  Developers like Fire Maple Games and Vervv LLC have shared information on their FAD experiences through posts here on our developer blog. If you’d like to nominate your app for inclusion in the Free App of the Day program, locate the app within the Distribution Portal, and on the Availability & Pricing tab, find the Free App of the Day (FAD) eligibility option at the bottom of the page. Check the “Yes, please consider this app for the program” box.  Please also email the team at fadmail@amazon.com and include the name of the paid app that you are interested in featuring. 

If you have any questions or want to discuss the opportunity further, please email fadmail@amazon.com

August 07, 2012

Lauren Stark

One question developers commonly ask us is how they can grow their business by introducing their app to new Amazon customers. The Amazon team is here to help. Each day this week we’ll offer a tip on how to market your app on Amazon.

Marketing Tip #2: Submit your app to our marketing team for consideration for a featured marketing placement. 

 

We constantly strive to introduce Amazon customers to new apps they’ll love, thus helping our developers grow their businesses. We highlight apps through our storefronts on mobile devices, Kindle Fire, and Amazon.com and through marketing vehicles like e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.  For example, as I write this, featured placements include “Highly Rated Apps and Games” and “Featured New Releases,” and your app would be considered for these placements as applicable.  Your app may also be considered for seasonally relevant placements like summer travel, back to school, or learning apps.

If you are interested in a featured placement through our marketing vehicles, we invite you to tell us more about your mobile app by completing our marketing request form available through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal

Follow these steps to complete the form:

1) Check the Amazon Specific ID Number (ASIN) for your app on the Amazon.com site.

 

ASIN

2) Navigate to the marketing section of the FAQ page. 

 

FAQ Screen shot (2)

3) Click the link to the form available under the question “How do I get my app marketed?” 

 

Marketing FAQ v2

4) Submit information about your app for our consideration by filling out the form.  Please include the ASIN number you recorded from the Amazon.com site. 

 

Request Form
 

August 06, 2012

lisamar

One question developers commonly ask us is how they can grow their business by introducing their app to new Amazon customers.  The Amazon team is here to help. Each day this week we’ll offer a tip on how to market your app on Amazon. 

Marketing Tip #1:  Start with your best foot forward.  Write an effective app title and description.

 

The title and description of your app is a key opportunity to impress potential customers.  By writing an effective description, you can generate excitement about your app and increase the number of customer downloads of your app.  This is your chance to sell your app to customers! 

Title

The title is the first thing a customer sees and may even be the term they searched on. It appears at the very top of the product detail page, right above your company name.

  • Keep it simple. Don’t include extraneous marketing verbiage such as “MyAppTitle – the best most greatest app in the whole wide world and beyond!!!!!!!!”
  • Make it readable. Unless your app has special capitalization (PicSay, SwiftKey, SeekDroid), capitalize the first and last words of the title, no matter what part of speech. Between those words, capitalize each word except for coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, and for), articles (the, a, an), and prepositions of four or fewer letters.
  • Be concise. No more than 100 characters—it’s a title, not a Tweet!
  • Be clear. If your app has multiple versions, let your customer know by calling it out in the title (e.g., Premium, Pro, Lite, Donate, Free).

Description

The description provides you the opportunity to sell your customer on downloading/purchasing your app.   Consider your audience. Who is your app’s target customer? Make sure the customer knows you are speaking to their interests.  What is your app’s point of differentiation? What are the key features of the app? Let customers know why this app is special and something they would enjoy or need.

 

Check out the recommendations we shared with you last year here on the blog for writing an effective description.

Do:

 

  • Always use proper punctuation and grammar.
  • Introduce your app clearly and succinctly.
  • Describe your app's most notable features. 
  • Use conversational language.
  • Think about your target customer and highlight features that will appeal to that customer.
  • Explain how and why your app will benefit users.
  • Show off—don't forget to include the attributes that make your app stand out and feel free to do so in detail.

Don't:

  • Refer to your app only as "this app" or "an app"—use your app's full name at least once in your product description
  • Make false, hyperbolic claims—this type of marketing rarely works and may hurt your app in the long run
  • Just write one single sentence—there's more to your app
  • Simply list your app's features, explain why these features are awesome and worth adding to a customer’s app collection
  • Exercise atypical or inappropriate language that could mislead or confuse customers
  • Use excess punctuation that could distract from the information you are conveying.

 

Editing App Descriptions from the Distribution Portal

1) To edit your app description from the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal, navigate to the My Apps tab. 

My Apps

2) Select the app you'd like to edit and navigate to the Description tab for that app.

Description Tab

3) Edit your app description and save it.

Edit Description
 

July 24, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

In this post, our optimization for Kindle Fire specifically targets graphical irregularities within an app. We have identified the most frequent graphic-specific optimizations, and provided code snippets and guidelines to help optimize your app for Kindle Fire.

What graphical issues may impact my app?

With the term graphical issues, we’re referring to a number of issues that affect how an app displays on Kindle Fire. These issues include:

  • Clipping
  • Collision with app UI and Kindle Fire’s soft keys
  • Displaced UI (e.g., if users must push next to a button instead of on that button)
  • Frame rate loss that degrades the app’s performance
  • Graphical flickering

Each of these issues could impact the compatibility of your app on Kindle Fire. While not all graphical issues are severe, if the issues interfere with the core functionality of your app, then you must address them before your app can be compatible with Kindle Fire.

Clipped or Overlapping Text

One of the most prevalent graphical issues involves unreadable text caused by clipping or overlay issues —where the text or areas of the app’s UI may overlap or display off-screen. Most of these problems can be avoided by optimizing your app’s layout to meet Kindle Fire’s specifications.

Specifically, Kindle Fire has the following display characteristics:

  • Width: 600px
  • Height: 1024px
  • Abstracted LCD density: 169

  Maximized_vs_minized_sk_bar

Additionally, these issues are often caused because developers forget to take into account the size of Kindle Fire’s soft key menu. While Kindle Fire has a width of 600px and a height of 1024px, Kindle Fire also has a soft key menu that is displayed at the bottom of the screen.

The soft key menu (which allows access to the standard Home, Back, Menu, and Search buttons) has two positions:

  • Maximized: when maximized, the soft key menu reserves 60px
  • Minimized: when minimized, the soft key menu reserves 20px

To keep the soft key menu minimized, make sure that your app enables full screen mode. Conversely, to keep the soft key menu maximized, remove any code that enables full screen mode. For example, full screen mode is enabled by the following sample code:

getWindow().setFlags(WindowManager.LayoutParams.FLAG_FULLSCREEN,

WindowManager.LayoutParams.FLAG_FULLSCREEN);

 

The soft key menu may overlap more than just text. Many apps include navigational buttons along the bottom of the screen. If the apps are not optimized for the Kindle Fire soft key menu, then the navigational buttons may be hidden by the soft key menu—making it difficult for users to navigate.

Displaced UI

If your app’s layout is not properly optimized for Kindle Fire, then the interactive buttons within your UI might not line up with where the buttons are displayed. That is, users may have to tap next to rather than on a button to activate it.

In addition to designing your app to take up 1024 x 600px (the dimensions of the Kindle Fire screen), if you forget to take into account the soft key menu, then the interactive area of your app may be misaligned with the displayed area.

Truncated Text

Truncated or misaligned text within textboxes is another widespread issue that apps exhibit on Kindle Fire. This issue is demonstrated in the screenshot below:

  Text_truncated_at_top

The issue, corrected:

  Fixed1

If this issue is occurring in one textbox, then it is often occurring in other textboxes within the app. If your app contains multiple textboxes or forms with this issue, then the user experience can be severely impacted.

Truncated text can be caused by a variety of reasons. We’ll explain the most common issues below.

Text that is truncated at the top (like the screenshot above) is often caused by a few attributes in the EditText element:

  • android:layout_height - If the layout_height attribute is set a specific pixel amount (even if you used dp rather than px), then the EditText element will display at a different size on different devices—if the element is too short to display the text, then the text will be truncated
    • Try setting android:layout_height="wrap_content"
  • android:lineSpacingExtra - If the lineSpacingExtra attribute is added and set to a positive integer (e.g., android:lineSpacingExtra="5dp"), then we recommend setting android:layout_height="wrap_content"—otherwise, the extra space will push the text out of the textbox
  • android:gravity="top"- While this attribute doesn’t cause text to be truncated at the top, in conjunction with the above two points, android:gravity="top" will contribute to the issue

 

  Text_truncated_at_bottom

Fixed2
 

 

Text that is truncated at the bottom (like the image above which is followed by a corrected image) is also often caused by specific attributes in the EditText element:

  • android:layout_height - As with text that is truncated at the top, text that is truncated at the bottom can be caused by layout_height being set to a specific pixel amount
    • Try setting android:layout_height="wrap_content"
  •  android:lineSpacingExtra—if lineSpacingExtra is set to a negative integer (e.g., android:lineSpacingExtra="-10dp"), then text will often be cut off at the bottom
    • Try removing the android:lineSpacingExtra attribute or setting it to an integer closer to 0.

 

In addition to textboxes (EditText), drop-down menus (Spinner) and text areas (TextView) may also be affected by this issue. The fixes that we described above are also relevant to those elements.

 
The screen capture below demonstrates the difficulty that users have with truncated drop-down text.

 
  Text_truncated_in_drop-down_menu

Check back in for our final blog post in the Top 10 App Optimizations for Kindle Fire series where we take on multiple topics such as app stability, launch, and software and hardware capabilities.

July 19, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Meet Amazon at Casual Connect Seattle from July 24-26!

Happy Hour at the Diller Room- July 24, 2012 6:00-8:00 PM

Join us for drinks (two drink tickets provided) and hors d' oeuvres at the Diller Room on July 24th from 6pm-8pm. Mingle with representatives from the AWS, Amazon Mobile App Distribution, and GameCircle teams and enter a drawing to win a Kindle Fire.

You can register for the Happy Hour event on this page or just simply drop by. Please remember to bring your Casual Connect Conference badge for admittance.

The Diller Room is located at 1224 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.  The location is one block west of Benaroya Hall on the corner of 1st and University.

Amazon Speaker Sessions at Casual Connect

 Join us for two conference sessions hosted by Amazon speakers:

  • Monetization Trends for Mobile Games with Aaron Rubenson, Director, Amazon Appstore for Android- Wednesday, July 25 at 10 AM.
  • Optimizing Games for Kindle Fire with CJ Frost, Developer Evangelist- Thursday, July 26 at 11:30 AM.

Amazon Tables at Casual Connect

While you are at the Casual Connect conference, please stop by our tables - #B29 and #B30. We'll be at the tables from 8AM-6PM.

July 17, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Kindle Fire development resources are now available to our developer community! These resources provide detailed documentation, best practices, an emulator, and sample code to make it easy for you to build great applications for Kindle Fire customers.

Our documentation details how to set up your development environment, create a great customer experience, and optimize and test your apps for Kindle Fire. We also provide a Kindle Fire emulator to help you more easily lay out and test your apps, and sample code that illustrates our best practices for performing specific tasks.

It’s easy to get started building and optimizing your apps for Kindle Fire. Visit the Kindle Fire Development Resources page on the Distribution Portal and start building today!

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