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Showing posts tagged with Amazon Maps

December 16, 2014

Paul Cutsinger

When we launched the Amazon Maps API in November 2012, we wanted to enable you to quickly and easily add mapping functionality to your Fire apps. With today’s release of the Amazon Maps API v2, we build on that functionality to offer an even richer mapping experience featuring fast and fluid 3D vector maps, including 3D landmarks, for your Fire tablet and Fire phone apps. The Amazon Maps API v2 also supports drawing API’s (circles, polylines, and polygons), fragments, multiple maps, and more, enabling you to deliver a customized mapping experience to your end users.

The integration process was straightforward since the API was the same as Google’s API. It was a matter of changing the import statements, GoogleMap to AmazonMap. There were no code or workflow changes made to our app and we were ready to submit.  – Ajit Pol, Sr. IT Project Manager, Parkmobile

Android Developers Can Easily Reach Fire tablet and Fire phone Users

There is no better time for Android developers to reach the growing Fire device customer segment with their existing Android app, or an entirely new app.

For existing Android apps using Google Maps API v2, the Amazon Maps API v2 provides a simple, API parity solution for developers. Porting apps is a simple four-step process (detailed documentation):

  1. Add a reference to the Amazon Maps API v2 Library;
  2. Update your Android manifest to declare the FireOS API level and reference Amazon Maps API v2;
  3. Rename Google specific namespaces and classes to their Amazon equivalent; and
  4. Remove your project's existing dependency on the Google Play services library.

For new Fire tablet and Fire phone apps, the Amazon Maps API v2 provides all the needed features to enable rich mapping functionality within your app. Add location context to your app by displaying high-quality 3D vector maps with fluid panning and zooming. Customize your map with markers to show a specific location on your map. Draw polylines to connect two or more locations or draw polygons to highlight a neighborhood or circle an area on your map. Amazon Maps API v2 allows you to add these features and more to your application. Examples include:

Markers to show specific locations

Polylines to connect multiple locations

Polygons to circle an area

 

Magnifying Glass - Enabled by Amazon Maps API v2

Scratch Off Map - Enabled by Amazon Maps API v2

The Amazon Maps API v2 is compatible with Fire OS 4.5.1 and higher which is available on 3rd and 4th generation Fire tablets and Fire phone.

Getting Started is Easy

  1. Set up your development environment for creating Android apps for Fire phone and Fire tablets;
  2. Download the Amazon Mobile App SDK and configure your project to use the Amazon Maps API;
  3. Register your app to download and test map tiles;
  4. Review the developer guides and reference materials to learn about the Amazon Maps API classes and methods:
  5. Test and submit your app to the Amazon Appstore.

 

April 24, 2014

David Isbitski

Launched in 2010, Soundtracker by South Ventures USA, is described as an app that allows music to connect people by making it easy to discover and play music in real time with friends and anyone nearby. With Soundtracker you can create stations, chat with other users, listen and comment on their latest stations amongst other features. Available on the Amazon Appstore here as well as other platforms, Soundtracker has over 4 million downloads and 1 million active users worldwide across all platforms.

I had the chance to sit down with Daniele Calabrese, CEO and founder, to discuss their experience bringing Soundtracker into the Amazon Appstore and how they’ve managed to leverage different Amazon Mobile Apps APIs to their advantage.

Increasing Opportunity with Limited Work

Even though the app itself is available on various platforms, the reason why Daniele decided to bring the app to Amazon Appstore was simple. The “opportunity with Kindle was too good to pass on since we would be able to create an app for two platforms at once.” Daniele says that early on the team realized that the Android SDK was compatible with Kindle Fire, so they decided to build the apps in tandem. The team found out quickly that “the process in getting Soundtracker into the Amazon Appstore was very easy and the results from it has definitely paid off.”

“Monetization in the Amazon Appstore jumped 100% using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing API and Mobile Ads API in the first month since implementation” – Daniele Calabrese

 

Figure 1- Kindle Fire UI

Leveraging Amazon Mobile Apps SDK to Improve Engagement

Besides using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing and Mobile Ads API, Soundtracker also uses Amazon’s Maps API and Device Messaging API as well. For Soundtracker “being able to monetize and engage your users are the most important factor in choosing a platform” says Daniele. The team credits these specific API’s as “the reason why we were able to be so successful in the Amazon Appstore.” By integrating certain APIs you can also qualify for different programs. Daniele says the team is “excited to be admitted into the Appstore Developer Select program,” which provides the team with 500k mobile ad impressions, Amazon Coins rewards to customers, and more.

Figure 2- Nearby feature and push notification

Since Soundtracker detects where other users are, relative to their current location, notifying other users who are nearby is crucial for engagement. The team decided to use Amazon Device Messaging API and Amazon Maps API to help solve this issue. The device messaging and maps APIs allow users to really engage by integrating interactive maps directly into your app, as well as sending out push notifications from the cloud to the user. When your app relies heavily on social interaction, such as Soundtracker’s feature of commenting or discovering other users’ playlist selections, getting a user’s attention is one of the most important factors. By using these APIs, the team was able to see a consistent lift in engagement.                

“Engagement in the Amazon Appstore increased by 400% in the last 6 months. Number of sessions, length of sessions, and number of tracks streamed per user increased on a weekly basis.”- Daniele Calabrese

So how long did it take for the team to integrate all these APIs? Daniele says “the process for development and testing altogether took only a week and the process was very straight forward”.

Expanding into the Living Room with Amazon Fire TV

According to Daniele, “since performance has been successful with their current app on Kindle Fire” the team plans to expand even more into the Amazon ecosystem. The next step for the team is “integrating with Amazon’s music offering and getting their app on Amazon Fire TV.” Since the team has already qualified for Appstore Developer Select, the team can now qualify for the Appstore Developer Select Amazon Fire TV benefits as well by optimizing for the Amazon Fire TV. This includes enhanced on-device merchandising and a 500k Amazon Coins offer per qualifying app.

“I would recommend Amazon Appstore to other developers. Getting our app on Kindle Fire was very easy and it gives developers a great opportunity to distribute and monetize their apps.” – Daniele Calabrese

 

October 11, 2013

Mike Hines


Click here  to watch the exclusive webinar replay on YouTube!
 
Following up on the latest in a series of webinars covering Amazon devices, game services, and mobile applications, here’s a list of questions we collected during and after our presentation on the Amazon Maps API.
 
Q: Can we see some best practices about creating apps that support both Google and Amazon maps, if possible without doubling the codebase? So long story short: is there a way to hide the map implementation like behind a Factory pattern, or something like that, or we have to work with two separate projects?
A: You could create a common map library using a factory pattern. Others may prefer maintaining separate code bases, dependency injection...etc. Unfortunately, there is no single good answer. It depends on the goal and scope of your team.
 
Q: Can we use Amazon maps on regular Android apps?
A: No, at this time the Maps API does not support non-Kindle Fire devices.
 
Q: Is it preferred to save that geocoding locally so we dont make lot of calls?
A: Yes, avoid excessive network operations would improve the performance and battery consumption of your app.
 
Q: If our app has a map in it, is there a way to support the Kindle devices in China and Japan?
A: The Amazon Maps API is supported in countries where Kindle Fire tablets are sold, except for China and Japan
 
Q: Is there restrictions on how many geocoding calls we can make?
A: At this time, there are no specific usage quotas or limits for the Maps API. However, we reserve the right to throttle or shut down your application in the event we reasonably believe your use of the Maps API exceeds typical or expected usage and/or creates material technical burdens on our (or our partner’s) systems.
 
Q: What's the benefit of using Amazon Maps over Goolge Maps API?
A: Google Map API requires Google Play Service, which is not available on Kindle Fire tablets.
 
Q: Can we do geocoding of an address outside of the mobile app?
A: No, at this time the Maps API does not support query outside of a mobile app.
 
Q: How does Amazon Maps compare with Google Maps with respect to features?
A: The Amazon Maps API offers interface parity with the Google Maps API v1. At this time, the Amazon Maps API does not support Traffic, Street view, and Trackball gestures.
For more information, please visit https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/maps/faq.html
 
Q: Can the maps be cached locally?
A: No, at this time the Maps API does not support map caching.
 
Q: Is there a way to get Amazon Maps in a Fragment?
A: At this time the Maps API does not support fragments.
 
Q: Pretty cool maps, who is the map data provider? TeleAtlas, NAVTEQ?
A: Nokia. 
 
Q: There are several build targets in the amazon api(in eclipse, 3 only for API level 17). If I build on e.g. Kindle Fire 7(3rd generation) will it be ok for e.g. Kindle Fire HDX 8(3rd generation) as well?
A: Yes, the 3rd generation of Kindle Fire tablets are compatible with API level 17
 
 
Don’t miss out on our next webinar event: 
Integrating GameCircle in Your Android & iOS Games
on October 16th, 2013 @ 10:00 AM
Pre-register here!
 
 

 

 

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