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October 02, 2013

Mike Hines

There have been some new features added to the Amazon dev portal (Mobile App Distribution Portal) recently. First of all, it’s not just mobile any more. You can now submit your PC and Mac software in addition to submitting Android apps and web apps for mobile devices. (See this post for details.)

You also have more flexibility with the Androlid apps or web apps you submit.  Previously, when an app was submitted and was under review, you needed to wait until the review was finished before doing anything else with that submission.  Now, you can cancel the submission if you like, change something, and re-submit it again.

Just click the Cancel App Submission button at the bottom of the submission’s detail page (it’s at the bottom of all the tabs, not just General Information), and it will place your submission into the ‘Ready to Submit’ status where you can edit and replace submission elements as required.

Thanks for letting us know this was a feature you wanted. If you wish to suggest other features, please drop us a line.

 

October 01, 2013

Peter Heinrich

Until now, submitting your PC or Mac digital software or video games for sale on Amazon has been a largely manual process. In sharp contrast, submitting a mobile app to the Amazon Appstore for Android has always been completely self-service; to submit a mobile app for approval, you click-through our distribution agreement, supply a title, description, list price and display imagery, upload your binary, and voilà! Even the tax information we are required to collect can be entered online.

Simple and Consistent

You can say goodbye to this disparity as of now. In addition to HTML5 mobile apps and mobile apps for Android (including Kindle Fire), you can now submit your PC and Mac digital software and video games to be sold on Amazon. You can start the process at https://developer.amazon.com/welcome.html. Ingestion has been streamlined and automated to match the mobile app submission process, making the UI more uniform and significantly improving the developer experience.

At present, the distribution portal supports only US sales from Amazon.com of digital PC software and games, but we working hard to add international support.

We’ve also updated our distribution agreement to cover PC and Mac software and video games, and renamed the agreement the “App Distribution and Services Agreement”. You can review the updated agreement here.

The Workflow

Like mobile app developers, digital PC software and games developers need a valid Amazon account to log on to the  our portal. You can use your existing distribution account to upload a PC and Mac, digital software and video game in our portal If you don’t have one,

A)     I don’t believe it, and

B)      It’s easy to set up.

Just go to our portals welcome page and click the big green button labeled Create an Account.

 

Log in to your account from the welcome page above and you’ll see a dashboard view like the one below showing unit sales for each mobile app, digital software product or video game. This list will be empty, of course, until you actually submit an app, so hover over the Add a New App button to see a pop-up menu of supported product types. Select PC & Mac to create a new entry and present a form where you can enter general information about the digital software or video game to be sold, like title, platform, and minimum system requirements.

After you’ve filled in the required fields and clicked Save, a green checkmark should appear on the General Information tab. This confirms that the new product has been registered successfully and you can proceed to fill in information on the other tabs. You can do this in any order (once the general information tab is complete), but keep in mind that all tabs must have a green check before you can complete the submission process.

Continue to fill in the product information, tab by tab. It’s a good idea to pay close attention to the details here, since much of this information will be displayed on the product page seen by Amazon customers. Make sure that what you enter is accurate and compelling; this is your opportunity to let your work shine. It’s always good to spend a little extra time on the description, and be sure to include several screenshots. They really make a difference to customers.

Once you’ve completed all the data entry and each tab has a green check, you’re ready to complete the submission. A new Submit App button will appear below the data entry area.

After you complete the submission, you’ll be directed to the My Apps page, which lists all the products currently associated with your account. The status of each will also be displayed so you can keep track of its progress through the submission pipeline..

Key Management

You may be required to complete one additional bit of data entry after you submit, before the product summary screen above is displayed. If your digital software or video game will use product keys to unlock content or functionality, you can indicate that on the last data tab. In that case, you’ll be required to upload keys that Amazon can distribute to paying customers, though not until you actually complete the submission. Then you’ll be directed to the Key Management page to complete the upload.

That’s It!

Unless they also created PC or Mac digital software or video games to be sold on Amazon, most developers probably never even realized how manual that submission process was, especially compared to releasing applications on the Amazon Appstore for Android. Today’s update and unification of the ingestion processes should greatly streamline the  process for selling your PC and Mac digital software and video games on Amazon. Set-up will be easier and deployment faster.

If you haven’t submitted digital software or video games to Amazon before, now’s the perfect time to get started. If you have comments or questions, please let us know; your feedback helps us make our services better.

September 27, 2013

Mike Hines

Are you considering making your Android app available on the Amazon Appstore but aren’t sure what it’s going to take to get your app ready?  Here’s some good news, while we know that 75% of the Android apps we’ve tested just work on Amazon Appstore, we now have an easy way for you to find out if your app is part of the other 25% and, better yet, understand what you need to do to get your app ready.

Starting September 27th, we are opening a private beta of a new offering, The Amazon App Testing Service. This service will allow you to test your app before submitting it to the Amazon Appstore, and will give you feedback on what (if anything) you should change. We are looking  for developers who are interested in giving the service a try and providing some feedback before we go live.  As a participant you will have pre-release access to the test tool, and you can enter your feedback on a short web-form. If you choose to submit tested apps to the Amazon Appstore, we will prioritize your apps in our submission review process.

Interested?  Shoot an email to AppTestingService-beta-feedback@amazon.com and we’ll get you signed up. Easy as that.

 

September 24, 2013

Mike Hines

Amazon just announced our new Kindle Fire tablets and Fire OS 3.0! Here are the device specs:

With this launch we are offering some impressive hardware at very attractive prices. But for customers, it’s not all about the hardware; the experience matters. With these devices, we’ve made hundreds of enhancements to the platform to make tablet technology easy to use and accessible to a much broader range of customers.

So what does this mean to developers?

Graphics Direct Texture

The Fire OS graphics system is customized to quickly load large graphical assets like the high-resolution cover art in the Fire OS home screen. Graphics Direct Texture enables the Carousel and the Fire OS media libraries to include detailed images and still load quickly and scroll smoothly.

Things to consider about graphics:

  • If you use a development framework like Unity, Epic or other, please make sure that you select PowerPVR and Andreno options when building your apps!
  • You should check to see if your visual assets look good at the 2560x1600 resolution of the 8.9” device. If not, you should supply 2560x1600 assets instead of letterboxing your existing content.

New Device IDs

We recommend that you use capability detection to determine which features to support and which layouts to use.

If you have been using specific device detection to detect device-specific features or capabilities such as screen resolution or otherwise alter the behavior of your app you should be aware that each of the three new devices has a new model number, and you will need to update your Device ID list or switch to capability detection. You can find specifics on the Kindle Fire Device and Feature Specifications.

Things to consider about Device IDs:

  • android.os.Build.MODEL is changing for the new devices
  • android.os.Build.MANUFACTURER continues to be “Amazon”
  • You should try to use capability detection instead of strict device detection whenever possible

New Camera Options

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9” now comes with forward and rear facing cameras and will respond to Android Intents accordingly. The 8MP camera on the back of the device has a flash accessible from your app via the Camera object. You can also use MediaStore.ACTION_IMAGE_CAPTURE or MediaStore.ACTION_VIDEO_CAPTURE to capture images or videos without directly using the Camera object.

Sensor Options

All new devices support TYPE_ACCELEROMETER and TYPE_GYROSCOPE. The HDX devices with the 4G WAN option will also support TYPE_MAGNETIC_FIELD and TYPE_ORIENTATION for compass functions and have GPS onboard to support accurate ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION. The two HDX devices will also include an Ambient Light Sensor.

Things to consider about camera and sensor options:

  • Have your code look for the features on the most advanced device and degrade gracefully if a camera or sensor is not present
  • Check this page for suggestions on sensor detection

Speaker Options

All three Fire Tablet support Dolby Digital+ processing, and no action is required for your app to benefit from this feature. Coupled with Kindle Fire’s new display features the addition of Dolby Digital makes Kindle Fire a very compelling platform for gaming and media apps.

Development and Debugging

Brand-new 2013 Kindle Fire emulators enable you to target the latest Kindle Fire devices even if you don’t have one on hand. The Amazon AVD Launcher streamlines creation of compatible Android Virtual Devices so you can get your apps running in the emulator faster than ever.

Fire OS 3.0

All of the new devices run Fire OS 3.0 and feature Amazon’s unique user-friendly interface, which we have optimized extensively to improve performance. Fire OS is based on Android 4.2.2 (API level 17), so Android compatibility is high, often requiring no additional development work. In fact, 75% of the Android tablet apps that we’ve tested run on Fire OS with no code changes.

Fire OS also includes a newly optimized, high-performance Chromium-based HTML stack, so your web apps deliver a native user experience using open web technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3.

Other APIs now available include Bluetooth gamepads and joysticks as Human Interface Devices (HID), and multiple user support. Allowing multiple users makes family use easier, especially in conjunction with child-friendly Free Time.

In addition, this release opens Fire OS to a whole new class of Enterprise applications. With user partition encryption and secure connections to enterprise Wi-Fi networks, your application can better protect user data on-device and during transfer. Kerberos authentication and a native IPSec VPN client allow you to connect securely to corporate intranet websites from your app.

Customers Love Kindle Fire

New customer-facing features and UI improvements enhance the user experience overall and better position your content with consumers. A redesigned Home Screen with Carousel and Grid views, for example, allows users to customize the display, while QuickSwitch gives them the ability to move between apps with a single swipe.

With Second Screen, users can fling content from their tablet to their TV, and new download prioritization ensures data transfers in the background don’t compromise device performance, degrade playback, or interfere with the foreground application. X-Ray for Music, Movies, and TV lets customers explore their media in new ways, while Reading Mode makes books on the Kindle Fire even more enjoyable.

One of the most innovative features in this release focuses on helping customers have a great experience every time, even when things are working quite right. Fire OS 3.0 delivers revolutionary live tech support via video, available 24x7, 365 days a year. The Mayday button is built into Quick Settings and connects customers to an Amazon Tech Advisor, who can guide a customer remotely through any feature. As the resident tech support guy for my extended family I can say I’m pretty excited about this feature.

Better integration with third-party applications means customers can spend more time with the Kindle Fire. This release adds support for Facebook contacts, events, and photos, for example, and enables printing of documents created with Microsoft Office. Conversation view in Email improves usability, and Screen Reader, Explore by Touch, and Screen Magnifier raise overall accessibility.

You benefit from these features without having to do anything in your own code. In addition, customers who purchase a new Kindle Fire will receive 500 Amazon Coins that they can spend (and you can receive) just like cash in the Amazon Appstore. Learn more about these and other consumer enhancements here.

Other New Features

The following improvements are not device or OS related, but are relevant nonetheless.

In the last several months, Amazon has added new APIs that:

  • Give you a way to do live A/B testing in your app and change app variables while they are in-market
  • Monetize your apps with display ads
  • Help you make money by selling physical and digital goods from Amazon within your app
  • Track scores, achievements and sync game state across Android and iOS platforms

Things to Consider:

As you develop your first app for the new generation of Kindle Fire Tablets, here are some things to consider.

  • The new devices have new MODEL numbers. (Please use capability detection)
  • Make sure your resources are appropriate for 2560x1600
  • Remember to select the Adreno GPU when using a framework
  • Sensors and features vary between devices. Assume the best and degrade gracefully
  • You can get more details about the device specs here

We are looking forward to sharing more details about Fire OS 3.0 in a blog post soon. We will also share additional details and implementation suggestions for the new features in future blog posts, but in the meantime, you can find excellent documentation on the new device on our developer portal: https://developer.amazon.com/sdk/fireos.html

September 09, 2013

Peter Heinrich

Mobile app and game developers, we want to hear from you! Please complete our brief survey to help define the session content offered at AWS re:Invent 2013 as part of a dedicated track on app and game development for mobile devices. We’ll also use your input to guide the agenda of our pre-conference bootcamp, which will combine presentations with hands-on coding for a full day of intense instruction.

Register now for AWS re:Invent 2013 and join us in Las Vegas, November 12-15. Read more about the sessions and activities we have planned, and don’t forget to tell us what else you’d like to see at the conference.

August 28, 2013

Daniel Winner

Today we announced the availability of Free-to-Play store in Germany.. If you have built a PC, Mac or Browser-based game, you may be want to list your game and in-game items on our new Free-to-Play store in Germany. Doing so will get your game in front of millions of potential customers in Germany and Austria.

After you set up your game and in-game items for sale, they will be surfaced in Amazon’s personalization and recommendation widgets. 

Customers can enjoy the convenience of purchasing in-game currencies, starter packs, characters, etc. using their Amazon accounts. For German and Austrian customers, this means they can use their bank accounts (Girokonto) or their credit cards to purchase.

With this announcement, we are releasing our App Commerce SDK, which enables customers to create an account with your game right from Amazon.de. Customers can then send in-game currency or virtual goods directly to their game account.  Included in the App Commerce SDK is our In-App Purchasing API for PC, Mac and Web-based games. This API allows customers to purchase virtual goods from your in-game storefront using their Amazon accounts.

To get your game and in-game items in front of millions of customers in the US, UK, and now Germany and Austria, go to the Free-to-Play store developer page to learn more. You can also contact Amazon at find-more-gamers@amazon.com for more information and to publish your Free-to-Play game on Amazon.

August 26, 2013

Mike Hines

Until today, developers have only had three methods to monetize their apps or games: selling them outright, going “freemium” with in-app purchasing or subscriptions, or using mobile ads. Starting now, Amazon has created a new method for developers to monetize: the Amazon Mobile Associates API, currently available for Android (including Kindle Fire). The Mobile Associates API allows developers to sell real products from the millions of items at Amazon, whether physical (i.e. toys, clothing) or digital (i.e. eBooks), from inside their apps or games while earning up to 6% in advertising fees from those purchases. The Mobile Associates API is an extension of Amazon Associates, our successful web-based affiliate program created in 1996, paying advertising fees to hundreds of thousands of affiliates worldwide.

With the Amazon Mobile Associates API, you’re now able to:

Sell a single item from Amazon in your app or game: The boss at the end of a stage in your game is a giant three-headed wolf, sell the popular “Three Wolf Moon” t-shirt from Amazon

Showcase a category of goods from Amazon in your app or game: Your app is based on improving nutrition over time, offer health-related products like vitamins, supplements, etc. or the Kindle edition of The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss from within your app

Bundle a purchase of a physical product from Amazon with digital content within your app: Sell a toy version of one of the characters in your game, then automatically enable them to play as that same character

Here’s how it works: a customer initiates a purchase from within your app and is then presented with a dialog box showing the product details and cost. The customer can then complete the purchase using Amazon’s 1-Click purchasing, and then the items will be shipped directly from Amazon to the customer’s doorstep. You’ll earn up to 6% of the total purchase, added to your app distribution earnings.

Alt12 is the developer of “Pink Pad” and “BabyBump”: “Our custom solution to sell physical products within our apps took us 6 months to develop, and required complex relationships with more than 20 vendors. With the Amazon Mobile Associates API, it took us only 3 days, and provided us a better in-app shopping experience for our customers, while allowing us to offer a greater selection of products.”

Days of Wonder integrated the API into their game “Ticket to Ride”: “Customers are now able to purchase a physical expansion pack of our board game and then are delighted to get the digital version now for free. We can do this through the digital bundling functionality provided by the Amazon Mobile Associates API.”

Integration is simple. Initilize the Mobile Associates API, and tell us what you’re selling--you can choose to supply a specific set of ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Number), search terms, or use the Amazon Product Advertising API to query a list of ASINs and product information. Then, initiate the purchase. We’ll take care of the rest!

We’ve posted a Quick Start Guide, sample code, and documentation here—start earning more with the Amazon Mobile Associates API today!

 

Want to learn how to integrate the Amazon Mobile Associates API? Don’t miss out on our next live webinar event: 

Mobile Associates Program: What It Is And How It Can Boost Your App Profits
on September 17th, 2013 @ 10:00 AM.
Pre-register here!

 

August 21, 2013

Mike Hines

As readers of this blog, you probably already know that Kindle Fire devices run Android. While these devices may not look like Android because we use an Amazon-designed launcher, they are Android indeed. The original Kindle Fire released in 2011 runs Gingerbread (API level 10) and the Kindle Fire devices released in 2012 run Ice Cream Sandwich (API level 15).

What you may not know is how easy it is to get your existing Android apps up and running in the Amazon Appstore on Kindle Fire and other Android devices. We recently tested more than 1,600 app submissions to the Amazon Appstore Android tablet apps on Kindle Fire. In our tests we found that more than 75% of these apps just work on Kindle Fire devices with no additional development required.

While some developers may choose to just submit their Android apps, others may also decide to integrate Amazon APIs like In-App Purchasing, GameCircle or Mobile Ads to provide a richer customer experience and monetization.

We’ve seen Android apps like ‘Match the Pics’ take minutes to get submitted to Amazon and others like ‘Temple Run’ easily integrate Amazon APIs with their apps.

“Publishing our content on the Amazon Appstore was extremely easy since our Android games just worked on Kindle Fire. Creating the developer account and submitting the first app for review took a matter of minutes, and the app got published the next day.”        Appoh

"We've integrated with Amazon's In-App Purchasing and GameCircle APIs, which was a breeze. We've seen significantly higher customer engagement with Temple Run since the integration, making the few, short steps worth it.”         Imangi

You may be asking, why don’t 100% of Android APKs submitted run on Kindle Fire? Of the minority that doesn’t get to the store on their first try, some reasons for failure are:

  1. App functionality doesn’t match the product description. We’ve found that this is the top reason.
  2. For apps designed to run on phones, the app loses state or data when it receives a message or phone call. The app should preserve its state when receiving or placing text messages and phone calls.
  3. The icons don’t match. Sometimes, the icons submitted in the developer portal don’t match the icons included in the application. They need to match.
  4. App stability or failure to launch. One in 20 of the app failures is stability related. For example, because the SD card path is not necessarily the same for all devices, assumptions about the SD card path can cause failures. Another common example is failing to include referenced libraries.
  5. Not replacing unsupported APIs with the Amazon equivalent API.
  6. Security. One example we’ve seen is writing plain-text login credentials to the log. Apps need to be secure for customers.
     

Since your app will most likely just work with zero development effort in the Amazon Appstore, it seems like a no-brainer to create a developer account – at zero cost - and submit your app. Take a look at what one of Amazon’s Appstore developers says about how easy it is to set up your account and submit your Android app.

Some of the details went by fairly quickly in the video. Here’s a comparison summary of the assets in a Google Play submission and how they transfer to an Amazon Appstore submission.

It’s really not hard to have your app fly through testing. Just open a developer account on the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal today. You can then start submitting your existing APKs to the Amazon store, exposing them to new customers in nearly 200 countries worldwide.

Click here to get started.

August 06, 2013

Mike Hines

Starting today, you can submit your web apps and mobile optimized web sites and have them merchandised alongside native apps on Amazon and Kindle Fire in nearly 200 countries worldwide, without any third-party software or doing any native app development. Amazon Web App Resources (http://developer.amazon.com/webapps) provides the tools that you need to optimize your web apps for Kindle Fire and Android devices to sell them in our store, including powerful tools to help you test and debug your web apps and monetize using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing API for JavaScript. Plus, we’ve made sure your web apps achieve native-like performance on Kindle Fire with our new fast web runtime, based on the Chromium engine.

Rialto

Tools

To make sure your web app works great on Kindle Fire and Android devices, you can use the Web App Tester, which you can get from our store here. The Web App Tester allows you to test your web app in a production-like environment before submitting it to Amazon, and offers a suite of tools to help with on-device debugging of your web apps, ensuring that they’ll work great on Android and Kindle Fire.

We’ve also created and made available the Amazon In-App Purchasing API for JavaScript, allowing you to easily build sales of digital goods like gems, level unlocks, and subscriptions into your web apps.

Kindle Fire web runtime

Kindle Fire’s web runtime is based on the open source Chromium project, and is GPU-accelerated and optimized for fluidity to make sure your web apps run smooth on Kindle Fire, just like a native app. The new runtime supports the latest HTML5/web features and includes standards-based extensions that give you access to offline storage and location sensors. Read more about the updated web app runtime here.

Get started today

Web developers with HTML5 apps and mobile-optimized web sites can easily get started at the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. Once you’re logged in, go to “My Apps”, hover over the green “Add New App” button and click “Add new Web App”.  More information on how to prepare and submit your web apps is available here.

July 24, 2013

Peter Heinrich

Amazon Mobile Ads

Today, we announced the general availability of the Amazon Mobile Ads API which gives you the ability to earn great eCPM by monetizing your app with mobile ads from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.                                                     

eCPM is the amount you earn for each 1,000 ads you display in your app. Higher values are obviously better, and we’ve seen the average eCPM for the Amazon Mobile Ad Network rise 30% since its beta launch in March.  Early adopters like Games2Win have already discovered our great monetization solution for banner ads.

‘The $2.00 eCPM we saw from Amazon far exceeded our expectation. We tested Amazon in our Kindle app first. Now we’re racing to get the Amazon ads integrated in all of our apps across all Android stores.’ says Mahesh Khambadkone, Co-Founder of Games2Win.

Starting today, the Amazon Mobile Ads API will be included as part of our Amazon Mobile App SDK. Developers who integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API into apps they offer through Amazon may also distribute these apps using the API through any other Android platform.

To provide extra incentive to incorporate the Amazon Mobile Ads API into your apps (as if great monetization and ease of use weren’t enough), Amazon is offering a free Kindle Fire HD to developers who integrate our API in the next few weeks. All you have to do is submit your API-enabled app between July 25th and September 1st and send at least 500 ad requests to the Amazon Mobile Ad Network every week between September 15th and October 19th. (See terms and conditions below.)

We’re excited to share the success of the Amazon Mobile Ads API and encourage you to consider including the API in your next application. For more information, see the online documentation or our quick start guide.

 

Terms and Conditions of Kindle Fire HD Offer:

  • To qualify for a free Kindle Fire HD, 7” display, 16 GB, with special offers, app developers must meet all of the terms and conditions of this offer.
  • This offer begins at 12:01 a.m. (PT) September 15th, 2013 and ends at 11:59 p.m. (PT) October 19th, 2013 (the “Offer Period”). 
  • A “Qualifying App” is any mobile app that has integrated the Amazon Mobile Ads API and is submitted to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal between and including July 25th and September 1st, 2013. Apps that have sent ad requests to Amazon using the Amazon Mobile Ads API prior to July 25, 2013 are not Qualifying Apps.
  • A developer’s Qualifying Apps must send at least 500 ad requests every week during the Offer Period.  (Each week begins at 12:01a Sunday and ends at 11:59p Saturday.)  This offer is only open to developers who send the required number of ad requests for the entire Offer Period.
  • A developer may use a single Qualifying App or multiple Qualifying Apps to generate the 500 weekly ad requests as long as the Qualifying Apps are registered to a single developer account.
  • Limit one free Kindle Fire HD device per developer.
  • Offer good while supplies last.
  • Qualifying Apps must meet the Mobile Ad Network Program Participation Requirements.
  • Developers must agree and adhere to the Program Materials License Agreement and the Mobile Ad Network Publisher Agreement to qualify for this offer.
  • Qualifying developers must be reachable through the email addresses registered on the Distribution Portal.
  • Amazon will attempt to ship the Kindle Fire HD device to qualifying developers in the U.S. and other countries.  However, Amazon is not responsible for customs or taxes required for international deliveries.
  • Amazon reserves the right to modify or cancel this offer at any time in its discretion.
  • This offer is void where prohibited.

 

May 13, 2013

Mike Hines

Amazon has started distributing Amazon Coins, which can be used to buy Kindle Fire apps and In-App Purchasing (IAP) items (except subscriptions). Starting today, every U.S. Kindle Fire owner is getting 500 coins ($5) to spend on apps, games, and IAP items. Customers will also be able to buy more coins from Amazon at a bulk discount of up to 10%. As customers use their coins, you will have the opportunity to make money and monetize your Kindle Fire app.

If you don’t have an app for sale on Amazon yet, it’s easy to get started. Based on our testing, over 75% of Android apps submitted to us work on the Kindle Fire, without any additional development required.

Create your developer account then submit your app to benefit from Amazon Coins. For more details about Amazon Coins, see the official press release here.

 

April 17, 2013

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Soon, Amazon will open distribution in nearly 200 additional countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, India, South Africa, South Korea, and even Papua New Guinea and Vatican City. For consumers, this means that they’ll soon be able to access a large and growing catalog of apps and games from Amazon, and for developers, this means you’ll quickly have a much larger audience to download and enjoy your apps and games.

In addition to the new distribution, we’re also adding the ability to price your apps in CAD (Canadian Dollars) and BRL (Brazilian Reals) today. The ability to submit localized descriptions is also available today for Brazil (Portuguese), and will be available soon for Canada (French and English).

Recently, we announced new opportunities to monetize your apps on Amazon, including our new Mobile Ads API with competitive eCPM, and the fact that we will be distributing tens of millions of dollars worth of Amazon Coins to U.S. Amazon customers in May, to spend on apps, games or in-app purchases; and developers will receive their standard revenue share for these purchases. We offer tools to make implementing our APIs simple, including the new, faster Kindle Fire emulators, and the Amazon Mobile App SDK Eclipse Plugin.

If you’re new to distributing apps on Amazon, get started at the Mobile App Distribution Portal. If you already have apps on Amazon, no action needs to be taken.

Here's the full list of countries we’ll be distributing apps in:

Aland Islands Cape Verde Gabon Liechtenstein Panama Suriname
Albania Cayman Islands Georgia Lithuania Papua New Guinea Svalbard and Jan Mayen
American Samoa Central African Republic Germany Luxembourg Paraguay Swaziland
Andorra Chile Ghana Macao Peru Sweden
Angola Christmas Island Gibraltar Macedonia Philippines Switzerland
Anguilla Cocos (Keeling) Islands Greece Madagascar Pitcairn Taiwan
Antarctica Colombia Greenland Malawi Poland Tanzania
Antigua & Barbuda Congo Grenada Malta Portugal Thailand
Argentina Congo, Democratic Republic Guam Mariana Islands Puerto Rico Timor-Leste
Armenia Cook Islands Guatemala Marshall Islands Reunion Togo
Aruba Costa Rica Guernsey Mauritius Romania Tokelau
Australia Cote D'Ivoire Guinea-Bissau Mayotte Russian Federation Tonga
Austria Croatia Guyana Mexico Rwanda Trinidad & Tobago
Bahamas Cyprus Haiti Micronesia Saint Helena Turks & Caicos
Barbados Czech Republic Heard Island and McDonald Island Moldova Saint Kitts and Nevis Tuvalu
Belarus Denmark Honduras Monaco Saint Lucia Uganda
Belgium Dominica Hong Kong Mongolia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Ukraine
Belize Dominican Republic Hungary Montenegro Saint Vincent and the Grenadines United Kingdom
Benin Ecuador Iceland Montserrat Samoa United States
Bermuda El Salvador India Mozambique San Marino United States Minor Outlying Islands
Bhutan Equatorial Guinea Ireland Myanmar Sao Tome and Principe Uruguay
Bolivia Estonia Isle of Man Namibia Serbia US Virgin Islands
Bosnia and Herzegovina Ethiopia Israel Nauru Seychelles Vanuatu
Botswana Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Italy Nepal Slovakia Vatican City State (Holy See)
Bouvet Island Faroe Islands Jamaica Netherlands Slovenia Venezuela
Brazil Fiji Japan Netherlands Antilles Solomon Islands Vietnam
British Indian Ocean Territory Finland Jersey New Caledonia South Africa Wallis and Futuna
British Virgin Islands France Kenya New Zealand South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands Western Sahara
Bulgaria French Guiana Kiribati Nicaragua South Korea Zambia
Burundi French Polynesia Lao People's Democratic Republic Niue Spain Zimbabwe
Cambodia French Southern Territories Latvia Norfolk Island Sri Lanka  
Cameroon French West Indies - Guadeloupe Lesotho Norway St. Barthelemy  
Canada French West Indies - Martinique Liberia Palau St. Martin  

 

March 27, 2013

obeida

At Amazon, we are always looking to make your experience developing Kindle Fire apps as easy as possible. We have two new tools to help:

Faster Device Emulation with New x86 System Images

Like most developers, you’ve probably sat around waiting for the emulator to start up, or you’ve found the experience of emulated apps slow to use. Although we believe it’s always better to use an actual Kindle Fire tablet to debug your apps, we understand that developers may need to use the emulator to test app compatibility. Wouldn’t it be nice if emulators weren’t so slow? 

  • The Kindle Fire emulator loads and runs faster: emulator startup and run time with the x86 system images is now close to that of an actual Kindle Fire tablet
  • It also looks and acts the same: If you’ve used our standard ARM system images before, there’s no change in how you use the new x86 system images

To demonstrate how much faster the new x86 images are, we used Air Patriots, a game from Amazon Game Studios, with lots of code and lots of assets. We ran it on the Kindle Fire HD emulator in different configurations, as well as on an actual physical Kindle Fire HD. The result? Faster startup and response time for the emulator, and the game play was nearly identical to that of a tablet. Here are the stats:

Kindle Fire HD emulator configuration on reference development computer

Time from app launch to accept user input

ARM system image, without using host GPU

2:50

ARM system image, using host GPU

0:52

x86 system image, without using host GPU

0:36

x86 system image, using host GPU

0:23

Kindle Fire HD tablet

0:17

* Our x86 system image using a development computer running Windows 7 with a quad-core 3.10 GHz processor, 8 GB of memory, and AMD/ATI Radeon R6570 graphics.

To get the x86 system images for Kindle Fire, you can simply follow our instructions for setting up the Kindle Fire developer tools. There is no new or additional installation required. The x86 system images offer improved performance, especially when the experimental GPU emulation is enabled.

Easier API Adoption with the Amazon Mobile App SDK Eclipse Plugin

Since we introduced the Amazon Mobile App SDK Eclipse Plugin, we’ve received feedback that it really does speed up the time and effort it takes developers to adopt Amazon APIs. Today, the Eclipse plugin is out of beta. If you have not seen the plugin in action, check out our demo video:

Talk to Us

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Tell us about your experience with the x86 system images and Eclipse plugin, in our forums.

Abu Obeida Bakhach is a product manager for the Kindle Fire developer tools and publications team, where he thinks of ways to make developers lives creating apps as simple as possible. Previously, he was at Microsoft in developer platform evangelism growing the Windows 8/phone ecosystem with open source frameworks. In his spare time, he keeps himself busy catching with his three children on cycling trips.

 

March 19, 2013

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Last fall we launched Whispercast for Kindle, a free online tool that helps organizations easily manage their Kindles and distribute Kindle books and docs at whispercast.amazon.com. We’re excited to announce that recently Whispercast also began supporting distribution of apps from Amazon to Kindle Fire tablets. This means that schools, businesses, and other organizations can now easily procure and distribute apps in bulk to their users.

In the past, organizations would have to manually make a purchase through each of their user accounts--this was a lengthy and often laborious process. Now, an administrator can simply login to Whispercast, find the app they want to buy, and push it out to their managed Kindle Fire tablets. If their users have their own personal Kindle Fire, the organization can also use Whispercast to invite them to “opt-in” and gift Kindle Fire apps directly to their Amazon account.

For example, schools can now discover an educational app and purchase it  for all of their students, Additionally, enterprises that want their users to access corporate e-mail using an app like Touchdown (from Nitrodesk) can easily distribute that app to all of their employees.

For more information about Whispercast for Kindle, click here.

March 15, 2013

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Earlier this week, we launched a new feature in the Mobile App Distribution Portal, allowing you to easily see all customer reviews for your apps, by marketplace, in a single, unified location. This provides you the opportunity to review your customer reviews (and filter by marketplace and star rating), and use this feedback to build new features, identify potential bugs, and improve your app over time.

To access this new feature, go to “My Apps” in the Distribution Portal, hover over the app you’d like to look at the reviews for, and click “View current version” in the menu on the right. Under your app title in the header, click “Reviews”.

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