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September 09, 2015

Corey Badcock

We are excited to announce that Amazon Cloud Drive has published its IFTTT channel. IFTTT stands for “If This Then That”, and it provides a simple way to automate interactions between your favorite apps. It connects two services together in a way that an action from one service triggers an action at another.

In order to create automations in IFTTT, you simply create what’s called a “Recipe”. Connect any of the available channels with Amazon Cloud Drive channel to create “Triggers,” which is the “If” part. Then,   have the corresponding “Actions,” the Then part. You can check out the Amazon Cloud Drive channel at https://ifttt.com/amazonclouddrive. IFTTT channels include a vast range including social media services, email, text message, GPS, electronic piggy banks and smart light bulbs.

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August 17, 2015

Jesse Freeman

Starting today, developers can sign up for the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview for Amazon Fire TV. This preview is designed for developers looking to get their apps and games ready for the next major release of Fire OS for Amazon Fire TV. Fire OS 5 is based on Android 5.1 (Lollipop) and API 22. Since this is a significant upgrade to the existing Fire OS 3 (API 17) for Fire TV, we wanted to make sure that as many developers as possible can sign up for the preview and test their app or game. The key new features for Amazon Fire TV developers in Fire OS 5 are support for Android TV and the v17 Leanback library. If you have an app that supports Android TV or Leanback, those features should work as-is in the Amazon Fire TV developer preview. Here are a few of the other features available in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview for Amazon Fire TV:

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July 31, 2015

Corey Badcock

Being a great coder today requires many skills and habits beyond the code itself. The Code Writers Workshop is a one day event that tackles many of these areas through a series of talks, panels and lessons learned from some of industry's most successful developers. This event is intended for developers across languages and platforms with an interest in getting all they can out of the great profession of coding.

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July 22, 2015

Corey Badcock

If you've never published an app to the Amazon Appstore, now is the perfect time to join! Most Android apps just work on the Amazon Appstore, but it’s not always easy being the new guy.  That’s why for a limited time, we’re helping drive impressions and installs for developers that publish to the Amazon Appstore for the first time.

Publish your first app to the Amazon Appstore by August 16th, and we’ll provide you with a $100 promotional credit towards an ad campaign on Advertise Your App. Advertise Your App helps you promote your app to millions of users on Fire tablet wakescreens and mobile placements on the Amazon Mobile Ad Network. Ads are shown to users within the United States, depending on app compatibility.

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July 13, 2015

Corey Badcock

The Amazon Mobile Ad network is offering a limited time opportunity to earn a guaranteed $6 CPM for interstitial ads on qualifying apps*. All qualifying iOS and Android apps that integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API and send the ad request for the first time on or after July 14, 2015 will receive a guaranteed $6 CPM on interstitial ads in September, October and November (up to 1 million impressions per app per month). Interstitial impressions served across all supported devices (iOS, Android, and Fire OS tablets and phones), supported countries (US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Japan), and supported stores (Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore) qualify.

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July 09, 2015

Jesse Freeman

We are excited to announce the new Amazon Fling service. This new service is a cross-platform toolkit that enables mobile developers to build rich multi-screen experiences for Amazon Fire TV. At its core, the Amazon Fling SDK allows sending video, audio and images from iOS and Android mobile apps to Amazon Fire TV. In addition to flinging media content to Amazon Fire TV, developers can also leverage two-way communication between Amazon Fire TV and mobile apps to create engaging second screen experiences.

The new SDK is designed to simplify the process of dealing with underlying network discovery and communication technologies that normally make this type of connection difficult to implement. The SDK offers a standardized way to communicate between your apps over a local network allowing developers to focus on building new and unique user experiences. Even developers who don’t have an existing Amazon Fire TV app can take advantage of the SDK’s media playback capabilities since a default built-in receiver plays these for you automatically. This is one of the quickest ways to leverage the power of our service and the built in functionality of the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV stick.

What Can You Do With the new SDK?

Out of the box it is straightforward to leverage our new SDK to send URLs of videos, images and audio files to the Amazon Fire TV. This allows you to take media content and easily play them back on the big screen from a mobile app. But flinging media is not all you can do with it. If you dig a little deeper into the SDK you can use mobile devices as a second screen or a companion app to what is running on the Amazon Fire TV. Here are some great examples of how developers are already leveraging the SDK in their own apps:

Red Karaoke uses an iPhone to send audio to their Amazon Fire TV app.

Karaoke Party by Red Karaoke, one of the first karaoke smartphone apps in the market, is leveraging the SDK to display song lyrics and videos on Amazon Fire TV.  Additionally, Red Karaoke uses the SDK to send audio from the microphone on the customer’s device to the TV.  Customers can now have a true Karaoke experience in their living room.

With Fling, Rivet Radio customers get the capability to share music and videos on the largest screen in the house.

Rivet Radio, a digital news radio broadcaster, allows people to listen to news on the TV.   By leveraging Amazon Fire TV’s built in media playback receiver, Rivet Radio lets listeners easily transition between listening on their personal device to sharing content with everyone in the living room.

There are more great apps that use our SDK coming and we are looking forward to seeing what developers come up with.

Updating Your App Using our new SDK

The new SDK is available today with support for iOS, Android and Fire OS. To get started visit the SDK page and download the .zip file. You can also read the getting started documentation, which will walk you through setting up your development environment for Android or iOS, Integrating the SDK into your Android or iOS app and integrating the Amazon Fling SDK into your Amazon Fire TV app.

The SDK supports rich, two-way communications with your Amazon Fire TV app.  You can build custom second screen experiences with the following APIs:

  • Set URL of the media to be rendered: setMediaSource()
  • Get information about the media: getDuration(), getPosition(), isMimeTypeSupported(),getMediaInfo()
  • Control playback: play(), pause(), stop(), seek()
  • Playback status: getStatus(), addStatusListener(), removeStatusListener(), setPositionUpdateInterval()
  • Custom command: sendCommand()

If you don’t have an Amazon Fire TV app, you can use the Amazon Fire TV default media player (already installed). If you’ve created an Amazon Fire TV app already, you can integrate the receiver SDK that will enable people to discover, remotely install (if needed) and control your Amazon Fire TV app while flinging media content to your media player.

Already Have An App that Supports Chromecast?

Our new SDK makes it easy for developers to adapt their existing apps that have Chromecast functionality to fling to Amazon Fire TV.  For more information on how to do this, check out our guides to integrating the SDK with an existing Android Chromecast app or iOS Chromecast app in the developer portal.

Get Started Today

With our new SDK, you can leverage the built in media players to send the content of your app or game directly to Amazon Fire TV. Being a developer for the Amazon Appstore is completely free- sign up today and get started. If you need some more information on building apps and games for Amazon Fire TV, make sure to check out the following links:

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

 

Big Buck Bunny is copyright 2008, Blender Foundation / www.bigbuckbunny.org and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0, available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/legalcode.  Elephants Dream is copyright 2006, Blender Foundation/ Netherlands Media Art Institute/ www.elephantsdream.org and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 2.5, available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/legalcode.

 

July 08, 2015

Paul Cutsinger

On Wednesday’s installment of our live dev show we welcome Luke Burtis, Production Director from tinyBuild the indie game developer and publisher.  He’ll be sharing his perspective on our concept game “Planet Destroyer” and talking about success factors for indie devs. 

Please join the conversation on Wednesday July 8 at 11:00 am PST at http://www.twitch.tv/paulcutsinger.

For background, we’ve been talking a lot about how to get more game developers over the app poverty line and sharing best practices for building quality games and healthy businesses on the blog and at conferences.

Now, we’re doing something a bit different.

We’ve started a reality show called “Planet Destroyer: Concept to Greenlight” where @PeterDotGames and @PaulCutsinger are building a game live on Twitch and just, like any reality show, it’ll end with a panel of judges that will critique the game and will give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Along the way, we’re broadcasting the entire journey live on Twitch. We really want that thumbs up so, to help us and all the game devs that watch, we’re bringing in experts from around the industry to mentor us on every aspect of building a game – game design, architecture, music, story, business models, crowd funding, publishing, user acquisition, art, front end coding, back end scale, marketing… Everything you actually need to have a successful game launch.

 

July 07, 2015

Karen Wilder Huaulme

Today, we are introducing new features to improve device targeting for your Amazon Appstore apps and games on Android devices. Previously, targeting non-Amazon Android devices was done through compatibility settings in the binary’s AndroidManifest.xml file. Now, in addition to supporting industry standards for manifest-based device filtering, developers can use the Developer Portal to target the most popular Android devices including the Nexus 5, 7, 10, HTC One, Shield Tablet, Galaxy Nexus, Sony Experia Z, and the Motorola Droid Razr HD to name just a few. Developers can now look at the list of supported, excluded and unsupported devices to quickly see which devices are compatible with their app, and if their app manifest settings have filtered out any devices.

Implementing Device Targeting Is Easy

To begin, log in to the Amazon Appstore developer portal and choose your application. From there, under the Binary File(s) tab, click the Edit button at the bottom of the screen to navigate to the device support options

The Device Support summary shows the total number of devices that are Supported (compatible), Excluded (manually de-selected) and Unsupported (incompatible based on your manifest settings). To change your device support settings, click the Edit device support link to open the Device Support dialog.

Navigation Tips: the device summary drop-down at the top of the screen provides an overview of current device support. Clicking any of the links will filter the UI to show only the devices in the selected category. This is a quick and easy way of reviewing and editing your device support options.

You can also use the Find a device search box to quickly find devices by manufacturer or model. If you need to find a specific device by name, the search function will highlight devices that match your text. Simply start typing, and the dialog lists matching devices. You can choose to exclude or target devices directly from the search results.

We have included a few extra controls for developer targeting convenience. At the top of the Device Support dialog, you will find the setting Enable non-Amazon devices. If you want to limit your app’s availability to only a handful of non-Amazon devices, you can toggle-off this setting to initially exclude all devices before manually selecting devices for inclusion in to your compatibility list.

In the example below, you can see that a device has already been excluded based on the binary’s manifest. You can further limit the devices with known compatibility issues by manually de-selecting them in the Device Support dialog.

At the bottom of the Device Support dialog, there is a setting for All other Android devices. This control is enabled by default. It allows your app to be distributed to any other compatible Android devices not explicitly listed. It also allows your app to be made available for newly released (future) Android devices that are compatible with your manifest. Turning this setting off causes your app to only be distributed to selected devices.

Conclusion

With the introduction of manifest-based device targeting we are making it even simpler for developers to publish their apps in the Amazon Appstore. Developers can now reach more customers on compatible devices, and take steps to avoid delivering a poor customer experience on incompatible or poorly performing devices.

Links To Additional Resources

July 07, 2015

Mike Hines

Learn how the top 50 game developers leverage in-app purchasing to monetize successfully, and get actionable data to help you increase the profitability of your games. I’ll review data Amazon has collected about how users engage with IAP in games, and go into detail about some of the best ways to increase customer conversion and revenue.

You'll Learn:

  • What the top 50 developers do with in-app purchasing that other developers don’t.
  • Actionable data and tips to help you get started.
  • How selection drives engagement and repeat orders.
  • How to increase revenue by launching new IAP price points.

When:

Tuesday, July 14th 10:00AM PDT, 1 hour

 

July 06, 2015

Paul Cutsinger

On Tuesday’s installment of our live dev show we welcome Starr Long, the executive producer of Shroud of the Avatar and director of Ultima Online. He’ll be sharing his perspective on our concept game “Planet Destroyer” and talking about MMO fundamentals, crowd funding and the power of connecting early with your fan base. 

Please join the conversation on Tuesday July 7 at 9:00 am PST at http://www.twitch.tv/paulcutsinger

For background, we’ve been talking a lot about how to get more game developers over the app poverty line and sharing best practices for building quality games and healthy businesses on the blog and at conferences.

Now, we’re doing something a bit different.

We’ve started a reality show called “Planet Destroyer: Concept to Greenlight” where @PeterDotGames and @PaulCutsinger are building a game live on Twitch and just, like any reality show, it’ll end with a panel of judges that will critique the game and will give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Along the way, we’re broadcasting the entire journey live on Twitch. We really want that thumbs up so, to help us and all the game devs that watch, we’re bringing in experts from around the industry to mentor us on every aspect of building a game – game design, architecture, music, story, business models, crowd funding, publishing, user acquisition, art, front end coding, back end scale, marketing… Everything you actually need to have a successful game launch.

 

July 01, 2015

Paul Cutsinger

We’ve been talking a lot about how to get more game developers over the app poverty line and sharing best practices for building quality games and healthy businesses on the blog and at conferences.

Now, we’re doing something a bit different.

We’ve started a reality show called “Planet Destroyer: Concept to Greenlight” where @PeterDotGames and @PaulCutsinger are building a game live on Twitch and just, like any reality show, it’ll end with a panel of judges that will critique the game and will give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. Along the way, we’re broadcasting the entire journey live on Twitch. We really want that thumbs up so, to help us and all the game devs that watch, we’re bringing in experts from around the industry to mentor us on every aspect of building a game – game design, architecture, music, story, business models, crowd funding, publishing, user acquisition, art, front end coding, back end scale, marketing… Everything you actually need to have a successful game launch.

This week, we’re excited to have Luke Burtis from Tiny Build and Dmitri Williams from Ninja Metrics come on the show. Luke is going to share his perspective as an indie game developer that ran a successful kickstarter and Steam Greenlight and as an indie publisher that is looking for great games to publish. Dmitri’s brings a perspective on social analytics that is going is core to our game design. He’ll help us understand how to refine our conceptual ideas make them real and actionable.

 

June 30, 2015

Corey Badcock

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  • Introducing the Alexa Skills Kit, Enabling Developers to Create Entirely New Voice Driven Capabilities
  • Why Isn’t Your Game Doing Better?
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June 19, 2015

Mike Hines

Starting today, developers have the opportunity to participate in a Developer Preview of Fire OS 5, the next generation Android-based operating system that powers Fire tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. And because Fire OS 5 is based on Android Lollipop, we can make this update while preserving even more compatibility with existing Android apps than ever before. This means that even more of your apps should work on Fire devices with no additional engineering effort. There are several ways you can participate in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview.

Participate in the Fire OS5 Developer Preview

To ensure your app is available to millions of customers on the next generation of Amazon devices, you can now participate in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview. As an Amazon Developer, we’re offering you early access to Fire OS 5. You can now see your app running on a Fire HD 6 or Fire HD 7 tablet, and identify any app compatibility issues well in advance of our new Fire OS launch later this year.

To participate in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview, click here.


 

Free Fire OS5 Compatibility Testing in 90 Seconds or Less

Amazon Testing Service is a free tool that allows you to test your app for compatibility on Fire and Android devices. We’ve updated Amazon Testing Service to provide feedback on your apps compatibility with Fire OS 5 and Android Lollipop. To test your app, simply drag and drop your Android APK into the App Testing Service on the Amazon Developer Portal homepage page. In about 90 seconds, you will get compatibility results for Fire OS 5 and Android Lollipop. 



 

Want To Learn More?

Now is the time to get started. Check out the resources below to learn more about Fire OS5 and the Amazon Appstore

         Register for a Free Amazon Developer account

         Sign up for the Fire OS5 Developer Preview

         Learn more about Fire OS 5

Want Amazon Developer blogs delivered to your inbox? Stay in the loop on the latest industry best practices, Amazon promotions, and new launches by subscribing to our weekly blog summary here.

June 17, 2015

Adrian Hall

Today we are pleased to release new Android and iOS SDKs for mobile developers interested in supporting Amazon Cloud Drive. These new additions are a part of the existing Amazon Mobile App SDK and can be downloaded directly from the Developer Portal. The updates will allow you to provide Unlimited Storage benefits for your customers using your apps more quickly and efficiently.

Improved Efficiency and Benefits

You can now quickly write new apps or make your existing apps interact with Amazon Cloud Drive using both the Android and iOS SDKs. With these updates you no longer need to understand and implement a separate instance of Login with Amazon. We’ve even taken care of the best practices of implementing a back-off strategy. Best of all, you can communicate with the Amazon Cloud Drive API without ever needing to worry about networking code.

Additional benefits include the ability to work exclusively with native Java and Objective-C object types, removing the need to ever parse JSON, as well as eliminating the need to refer back to the REST API documentation online. You also no longer need to explicitly use the Amazon Cloud Drive API to get Account endpoints, removing an entire step from your development workflow.

Apps Using New Amazon Cloud Drive Mobile SDKs

With the launch of the Amazon Cloud Drive mobile developer SDKs, we are also excited to announce new third-party apps supporting Cloud Drive through the Android and iOS SDKs.

A+ Gallery (Android): iPhone style photo gallery.

PhotoTime (iOS): Explore your photos at snapshot speed.

TextMaker HD Basic (Android): Create and edit documents on your tablet.

PlanMaker HD Basic (Android): Create and edit spreadsheets on your tablet.

Presentations HD Basic (Android): Create and edit presentations and slide shows on your tablet.
 

And, coming soon:

FiLMiC Pro (iOS): Turn your iOS camera into a broadcast worthy 2K HD video camera.

Vizzywig (iOS): All-in-one, movie-making application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that lets you record, edit, and preview in real time.

Cleen (iOS): Clean up your camera roll and photos in your Amazon Cloud Drive account.


For more photo, video and productivity apps be sure to check out the Amazon Cloud Drive App Gallery. You can also visit the Developer Portal to download the Amazon Mobile App SDK or to learn more about the Amazon Cloud Drive API and SDKs for Android and iOS. If you have any questions about getting started you can visit our Developer Forum.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

June 15, 2015

Chris Phillips

Cross Platform Engines have become critical tools for developers to build applications once and deploy their apps across the Google, Apple, and Amazon ecosystems to reach the greatest number of consumers.  Amazon has developed a number of plugins for cross platform tools to allow developers to utilize Amazon Services without the need to write boilerplate code to bridge cross platform code with native language Amazon APIs.  Amazon has released new plugins for Apache Cordova, Unity, Adobe Air, and Xamarin to allow developers to monetize their cross platform apps using Amazon In-App Purchasing.  The In-App Purchasing (IAP) API makes it easy to offer digital content and subscriptions for purchase within your app.  The newly released plugins enable cross platform developers to quickly get up and running, and give millions of Amazon customers the ability to purchase engaging digital content using Amazon 1-Click settings.  To learn more about IAP and pick up the latest plugin, check out the Amazon In-App Purchasing site.

Build Once and Deploy Across Multiple Platforms

Before you can use a plugin in an app, you need to include the plugin in the cross platform tool for use. Each tool has its own specific set of steps, and we have created a page to guide you through this process for Unity, Xamarin, Cordova, and Adobe Air

If you have never monetized an app or are new to Amazon IAP, it would be good to familiarize yourself with what In-App purchasing is here.  There were plugins built for Unity and Adobe Air for IAP v1.  If you are migrating your current app to the new IAP v2 plugin, now would be a good time to review what is new and the IAP v1 to IAP v2 migration guide.  And finally, if your current app uses Google Play In-App Billing (IAB), review the Amazon migration guide for Google Play developers for guidance on migrating your app to Amazon IAP.

During development, it’s a good idea to verify purchasing works in your app and you are able to handle successful purchases and error scenarios.  To test your app, you should download and install the Amazon App Tester.  The Amazon App Tester is a mobile app that is available in the Amazon Appstore.  You will need to download the Amazon Appstore to purchase and download the tester app to your test device.  Review the IAP Testing guide to unit test IAP purchases in your app.

Easily Add In-App Purchasing To Your App or Game

The IAP cross platform plugins are part of a single Amazon In-App Purchasing SDK (which you can download here) that also provides access to other Amazon mobile services and additional free plugins such as the plugin for GameCircle. 

To use the IAP plugins in your cross platform tool, first download the SDK and extract the zip file to the appropriate location on your development machine. Here’s what the Unity plugin part of the SDK folder looks like on my machine.  The plugins can be found off the root directory inside the zip file by their respective cross-platform tool name, AIR, Unity, Cordova, or Xamarin.

Each plugin makes similar sets of calls to the native IAP Java SDK, but making calls through the plugin differs based on the cross platform tool and language semantics.  There are code samples for each plugin type and I would suggest playing with the code samples in a test app.  Check out the code samples in your cross platform user’s guide below.

How to Get Started

Plugins make it easier than ever to integrate Amazon IAP, and other Amazon services into your mobile app.  You can now monetize your cross platform app without the need to write your own plugin or boilerplate code to integrate the native Java SDK and focus instead on building great apps and reach millions of Amazon Appstore customers.  Once you have used the plugin to integrate the Amazon IAP API, you will get paid for any In-App purchases your customers make in your app.

Here are some additional useful links to Amazon’s Cross Platform Engine support and Amazon In-App purchasing:

Want Amazon Developer blogs delivered to your inbox? Stay in the loop on the latest industry best practices, Amazon promotions, and new launches by subscribing to our weekly blog summary here.

 

 

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