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May 13, 2015

Corey Badcock

As the cost to acquire mobile users continues to rise, developers are starting to evaluate the quality of users they acquire via paid campaigns. Developers need to reach the right mobile users: those who will engage with an app and become loyal over the long term.

To help developers reach new users, we are excited to announce the launch of Advertise Your App with Amazon!  This advertising platform is exclusively available to Amazon mobile app developers. It’s simple, fast, and effective. Promote your app to millions of users on Fire tablet wakescreens and mobile placements on the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.

Amazon Reaches the Big Spenders Best

According to Newzoo, gamers using the Amazon Appstore are the most likely to spend money.  More specifically, 64% of mobile gamers that use the Amazon Appstore spend money on mobile games, versus 37% for Google Play. Amazon users are more likely to engage with your app and spend money, and Advertise Your App enables you to target new customers while driving the installs you need to grow your business.

When you launch an Advertise Your App campaign, your app can be merchandized on Fire tablet wakescreens and mobile placements on the Amazon Mobile Ad Network, enabling you to directly reach Android and Fire users.

Reduce Your Cost of Acquisition with Advertise Your App

To get early feedback on Advertise Your App, we conducted a beta with Amazon Appstore developers. Developers who participated in our beta program had this to say about using Advertise Your App:

We’ve seen the highest revenue per user on the Amazon platform…with an excellent CPI as low as $0.50 via Advertise Your App.”

- Majid Khosravi, Twimler

“Advertise Your App is the most cost effective, scalable solution to acquire the users I care most about!”

- Kevin Tydlacka, Kevin Tydlacka Apps

Ready to get started?

Create an Advertise Your App campaign in less than 90 seconds, and launch a campaign with as little as $100. And the best part? You only pay when a user clicks on one of your ads. For more information check out the following additional resources:

 

 

May 12, 2015

Corey Badcock

How will IoT play out in your ecosystem? Is HTML vs. Native still relevant? Are you using AWS, Azure or Google Cloud? Which are the hottest IoT verticals? These are some of the questions that our friends at VisionMobile address through their Developer Economics research, so take their quick survey and make your voice heard.

Participate in the 10-minute Developer Skill Census survey by June 5th and enter a draw to win prizes such as an Oculus Rift Dev Kit. A free chapter from one of VisionMobile’s premium paid reports will also be given immediately upon completion, taking a close look at app profits & costs. 

Now in its 9th edition, the Developer Economics research program tracks developer sentiment across platforms, revenues, apps, tools, APIs, segments and regions. This is the most ambitious developer survey to date, spanning across mobile, IoT, desktop and Cloud. The key insights from the survey will be given back to the community as a free download in late July.

Take the survey here: vmob.me/DE3Q15Amazon

May 08, 2015

Corey Badcock

Starting May 9th,the Amazon Appstore will be sponsoring a 2-day Hearthstone “Challengestone” Twitch tournament in partnership with top Hearthstone influencer @Reynad27 (236K followers, +20MM views).  The goal of this tournament will be to test players’ execution abilities and deck building skills.  The tournament will be casted by @nl_Kripp and @Artosis and include some of the top Hearthstone players from around the world: @Hyped, @Lifecoach, @Trump, @StrifeCro, @Kibler, @Xixo, @Chakki, and @Savjz.   The prize pool will be $3,000 with the 1st place winner earning $1,800.  In conjunction with the tournament, Amazon Appstore will be running an Amazon Coins promotion which will provide customers the ability to get more Card Packs in Hearthstone for the money they spend. For example, for $90, a Hearthstone player can get 106 Card Packs when they purchase through Amazon Appstore using Amazon Coins (vs. only 70 Card Packs when they purchase Card Packs through Google Play).

Tune into the Challengestone Tournament (http://www.twitch.tv/tempo_storm) to find out more.

Inline image 1

Saturday May 9th 09:00 PDT / 11:00 CT / 12:00 EDT / 18:00 CEST: Deck building & Ro8

 

 

Sunday May 10th 09:00 PDT / 11:00 CT / 12:00 EDT / 18:00 CEST: Semi-finals & Finals

 

 

How Game Developers Reach New Customers with Twitch

Twitch is the largest live video platform and community for gamers with more than 100 million visitors per month. Twitch connects gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play.  At GDC San Francisco, the Twitch team facilitated a session about how game developers are creating engaging experiences and reaching new customers via the Twitch platform. Watch this video to learn more.

 

May 05, 2015

Corey Badcock

Beginning March 9, the Amazon Appstore ran a $25,000 sweepstakes designed to encourage customers to download apps and games from the Amazon App for Android. To enter, customers simply had to fill out a brief form and then download any app or game – paid or free – from their Amazon App for Android Phones.

 

We’re excited to announce that Carlos G. from Broadlands, VA was selected as our grand prize winner.  Carlos has been an Amazon customer since 2010 and downloaded “World of Goo” to qualify for the sweepstakes.  When we asked Carlos what the first item he planned to buy was, he told us he wanted to "...buy a nice camera for his wife - something she’d always wanted."

Reach New Customers with the Amazon App for Android

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Millions of customers can find and download apps and games from the Amazon App for Android. These apps are merchandized and surfaced whenever customers search for relevant products, so consumers can find your app wherever they are in the Amazon shopping app. Plus, Amazon Appstore is preloaded on Fire devices, Blackberry 10 and millions of other Android devices, including HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung phones to name a few, as well as Samsung and LG tablets.

 

 

Ready to Submit Your App or Game?

For more information about getting started with the Amazon App for Android, Amazon Fire devices, or how to submit your game check out the following additional resources:

April 23, 2015

Peter Heinrich

If you have published an app on Amazon that uses v1.0 of the Facebook Platform API, you have until April 30, 2015 to ensure your app works properly with v2.0 of the API. Beginning April 30, v1.0 API requests will be processed as v2.0 API requests. This may break your app’s functionality unless it is built with a recent version of the Facebook SDK or you have custom code that explicitly calls v2.0 of the API (or higher).

Detailed information about the nature and scope of this update by Facebook is available from their Facebook Platform Upgrade Guide. You can get specifics on the migration process from Facebook’s Upgrading from v1.0 to v2.0 page.

API VERSIONING

Whenever a public API is updated, there is the potential to break applications that rely on it. API providers want to avoid this, of course, so they usually do two things. First, they assign a unique version number to each release, so developers can be specific about which functionality we are requesting. Second, they support both old and new API versions simultaneously, for a time, allowing our apps to continue to function until we can upgrade them to use the newest API.

Facebook did both of these. They first released their Platform API in April 2010, updating it several times since then and always attaching a new version number to each release. They have also continued to support previous API versions, so even if a developer were slow to upgrade, his or her apps would continue to work as expected.

APRIL 30 CUT-OFF

That finally changes on April 30, 2015. That’s the day that Facebook will officially turn off support for v1.0 of the Facebook Platform API. Versions 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 of the API are already available (and have been for some time), so starting April 30, new and existing apps will be expected to use one of these versions, if they don’t already.

Luckily for most developers, Facebook provides SDKs for several platforms and languages, which makes handling API versions largely automatic. If you develop your app using a recent version of one of these SDKs, chances are you will not be affected when the Facebook Platform API v1.0 is deprecated. See Facebook’s Platform Versioning page for more information.

NEW PERMISSIONS, LOGIN FLOW

If you did not build your app using a recent Facebook SDK, or you have custom code that constructs unversioned API requests, your app may break on April 30. There are several significant differences between v1.0 and v2.0 of the API besides functional changes and improvements, including updates to permissions and user login. You should review the complete list on Facebook’s Upgrading from v1.0 to v2.0 page. There you will find detailed documentation explaining the impact of every change, how to adjust your app to deal with them, and how to invoke versioned calls manually if you still prefer not to use a Facebook SDK.

Here are just a few of the areas affected by the migration:

  • User IDs and Friends – App-scoped User IDs, new friends permissions, scope change when querying friends, friend lists are now title-only, etc.
  • Login – Optional permissions, basic_info is now public_profile, new review process for apps using Facebook Login, etc.
  • Graph API – All calls require access token (except picture retrieval), several new API endpoints to support taggable, inviteable, social context, and more.
  • FQL – Official warning of upcoming deprecation.
  • Sharing – Tagging people, app-to-app linking, new shared dialog for web, feed dialog limited to friends using your app, etc.
  • Games and Payments – Adding users has changed, apps can no longer read a group’s feed, no more event creation by API, apps can post as apps, etc.

IS MY APP AFFECTED?

Unless you know for sure that your app uses v2.0 or later of the Facebook Platform API, you should assume that it will require an update. However, API v2.0 is used by default by Facebook’s Android SDK starting with version 3.14, so if you built your app after April 2014 using that SDK or a later version of it, no update is needed.

Keep in mind that v2.0 of the Facebook Platform API is itself scheduled to be deprecated eventually; after April 30 it will simply be the oldest version still supported. Facebook has committed to maintain each API version for not less than two years after it is introduced. See the Facebook Platform Changelog for more information.

NEXT STEPS

If you believe your Amazon mobile app or game may be affected by Facebook’s deprecation of it’s v1.0 API, it is highly recommended that you visit the version-specific upgrade page mentioned above, or the more general Facebook Platform Upgrade Guide.

- peter (@peterdotgames)

 

April 16, 2015

Corey Badcock

Since its launch in March 2011, over 16,000 apps have been launched on TestDrive, giving customers the experience of running the app and discovering new features before committing to purchase. However, with the increasing use of 'free to play' business models, we have seen a significant decline in customers using TestDrive, and effective 15th April 2015, we will decommission the TestDrive service.

What do you need to do?

Nothing – it’s just the TestDrive service that is being decommissioned. Apps that are currently using TestDrive will still be available and promoted in the Appstore, but without TestDrive functionality. The TestDrive category will be removed from the Appstore client, and we will not be enabling TestDrive for new app submissions.

Thank you for your continued support of the Amazon Appstore. If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

 

April 16, 2015

David Isbitski

To help you stay up-to-date on the latest in the Android ecosystem, we've proactively tested many apps in our catalog and have compiled a Knowledge Base of articles with best practices and information to help make your apps compatible with Android 5.0 Lollipop.  

Here is a sample of the top viewed articles covering common Lollipop issues and offering best practices:

We have also updated the App Testing Service to test your app compatibility with Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 7 devices. You can simply drag and drop your APK to the App Testing Service and get compatibility results on Fire tablets, Fire Phone and now Nexus 7 in 90 seconds or less.

For more information about getting started with the Amazon Appstore and Amazon Fire devices, check out the following additional resources:

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

April 13, 2015

Judith Hoffmann

  

With more than 10 events in one week, International Games Week Berlin, one of Europe’s biggest game-focused events, connects game business, technology and culture. From April 21 to 26, gaming experts will come together in Berlin, Germany, to discuss key industry trends and topics. As a sponsor of International Games Week Berlin and a premium partner at Quo Vadis, there will be plenty of opportunities to meet the Amazon Appstore team in person.

Register Now For the Amazon Developer Workshop

On Tuesday, April 21, we are hosting a free half-day developer day with Amazon’s technical evangelists Paul Cutsinger and Simon Howard. After an introduction to the Amazon Appstore, Fire TV and Fire Phone and tablets, Paul and Simon will talk to you about

  • Responsive Game Design: Bringing Desktop and Mobile Games to the Living Room
  • What the Top 50 Apps and Games Do with In-App Purchasing That the Rest of Us Don’t
  • How We Made a Game No Fun

Be sure to submit your app or game or test your APK today! Paul and Simon will be on hand during the day and throughout the week to answer your questions and get your apps live and in front of millions of customers! Register on the workshop’s Eventbrite page to secure your place!

More from Paul, More from Developers, at Quo Vadis

From April 21-23 the Amazon team will at Quo Vadis, in front of the auditorium at the Kino International. Germany’s biggest gaming conference gathered more than 2,500 visitors last year and is sure to be a success in 2015 with their fantastic speaker line-up.

  • Watch Paul Cutsinger’s talk, “How to evolve players into fans”, on April 22 and learn about best practices that make the top mobile games stand out from the crowd.
  • Make sure not to miss the indie developer showcase – find them in the dedicated Amazon developer showcase lounge.
  • Get your game on while you’re in our lounge and experience Fire TV, as well as our other devices.

Can’t make it to Games Week? Check out where the team will be next. More information on our events page.

 

April 10, 2015

Corey Badcock

In 2012, the Application Developers Alliance set out to be a resource and an advocate for developers. Today, they've amassed a global network of more than 50,000 developers and more than 200 companies that care about them. Their mission is to help developers of all kinds, everywhere. That's why they've launched their Global Developer Insights survey.

In partnership with International Data Corporation (IDC), this survey will gather information from developers all over the world. Anybody who develops software (even just some of the time) can participate. With your help, the Application Developers Alliance will build a better understanding of the opportunities and pain points for the developer community. 

With this survey, the Application Developers Alliance want to learn more about the day-to-day responsibilities of developers, how a developer fits within their organization, the tools and services that power their work, and more about what it's like to be a developer. With this information, they'll be able to better inform new companies, technology partners, service providers, and you-the global developer community-about how to improve the app ecosystem. Most importantly, we at the Application Developers Alliance will be better able to serve you!

The results will be compiled into a comprehensive Developer Insights report and distributed to members in May 2015.

 

April 07, 2015

David Isbitski

Amazon is hosting a Developer Day on April 25th at the Cross Campus in Santa Monica, California. Amazon Developer Evangelists will share industry best practices and help mobile developers learn how to grow their app business via the Amazon Appstore. Amazon technology leaders will be on-hand to answer developer questions and lead talks on topics such as building apps and games for Android devices, BlackBerry,  Fire tablets, Fire phone, Amazon Fire TV, and how to build voice controlled experiences for Amazon Echo. Attendees will also learn best practices around how to make fun games and to market your game to influencers and build a fan base.

The format of the workshop will be split between morning lectures and afternoon “App Hours.” The App Hours will allow developers to get 1:1 support to publish and tests their own apps and games to the Amazon Appstore, guidance around building apps and games with Android, Unity and Xamarin, and hands on experience with the Amazon Mobile App SDK, Fire Phone SDK, Fire TV SDK and Amazon Echo SDK code samples. Developers will also be rewarded with Amazon gift cards for successful app submissions to the Amazon Appstore during the App Hours’ time period.

Already have an Android app? Bring your APK for a chance to win cool prizes! Click here to register now!

Agenda

Check-in and Breakfast
9:30am-10:00am

An Overview of the Amazon Devices and Services for Mobile Developers
10:00am-10:45am
David Isbitski, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
We will start the day off with an overview of Amazon's current developer ecosystem. Learn how you can take advantage of Amazon’s Mobile Apps SDK, Amazon's Appstore and the new line of consumer Fire devices like Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick and Fire tablets, as well as monetization services such as in-app purchasing.

Building Spoken Language Apps and Experiences for Amazon Echo
10:45am-11:45am
David Isbitski, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
Echo is a new device from Amazon designed around your voice. It's always on—just ask for information, music, news, weather, and more. Tucked under Echo's light ring is an array of seven microphones. When Echo detects the wake word, it lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where it leverages the power of Amazon Web Services to recognize and respond to your request. With the release of the developer SDK you can now build your own apps and experiences for Amazon Echo. This session will cover everything you need to know starting off with how to use the SDK, how to build your first app, and end with the app submission process.

Lunch
11:45am-12:00pm                       

How We Made a Game No Fun
12:00pm-12:45pm
Peter Heinrich, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
There are lots of suggestions about how to make a game fun.  Best practices are everywhere, but you can't just follow them blindly.  To create a fun game, you have to figure out how best practices integrate into your specific game.  Come see what we did wrong, and what we learned along the way.          

How to Evolve Players into Fans
12:45pm-1:30pm
Peter Heinrich, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
We’ve analyzed the top mobile games to see what best practices make them stand out from the crowd. Several trends emerging now will amplify those best practices, and games will have more opportunity than ever to excel. In the future, the top games will have fully realized fan bases that will drive their user acquisition and engagement engines. That fan base will include players but also content creators, advocates and potential new customers — this will open up a wider range of monetization options. Come see how top mobile games drive more engagement and revenue and learn how to you can do this with your own game.      

Break
1:30pm-1:45pm

App Hours
1:45pm-3:45pm
Get 1:1 support to publish and test apps and games to the Amazon Appstore. Learn how to build apps and games with Android, Unity and Xamarin. Get hands on experience with the Amazon Mobile App SDK, Fire Phone SDK, Fire TV SDK and Amazon Echo SDK code samples.

Raffle and Wrap-Up
3:45pm-4pm


Seating is limited so be sure to register for the event to reserve your spot. Hope to see you there!

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

April 06, 2015

Russell Beattie

The New Web App Starter Kit Features - Subcategories, YouTube Support, Live Streaming, in App Purchases and More - Make It Even Easier to Create Engaging Fire TV Media Apps

Launched last December, the Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV is an open source project intended to help developers get up to speed quickly creating simple media-oriented apps for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The Starter Kit provides a basic media app template that is designed for the 10-foot user experience and includes UI controls, support for the Fire TV remote, sample UI components, support for various data formats and more. Since its release, the Starter Kit has been used to create dozens of apps already live in the Amazon Appstore for Fire TV, including Wall Street Journal Live, University of California TV, University of Washington TV, Gear Live TV, and Motorz TV.

You can find the Starter Kit on the GitHub project page.

The latest release, version 1.2, just launched and we want to give you an update on some of the new additions that benefit both developers and end users alike. These include technical improvements such as a streamlined build process and code enhancements to help reduce app development time, as well as a host of new client features. The Starter Kit now has support for YouTube videos, podcast feeds, a cleaner user interface, continuous video playback, search, live streaming videos and more. The end result is a richer code base that improves the developer experience and helps jump start the creation of great looking, functional, full-featured media apps.

Here are some more details about some of the cool new features we've added.

Easily Create & Manage Multiple Apps

In addition to general bug fixes, code optimization and documentation cleanup, we've also completely reorganized and streamlined the original build process to make it much easier to create and manage multiple apps. This gives developers more flexibility, and gives us the ability to include a variety of sample media apps that show off all the features and functionality available in the Starter Kit. Apps are now self-contained in a src/projects folder, which hold unique files for that app, while pulling files from the src/common folder during the build process. The result is a much more organized project structure, allowing developers to create more than one media app within the same source tree, enabling both code reuse and the capability of easily individualizing each app as needed.

We've also made it much easier for developers to customize the functionality and look of their apps without having to dig into the project code as much. The build process allows for customizing the included CSS and assets, and the project's init.js configuration file allows developer to enable/disable various options such as button display, player types, data models, logo and more. For more specifics on all the various options available for developers, check out the documentation hosted on the GitHub project page.

Quickly Create Fire TV Apps Based on YouTube Content

One of the most important new features that we've added to the Starter Kit is the ability to use YouTube as the source for an app's media content. We've integrated the official YouTube API and the YouTube HTML5 video player into the Starter Kit template so that developers can easily create YouTube-based Fire TV web apps. By simply adding in their YouTube API Developer Key, choosing a channel, and adjusting the project's initialization options, a developer can create a full-featured media app in very little time. The project gives developers the flexibility to choose to automatically add categories based on a channel's current section setup, or create a customized category menu with selected playlists, channels and even search terms. Below are screenshots of an example app created from the official Amazon Web Services YouTube channel, with the logo and categories automatically imported using the YouTube API.

When the user has selected a category (such as "Featured"), the screen displays a horizontal list of videos to browse and play. It's incredibly easy for content owners and developers to use the Starter Kit to quickly create custom media apps for their YouTube content.

Built-in Search Helps End Users Discover Content

The Starter Kit now gives developers the option to enable integrated search functionality, with no extra dev effort needed. For media apps that use a static data feeds such as JSON or MRSS, the search will be done on the client, returning results derived from the feed's media meta-data such as title and description. For apps using the YouTube template, the search will use the YouTube API to dynamically return results from the YouTube server. Below is a screenshot of a search for "Fire" in the above AWS YouTube channel app, with the results shown displayed in the same format as a category list.

Differentiate Your App With Custom Themes

Developers can easily customize their web apps using CSS to give a unique look and feel. We've provided several sample themes in the Starter Kit that show how easy it is to include a custom theme.css file to a project. Below is a screenshot of the AWS media app using a sample theme with a dark background, colored content titles and a custom category menu list that hovers over the list of videos rather than hiding them under a solid bar.

Build Apps From Thousands of Video Podcasts with Built-In Media RSS Support

The Starter Kit has also added support for using Media RSS as a data source. This common XML data format used by thousands of websites was created for podcasting, and adopted by a variety of content providers as a standard media feed format. Developers can now easily create media apps from these feeds in minutes. Below is a screenshot of a sample media app created using the public video podcast feed for a popular tech blog This Week In Tech.

Make App Content More Discoverable With Subcategories

The first version of the Starter Kit only supported one row of media within a given category. This worked well for many apps, but most need one or more levels of content below that. We've now added the ability for apps to have multiple levels of subcategories contained within the media list. This allows apps based on the Starter Kit to support navigation hierarchies such as Show/Season/Episode, Genre/Subgenre/Movie or simply create playlists within categories to present more organized content to viewers. Below is a screenshot of an example app using the official Kindle YouTube channel. Each playlist within the "All Playlists" category is represented by a thumbnail image and a description, presented in the familiar horizontal format. When the user selects a playlist, they get a list of videos within that subcategory which they can select and play, or by hitting the back button, go back up to the playlist selection screen again.

Enhanced Media Playback Controls

In addition to the navigation enhancements above, the Starter Kit now has added nicer playback controls for when the end user is viewing a video. We've improved the skip functionality and interface, providing the developer with better control over the length of the skip, and the end user with a clearer indicator of how far they have skipped back or forward. We also added the option for videos to play one after another within a category. As a video is nearing its end, a dialog will appear with the title, description and thumbnail of the next video to be played, and a countdown timer shows how long before it automatically starts. The user can activate the next video immediately by hitting the select button on their remote, or wait for the countdown and not have to touch their remote at all. The screenshots below show these new user interface options in action with a video from AWS.

Stream Your Content With Live Streaming Support

The Starter Kit includes a new custom HTML5 player that supports live internet video streams. The screenshots below show an example app created using NASA's popular live stream. The stream is displayed in a category list like a normal video, but is marked as live video. During playback, the stream is marked as being live, and controls that wouldn't work in a live stream (such as skip forward) are removed, making the user interface simpler and cleaner for end users.

An Easy Template for Implementing In-App Purchasing

Included in the Starter Kit is a new sample media app that shows how the Amazon In-App Purchasing system works for Fire TV web apps. Because of the potential complexity of subscriptions or media purchases, we decided to start with a more basic sample app that shows how IAP works by enabling users to purchase "upgrades" - in this case, custom app backgrounds. Below are screenshots of the IAP sample app in action. When a user clicks on the (large and obvious) Upgrades button, they are presented with the option to buy additional backgrounds for 99 cents each. If they select a background, they'll go through the standard Fire TV purchase process and the background will be unlocked for them to use. Though somewhat limited, the sample shows all the basic steps a developer will have to go through - adding graphics, descriptions, prices, etc. - to enable IAP content in their media app.

We hope you like the new features added so far and look forward to continuing to expand the Starter Kit functionality over the months to come. We'd love to hear your thoughts, so if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please use the GitHub project page to send them to us.

Ready to Build a Web App for Fire TV?

 

 

March 31, 2015

Emily Roberts

Today, Amazon introduced the Dash Button and Dash Replenishment Service–new services designed to eliminate those moments you realize you forgot to order a frequently-used household item–things like laundry detergent, dog food, diapers, trash bags, and coffee. The Dash Button brings Amazon’s 1-Click ordering right into the home–when you’re running low, just press the button and an order is automatically placed. We’re working with popular brands like Bounty, Gatorade, Huggies, Clorox, Tide, and others to make the Dash Button available for popular products.

We’re also making the service that powers the Dash Button, the Dash Replenishment Service (DRS), available for device manufacturers to build into their products. We are inviting developers, makers, and manufacturers to request information about a limited participation beta for DRS. DRS enables connected devices to order physical goods from Amazon when supplies are running low—like a coffee maker that orders more coffee beans. By using DRS, device makers are able to leverage Amazon's authentication and payment systems, customer service, and fulfillment network—giving their customers access to Amazon's low prices, great selection, and reliable delivery.

How Dash Replenishment Service Works

Dash Replenishment Service can be integrated with devices in two ways. Device makers can either build a physical button into their hardware to reorder consumables or they can measure consumable usage so that reordering happens automatically. For example, an automatic pet food dispenser made with built-in sensors can measure the amount of pet food remaining in its container and place an order before running out. Device makers can start using DRS with as few as 10 lines of code.

The limited participation beta will be publicly available this fall. There are two ways to get started: apply to participate in the beta, or sign up to be notified when our self-service APIs are ready. Click here to choose an option.

-Emily

March 31, 2015

Corey Badcock

The Amazon Mobile Ad Network increases monetization opportunities with the addition of the modeless interstitial ad format and the ability to serve ads to users in Japan.

High-Quality Modeless Interstitial Ads Improves User Experience

Amazon modeless interstitial ads are full screen ads. Unlike currently served interstitial ads, which appear during app transitions (in between game levels) and require users to close the ad, modeless interstitial ads appear as app content between content screens to maintain the app’s native experience for the user and do not require users to close the ad. You can customize modeless interstitial ads with content matching frames or transparent backgrounds. The seamless delivery of modeless interstitial ads can increase your user engagement and number of ads served.

Maximize Earning Potential Of Your Apps

You can earn more money from your apps and games now that the Amazon Mobile Ad Network is available to serve ads to your end users in Japan. The Amazon Mobile Ad Network lets you place high-quality display ads in your app, helping you gain access to relevant ads from brand advertisers, including Amazon and its subsidiaries. Monetize across supported countries (US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, and now Japan), devices (iOS, Android, and Fire OS tablets and phones), and app stores (Amazon Appstore, Apple App Store, and Google Play). The Amazon Mobile Ad Network gives you the opportunity to earn more and pays you on ad impressions served.

The Amazon Mobile Ad Network Is Trusted By Thousands of Developers

A developer currently using the Amazon Mobile Ad Network shares his experience*:

“The Amazon Mobile Ad Network is by far our best performing ad network, and helped increase our earnings by 40%. With Amazon, we are getting excellent eCPM banners and high quality ads, providing a great experience for our users.

- Pedro Da Ros, Founder & CEO of RottzGames

To Enable Support for Modeless Interstitial Ads and Japan

To take advantage of our expansion to Japan and our new modeless interstitial ad format, integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API into your mobile app or game. Integrating the Amazon Mobile Ads API is easy:

New to the Amazon Mobile Ads API: Download the Amazon Mobile App SDK and integrate the latest version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API. Refer to the Android and iOS quick start guides for implementation details.

Already using the Amazon Mobile Ads API:

  • Enabling Modeless Interstitial Ads: To enable modeless interstitial ads, recompile with the latest version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API. Modeless interstitial ads require a separate ad call. Refer to the Android and iOS quick start guides for implementation details.
  • Serving Ads to Users in Japan: If your app or game already uses Android v5.1.236 (or later) or iOS v2.0.3 (or later) of the Amazon Mobile Ads API, you are all set for serving ads to users in Japan. If you are currently using an older version of the Amazon Mobile Ads API, simply recompile with the latest version. Ad requests you send will automatically be filled for the US, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, or Japan as appropriate.

Learn more about the Amazon Mobile Ads API on our Developer Portal here as well as through our blog post on tracking ad events inside your apps.

March 25, 2015

David Isbitski

Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It's always on—just ask for information, music, news, weather, and more. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can pick Alexa or Amazon as your wake word. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound. Tucked under Echo's light ring is an array of seven microphones.

These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction. With enhanced noise cancellation, Echo can hear you ask a question even while it's playing music. Echo uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When Echo detects the wake word, it lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where we leverage the power of Amazon Web Services to recognize and respond to your request. Echo's brain is in the cloud, running on Amazon Web Services so it continually learns and adds more functionality over time. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.

The Amazon Echo team is working on a public SDK to enable developers, content creators, and service providers to build apps and experiences for Amazon Echo. Starting now, we are accepting signups for a limited-participation beta ahead of the SDK's public release.  If you would like to participate you can sign up here.  Stay tuned to this blog for details on the public SDK release.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

March 24, 2015

Emily Roberts

Today, Amazon announced that we are bringing our fastest-selling Amazon device – Fire TV Stick – to the UK, Germany, and Austria. The Fire TV Stick joins Amazon Fire TV, the #1-selling streaming media box on Amazon in the UK and Germany. Fire TV Stick is also now available in Austria. Fire TV Stick is the most powerful streaming stick available, with a dual-core processor and 1 GB of memory. The device has 4x the storage and 2x the memory of Chromecast plus it’s designed for gaming.

Fire TV Stick is available for pre-order starting today in the UK and Germany—it will start shipping April 15th. Learn more at www.amazon.co.uk/firetvstick and www.amazon.de/firetvstick.

Fire TV Stick delivers easy access to a vast selection of content, including the most popular streaming and catch-up services such as Prime Instant Video, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, BBC News, BBC Sport, ARD Mediathek, ZDF Mediathek, Sky News, Curzon Home Cinema, STV Crossy Road, Hill Climb Racing and Flappy Birds Family and more. The number of video services and games available on Amazon Fire TV in Europe has doubled in just seven months, with more services and games being added every week.

For developers, Amazon Fire TV can help you increase your customer base by putting your Android or HTML5 app or game in the living room, in front of people who enjoy entertainment and may not have seen your apps before. Additionally, developers can use the same development environments that they already use for Android development. Plus, they can write their apps or games in Android Java, or as a web app using the Web App Starter Kit or using one of a number of supported development frameworks (for example: Unity). With this expansion to customers in the UK and Germany, you’ll be able to reach even more customers on Fire TV Stick. 

Here’s what reviewers in the U.S. are saying about Fire TV Stick:

“The streaming TV gadget is faster, with more memory and storage than the competition. It also comes with a remote control, and the app even lets you speak to search for shows.” – CNN Money

“Turn any TV into a smart TV by plugging this tiny device in to your TV's HDMI port to quickly and easily stream content. Consider it the final nail in the coffins of DVDs, CDs, and other plastic bric-a-brac clogging up your entertainment center.” – Entertainment Weekly

“…the interface, speed of the device and its integration with stuff like Amazon Music and Amazon's photo stuff makes it a really compelling offering. In my limited time with the Amazon Streaming Stick, I've found it to be faster than both the Chromecast and the Roku Streaming Stick.” – Mashable 

New Features for Fire TV

After announcements earlier today that Amazon is bringing Fire TV Stick to the UK, Germany and Austria, Amazon has now announced new features for the best-selling Amazon Fire TV —including expandable USB storage, private listening and support for captive portal web authentication to enable use in hotels. These features will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air software update in the coming weeks. Learn more here.

Recent Fire TV News

Getting Started

Build something new or bring your existing app or game to Fire TV from PC, console, web or mobile. To get started, you can build with Android or use HTML5. 

  • Android: Android developers can use existing tools and frameworks including Unity to develop apps and games for the 10-foot experience. Sample code, documentation and guidelines are available to help you make the most of your apps.
  • HTML5: HTML5 developers can leverage the Amazon WebView to develop apps and games. Developers have the option to build HTML5 web appsCordova apps using the Fire OS port, or hybrid apps
  • Web App Starter Kit: Get up to speed quickly with the Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV. You can find this project on its Github project page.  

Meet Us in Person

The Fire TV team will be attending and speaking at a number of upcoming events worldwide. Please visit our events page to learn more.

  • NABShow, Las Vegas, April 13-16: Stop by and visit Amazon Fire TV in the Amazon Web Services booth at NAB (#SL9016 - South Lower Hall).
  • International Games Week Berlin, April 21-26: Experience Fire TV at our gaming area within Quo Vadis. Join evangelist Paul Cutsinger for his talk, "Why is that game more fun than yours? The top 50 deconstructed."
  • TV Connect, London, April 29: Technical evangelist Simon Howard will lead a how-to session on building great apps for Fire TV on at 12:10 on April 29th.
  • Streaming Media East, New York, May 12: Join us at Streaming Media East for a session on building media apps for Fire TV with Russell Beattie, Lab126 Technical Evangelist and Justin Webster, Executive Director of Product Development & Operations for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. The session is titled “How To: Bringing Media Channels to Amazon Fire TV” and will take place on May 12th from 10:30-11:30 am EST.

 

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