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March 23, 2015

Peter Heinrich

Sometimes the hardest part of making a game is actually getting it into the hands of paying players. Are you an indie developer who loves to create but feels less confident when it comes to marketing, merchandising, and monetization?

Join me on Tuesday, March 24 for Going to Market, a networking session and panel discussion exploring next steps and best practices for publishing your finished game (and making money with it). I’ll be moderating the conversation with four industry experts, game development veterans sharing experience they’ve gained at companies like Shiny Entertainment, Nintendo, CCP Games, Kabam, Xbox, and many others.

Produced by the REACTOR Initiative, an accelerator created by the Washington Interactive Network (WIN), the panel is part of its Game Startup Workshop. Amazon is proud to sponsor the event, which will take place at its South Lake Union campus in Seattle. Preregistration is recommended.

WIN's REACTOR Initiative Game Startup Workshop - Going to Market

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Amazon – Dawson Building
345 Boren Ave N.

Seattle, WA 98109

6:30 – 7:00 pm – Networking
7:00 – 9:00 pm – Panel Discussion

Register Now

Speakers

David Reid – CMO, Motiga

Dan Adelman – Former Head of Digital Content and Development, Nintendo of America

Kevin Flynn – Co-founder, Mobile Game Partners

Steve Fowler – Head of Global Marketing, ArenaNet

If you are in the Seattle area next Tuesday, I hope to see you at the event!

 

-peter (@peterdotgames)

 

March 20, 2015

Judith Hoffmann

Having an Amazon Fire TV and the LAOLA1.tv app will come in very handy this weekend! One of the most-watched football games in the world, El Clasico, is taking place this Sunday, March 22nd. Spanish rivals Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will face each other, along with hundreds of millions of supporting fans worldwide. Previously available online and via mobile devices through video on demand only, LAOLA1.tv decided to tap into a new segment by distributing unique content live on the big screen. LAOLA1.tv and Amazon are offering customers in Germany exclusive television coverage of El Clásico with the LAOLA1.tv app on Amazon Fire TV.  Plus, the game will be free to watch on mobile devices for Amazon Appstore customers in Germany and Austria.

“We know we can reach millions of customers through ConnectedTV, especially via Fire TV, and monetize well on Amazon Appstore, therefore we decided to double down our investment and commitment in the Amazon ecosystem. Together with the Amazon Appstore team, we were able to build the perfect story, not only for the start of LAOLA1.tv live streaming on set top boxes and ConnectedTV, but also for the growth of the Amazon Appstore and Fire TV in Germany and Austria" says Felix Blank of LAOLA1.tv.

Follow LAOLA1.tv’s example. Find out more about how to build your app for Fire TV and reach millions of customers in the living-room.

Judith

 

March 19, 2015

Corey Badcock

The Amazon Appstore launched on March 19, 2011 with 4,084 apps and games available for download on Android devices. We’ve come a long way in four years! We now have over 400,000 apps and games available globally, and the Amazon Appstore has never been available on a broader range of devices and platforms.  

The Amazon Appstore is integrated into Fire tablets, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire phone devices, and pre-loaded on millions of Android devices globally including HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung phones as well as Samsung and LG tablets. The Amazon Appstore is also preloaded on BlackBerry 10 devices throughout the world, giving you access to even more customers. And the latest Amazon shopping app fully integrates apps and games into the shopping experience enjoyed by millions of customers. So when customers are searching for products in the Amazon shopping app, they’ll also discover relevant apps and games that they may also enjoy.

It’s no wonder 65% of the developers surveyed by IDC say that the Total Revenue achieved on the Fire tablet is similar to, or even better than, what they experience with other major platforms. Back in August, we announced that the Amazon Appstore is now available in 236 countries and territories, so publishing your Android app on Amazon means you reach customers from around the world.

Customers Are Getting the Gifts

Starting today and ending March 21st, Amazon Appstore is offering an app bundle, with up to $105 in top paid apps – completely free! Customers will find critically acclaimed thriller Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 – currently one of the Top Paid Apps globally. Access the full list of apps and download the Amazon Appstore at amazon.com/androidapp.

As a reminder, Amazon Appstore is offering the chance to win a $25,000 shopping spree on Amazon.com. Customers simply need to download any free or paid app from the Amazon App on their Android phone and fill out an entry form between now and April 15, 2015. They will then be eligible for a chance to win the prize of $25,000 in Amazon.com Gift Cards. Find out more and enter for a chance to win at amazon.com/appstoresweeps.*

Ready to Submit Your App or Game?

  • Click here to register for free as an Amazon Developer
  • Click here to download the Amazon Mobile SDK. 
  • Click here to submit your app

 

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Must be a legal resident of the 50 United States or D.C., 18 or older. Sweepstakes ends April 15, 2015. Limit one entry per person and e-mail address. See Official Rules for details and alternate method of entry.

 

February 27, 2015

Peter Heinrich

Amazon has improved the process for updating your app’s binary APK files, making it easier than ever. Updating one binary used to mean updating all of your app’s binary APK files. Now your binaries can be updated independently. Have an update that only applies to certain devices? Now you can just update the binaries that target those devices, and leave the others alone. Adding support for a new device? You can simply add the new binary, without modifying the existing files.

What’s New with Binary Management?

Key changes to the binary submission workflow that you need to be aware of:

  1. You provide new binaries only for devices that need updates, or for new device support.
  2. App updates will only be sent to customer devices targeted by new or updated binaries. 
  3. Binaries for an app no longer need to have the same value for the android:versionName manifest attribute.
  4. You can now delete an upcoming app version.  You may want to do this if you started an upcoming version in the past, and are being prompted for new files for existing binaries.

Updating Individual Binaries

When you begin to create a new version of your app, the existing binaries are carried over from the old version. From there, you can add new binaries or delete old binaries and replace them with updated versions. To delete the old version of a binary, click the X icon next to the APK file name.

After deleting the old version of a binary, simply drag the updated APK onto the Upload Binary box.

Refer to Updating Binary APKs for a Published App, for more detailed instructions.

NOTE: In some cases, you may want to provide a new binary that supports some, but not all, previously targeted devices.  In these cases, you should first edit the existing binary’s metadata, deselecting those devices supported by the new binary.  Next, add the new binary, selecting the devices you removed from the old binary, as well as any new devices supported.

Deleting an App Update In-Progress

If you start to create a new version of your app, but decide not to publish the update, you can now delete the unpublished version. Use the Delete Upcoming Version button, at the bottom of the page, to roll back to the currently published version of the app.

 

February 25, 2015

Peter Heinrich

Do you have an idea for a great mobile game? Have you been following Jesse Freeman's blog series on creating games for the Amazon Appstore? Are you looking for inspiration to finally dive in and get started?

Thanks to the folks over at Scirra, now is the perfect time to fire up Construct 2 and turn your amazing idea into a working game—without programming. Scirra just launched their Build a Game Challenge, which rewards game developers for submitting their Construct 2 apps to the Amazon Appstore. From now until April 1, 2015, you can earn up to $100 toward the purchase of royalty free assets available from Scirra, like graphics, animations, sound effects, and music.

Fast, Fun, Powerful

Construct 2 is a drag-and-drop game creation tool that makes it easy to build 2D games based on HTML5. No coding is required, so even beginners can get started quickly. Experienced developers will find it flexible enough to support demanding requirements like complex behavior processing, graphical effects, and specialized event handling.

Worldwide Reach with Amazon

Once you have created your HTML5 game with Construct 2, you can publish it to Amazon's Appstore and make it available to millions of players around the world. Your game will be accessible in 236 countries and territories, and will appear in our store right alongside the native Android apps there. (Learn more about publishing web apps on Amazon.)

Turn That Game Idea into Reality

Don't put it off any longer! Take Scirra's Build a Game Challenge and bring your game idea to life. You will have fun doing it and even earn rewards along the way.

Not sure how to get started? Stay tuned for our upcoming blog series on building a game with Construct2.

Ready to Submit Your App or Game?

  • To learn more about the Amazon Appstore, click here
  • Click here to register for free as an Amazon Developer. 
  • Click here to download the Amazon Mobile SDK. 
  • Click here to submit your app

-peter (@peterdotgames)

 

February 24, 2015

Simon Howard

The Amazon Appstore team will be in Barcelona, Spain from March 2nd to March 5th for Mobile World Congress. If you are in Barcelona for MWC, there are a number of ways that you can meet with the team and learn more about growing your business with the Amazon Appstore, Amazon devices, and the services we offer to developers.

Here’s where you can find us in Barcelona:

Mobile Premier Awards

Monday 2nd March – Sala Apolo, Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 4pm to 10pm

On the 9th edition of the Mobile Premier Awards, you'll see the latest global app innovations, from the 16 finalists representing 10 countries. Paul Cutsinger will be part of the judgeing panel, and our team will be there during the networking hour after the show to meet with you on this galactic evening! Get a free pass using code AMAZON at http://bit.ly/RegisterMPA

Applications Developer Alliance Mobile Apps Party

Tuesday 3rd March – W Hotel, Barcelona, 8pm to 12am

Join us at Barcelona’s beautiful W hotel for an evening of networking and fun. Amazon Appstore is one of the main hosts for this event and we’ll be hanging out and talking to developers about the Amazon Appstore, our developer SDKs and the services that we offer. We’ll have a number of Fire devices on display and several Fire TVs setup, so come along and play games such as Crossy Road, Ski Safari or Table Top Racing from our developers.  You’ll also have an opportunity to meet our business leadership team to chat about how you can grow your business and monetize on Amazon.  Or, connect with our Developer Evangelists (Simon Howard and Paul Cutsinger) to learn more at a technical level about how you publish your app to the Amazon Appstore. You can register for free by entering the code AmazonAppstore here.

Mobile Gaming Panel

Wednesday 4th March - Hall 4, Auditorium 2, Fira Gran Vira, 3:15pm

Join Amazon Appstore Director of Product Management, Aaron Rubenson, for a panel on Mobile Gaming.  Join some of the leading developers in the industry as they discuss how gaming will evolve on mobile in the coming years, why freemium is proving such an attractive model and the impact it has on developing compelling gaming experiences and which alternative models might prove fruitful in the coming years.  

Gamelab Mobile

Thursday 5th March - Hall 8.0, Theater D, Fira Gran Vira, 9am to 5pm

Gamelab Mobile is an exclusive conference that explores the Edge of Innovation in mobile gaming.  Discover how the latest advances in mobile and Internet technology are helping game developers to envision and create new playgrounds and forms of interactive entertainment.  During Paul Cutsinger’s keynote at 11:30 AM, learn how to generate new business opportunities by turning your game players into fans (more details below).  Drop by our Meet the Experts table, where Amazon representatives and guest speakers can provide feedback on your mobile and gaming projects.  If you happen to have your APK with you, we’ll have devices on hand for testing. 

Gamelab Mobile Keynote: How to Turn your Players into Fans

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.

In this talk at 11:30 AM in Hall 8.0 Theatre D, Paul Custinger (@PaulCutsinger) will reveal these trends and what the cutting edge games are doing today. He’ll also share specific ways game developers can use this information to evolve players into a fan base for a stronger launch, more engagement, more revenue and an extended game lifespan. This will give you concrete ideas to incorporate into your existing games and those that you create in the future.

So…

If you are in Barcelona for MWC, we would love to meet you to hear more about your app or game, so do come see us at one of the events that we are attending.

Simon Howard (@SimonH109)

 

February 19, 2015

Emily Roberts

Today, Blackberry announced their 10.3.1 OS update. As part of this update, Amazon Appstore will now be available on Android Runtime Blackberry devices that update to 10.3.1. The Amazon Appstore has never been available on a broader range of devices and platforms. Developers can reach millions of Android customers via the Amazon shopping app and on Blackberry and Fire devices. 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 Gemini and Acer tablets.

Publishing your app on BlackBerry devices via the Amazon Appstore is easy. If you’re an existing Amazon Appstore developer, you've previously chosen to distribute your app or game on "Non-Amazon Devices" and your app is compatible with BlackBerry devices, you don’t have to do anything - your app is already available on BlackBerry devices.

If you’re an existing BlackBerry developer but new to the Amazon Appstore, click here to register for a free developer account. Learn how to migrate your Blackberry App to the Amazon Appstore on our blog.

 

February 19, 2015

David Isbitski

Amazon will be out at GDC San Francisco next month offering several opportunities to connect directly with you. Starting on Monday, March 2nd from 5:05pm to 5:30pm you can hear @MikeFHines talk about What Makes the Top 50 IAP Games Unique on the Amazon Appstore and lessons you can apply when generating revenue in your own games.

Then on Tuesday, March 3rd from 10am to 5:30pm we will be hosting an Amazon Developer Day covering games for Amazon Fire devices, how to build better cloud gaming experiences, reaching fans with Twitch, and applying in-app monetization best practices based on Amazon's IAP data. Technical evangelists from Amazon Appstore and AWS will be on hand to answer your questions as well as the Games Business Development team to discuss game promotion opportunities. We’ll also have devices for you to explore and test your games on, as well as a chance to win some Amazon Fire devices! Here is what the day’s agenda will look like. Click here to add a session to your GDC Scheduler.


An Overview of the Amazon Devices and Services for Game Developers
10am-10:45am

David Isbitski, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
Alf Tan, Head of Games Business Development, Amazon
Vlad Suglobov, CEO, G5 Entertainment

We will start the day off with an overview of Amazon's current developer ecosystem.  Learn how you can take advantage of AWS services specifically targeted for Game Developers, 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.  Plus, hear how G5 entertainment has had success on the Amazon platform from G5 CEO Vlad Suglobov.          

Top Tips for Porting Unity Games to Fire Devices
10:45am-11:30am

Jesse Freeman, Developer Evangelist, Amazon  
In this talk, we'll cover important tips for porting Unity games over to Fire TV, Fire tablets and Fire phone. Through code examples, we'll demo how to support multiple resolutions for pixel perfect Orthographic and Perspective Cameras, abstracting player input to support keyboard, controller and touch, and optimization tips for C# for the best performance. We'll also show how to deploy to our devices and get your game up and running on Fire OS. You'll walk away knowing what it takes to publish to the Amazon Appstore and help expand your game's user base.

How to Evolve Players into Fans
11:30am-12:00pm

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.

Catered Lunch
12:00-12:30pm

Build and Deploy Your Mobile Game with AWS
12:30pm-1:30pm
Dhruv Thukral, Gaming Solutions Architect, Amazon
Tara Walker, Technical Evangelist, Amazon
Developing a successful mobile game today is about more than just the game:  Users expect backend services like user authentication, downloadable content, and social features. Using our AWS Mobile SDK for iOS and Android, it’s easier than ever to build a game with these services.  This session will provide a step-by-step approach to add features to your game such as user identity management, dynamic content updates, cross-platform data sync, and more.  We’ll demonstrate how to use the AWS Mobile SDK to securely interact with services such as Cognito, DynamoDB, S3, and EC2.  Finally, we’ll provide a few common architecture patterns and scalability tips for AWS game backends.

How We Made a Game No Fun
1:30pm-2:15pm

Mike Hines, 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.       

Connecting with Your Customers - Building Successful Mobile Games through the Power of AWS Analytics
2:30pm-3:30pm

Nate Wiger, Principal Gaming Solutions Architect, Amazon
Free to play is now the standard for mobile and social games.  But succeeding in free-to-play is not easy:  You need in-depth data analytics to gain insight into your players so you can monetize your game.  Learn how to leverage new features of AWS services such as Elastic MapReduce, Amazon S3, Kinesis, and Redshift to build an end-to-end analytics pipeline.  Plus, we’ll show you how to easily integrate analytics with other AWS services in your game.

Deploying a Low-Latency Multiplayer Game Globally: Loadout
3:30pm-4:15pm

Nate Wiger, Principal Gaming Solutions Architect, Amazon
This is a deep-dive straight into the guts of running a low-latency multiplayer game, such as a first-person shooter, on a global scale. We dive into architectures that enable you to split apart your back-end APIs from your game servers, and Auto Scale them independently.  See how to run game servers in multiple AWS regions such as China and Frankfurt, and integrate them with your central game stack.  We’ll even demo this in action, using AWS CloudFormation and Chef to deploy Unreal Engine game servers.

How Game Developers Reach New Customers with Twitch
4:15pm-5:15pm
Marcus Graham, Director of Community & Education at Twitch
Ernest Le, Director Publisher & Developer Partnerships at Twitch

Twitch is the largest live video platform and community for gamers with more than 100 million visitors per month. We want to connect gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play.  In this session, learn game developers are creating engaging experiences and reaching new customers via the Twitch platform.

Mobile Ads Team at GDC

The Mobile Ads Team will be at GDC and has created a special offer just for attendees!

While attending GDC anyone who integrates the Amazon Mobile Ads API for the first time into their app or game will receive a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card.* The Amazon Mobile Ads API is easy to integrate and delivers highly-relevant mobile optimized ads from Amazon and brand advertisers ensuring a great experience for users. Members of the Mobile Ads team will also be on hand in booth #2429 to help you throughout the event.

Amazon Fire TV Twitch Broadcast

Then on Wednesday, March 4th we will be broadcasting live from GDC with a couple of special guests from 4pm to 7pm. The event is open to the public from 4pm to 6pm and you do not need to be a GDC pass holder to attend. Simply stop by the AWS Pop-up Loft on Market Street between 4pm to 6pm PST and join us in person for the Twitch stream.


We will be showcasing several new Amazon Fire TV games as well as interviewing the game developers who created them. Not at GDC? No worries, you will be able to watch the stream live on Twitch here from 4pm to 7pm PST.

If you’re a gamedev at GDC this will be a great opportunity for you to speak directly with Amazon Appstore, AWS and Twitch experts all in one place. Hope to see you there!

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

*Visit exhibit #2429 for more details. Send us an email at amazon-mobile-ads@amazon.com with your Amazon Developer Portal registered email ID to qualify. Existing apps already sending ad requests do not qualify. Existing developers who integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API into another qualified app for the first time are eligible for the offer. One Amazon.com Gift Card per participant while supplies last. Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") may only be redeemed towards the purchase of eligible products on www.amazon.com GCs cannot be reloaded, resold, transferred for value, redeemed for cash or applied to any other account.  Amazon.co.uk is not responsible if a GC is lost, stolen, destroyed or used without permission.  See www.amazon.com/gc-legal for complete terms and conditions. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon may modify or cancel this offer at any time.

 

February 10, 2015

Corey Badcock

Did you miss the Twitch live stream of The 18th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards? We are excited to congratulate two games from the Amazon Appstore on their big wins! The D.I.C.E. Awards are the video game industry’s most prestigious honors recognizing outstanding contributions and achievements in gaming. Congratulations again to all of the nominees from the Amazon Appstore on this honor.

Winners from the Amazon Appstore

Monument Valley: Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction

Publisher: ustwo Studio Ltd

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction

Presented to the individual or team whose work represents the highest level of achievement in designing a unified graphic look for an interactive title.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft: Mobile Game of the Year & Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment  

Mobile Game of the Year

The Mobile Game of the Year shall be the game developed for a mobile device platform such as a mobile phone, tablet or convergence device. These games demonstrate a skilled usage of the devices software and hardware features to offer a unique and addictive play experience

Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year

Strategy games are defined to be those titles in which the user directs or manipulates resources to create a set of conditions that result in success as determined within the confines of the game. These games can offer the user the chance to simulate or to virtually reproduce an experience, real or imaginary, which would require some form of equipment. Strategy games emphasize the planning of tactics rather than the execution.

The full list of winners can be found here.

Ready to Submit Your App or Game?

  • Click here to register for free as an Amazon Developer. 
  • Click here to download the Amazon Mobile SDK. 
  • Click here to submit your app

 

February 02, 2015

David Isbitski

Today’s mobile developer must engage customers with app experiences that run across an array of devices and platforms yet remain responsive and powerful.  The AWS Mobile SDK can help bring the power of the cloud to your apps while enabling you to build high quality mobile apps quickly and easily across multiple platforms including iOS, Android and Fire OS. 

AWS recently launched an update to the AWS Mobile SDK for Unity developers. The developer preview of AWS Mobile SDK for Unity helps your games handle cloud storage along with identity and user state management directly from within the Unity developer environment. The AWS Unity SDK contains a set of .NET classes that enables games written with Unity to utilize AWS services. Supported AWS services currently include: Amazon Cognito, Amazon S3, and Amazon DynamoDB. The AWS Unity SDK also contains sample code that illustrate how to call AWS services from a Unity Game. The AWS Mobile SDK for Unity is compatible with Unity 4.0 and onward, and supports both Free and Pro versions.

My colleague, Mudeem Siddiqui, elaborates more on some of the key benefits here:

Safeguard AWS credentials: When you use Amazon Cognito, your game is provided with temporary, limited-privilege credentials that it can use to access AWS resources. This means your game can access the resources it needs and that you can follow security best practices by not hard-coding credentials.

Store and sync across devices: Amazon Cognito allows you to store user data for your games, such as user preferences and game state, in the Amazon Cognito sync store. You can then sync this data across a user’s devices to help make their experience consistent across their devices. Amazon Cognito can automatically send a silent push notification to a user’s devices when data in the sync store changes so you can synchronize the latest data right away.

Store game assets in the cloud: With Amazon S3, you can store your game’s assets such as images and videos in the cloud and download them at run time. This reduces the size of your game’s binary, thereby avoiding the AppStore Over the Air download limit.

Store game data in a NoSQL database: You can store your game data that is shared across users in Amazon DynamoDB, a NoSQL database that offers high throughput, and low-latency at any scale.  


For more information on the AWS Mobile SDK for Unity check out the following links:

If you haven't registered for an Amazon Appstore account yet, you can create a free developer account here and immediately get started testing your app on Fire devices. For more information about getting started with Amazon Fire devices and the Amazon Appstore, check out the following free resources:

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

 

 

 

December 16, 2014

Paul Cutsinger

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

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

Android Developers Can Easily Reach Fire tablet and Fire phone Users

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

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

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

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

Markers to show specific locations

Polylines to connect multiple locations

Polygons to circle an area

 

Magnifying Glass - Enabled by Amazon Maps API v2

Scratch Off Map - Enabled by Amazon Maps API v2

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

Getting Started is Easy

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

 

December 10, 2014

Jesse Freeman

Today we are announcing full support for publishing HTML5 apps to  Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick as part of our existing HTML5 web app publishing toolset. This now opens up a new opportunity for web developers to publish HTML5 powered apps to the living room. In addition, developers with web apps already published to Fire tablets and Fire phone will now be able to release their existing hosted web apps on the Fire TV family of devices using the same workflow they are already using. To help support web apps on Fire TV devices we have made additions to the Amazon WebView, which powers web apps on our platform, to give developers access to the following features:

  • Support for the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick Remotes
  • Support for analog input from the Amazon Fire TV Game Controller and other gamepads.
  • Access to our In App Purchase (IAP) API via JavaScript
  • A new starter template app optimized for 10 foot experience for creating Fire TV HTML5 media apps

By adding full support for Fire TV devices, developers can publish the same web app across all of our Fire devices and take advantage of the great performance enhancements the Amazon WebView offers.

Powered by the Amazon WebView

The Amazon WebView supports everything you have come to expect from the mobile version of Chromium. This includes WebGL, GPU optimized CSS3 Transition and fast JavaScript code executionWeb developers can now sell their web apps at a premium price, use IAP (via our JavaScript API), and have their app distributed right alongside native Android apps and games.

HTML5 Apps on the TV

In addition to our launch partners, we are excited to see what developers come up with to help push HTML5 forward onto the big screen. Through the Amazon Appstore on Fire TV devices developers can now deploy web apps and games to a whole new audience. HTML5 is a great cross platform choice for developers and we are now enabling them to reach even more customers than before. While traditional media apps make sense on the Fire TV, we are also looking forward to seeing HTML5 games and media apps evolve on this new platform. With support for WebGL, Gamepad API and accelerated canvas, high quality web games can now run on the TV. This opens up an entirely new world to HTML5 game developers hoping to build console quality games with the tools and frameworks they currently use to reach millions of web and mobile web gamers every day.

Getting Started

Bringing your web app to Fire TV is easy.  If you already have an app optimized for the 10-foot experience, you can get started by downloading the Web App Tester from the Amazon Appstore on your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick. Once installed, you simply enter in the name of your app and its URL online.

Likewise, you can also supply a .zip file to package up your app by following these instructions. After all the details are supplied, you can see how your web app will run on the Fire TV via the preview option.

If you are looking to get started building Web Apps for Fire TV or Fire TV stick, we have also provided an open source template on GitHub. Make sure to check out the online documentation that will walk you through everything you need to know about publishing HTML5 apps to the Fire TV family of devices.

Related Links

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

December 02, 2014

Mike Hines

One of the top priorities for most developers is acquiring new users. Apart from organic channels like referrals, top charts and reviews, developers can also use paid ads to drive downloads and installs. Starting today, developers will now be able to target Fire tablet customers with Facebook mobile app ads

Drive More App & Game Downloads on Fire Tablets

Facebook’s mobile app ads for installs can help you acquire new users on Fire tablets. When a customer is in the Facebook mobile app or on Facebook on mobile web on their Fire tablet, they will see an ad for your app with a call to action button like “Install Now”. When the customer taps the ad, the Amazon Appstore client will launch to the detail page of your app, and the customer will be prompted to install the app.

These placements and the exposure they provide can drive significant traffic and help you grow your installed base quickly.

Creating a Facebook Ad is Easy

Facebook ads are easy to create and come with flexible targeting options to reach Facebook’s large audience of users effectively.


If you choose to integrate Facebook’s SDK, you will be able to track how well your ads are converting from impressions and clicks to eventual installs. You can also alternatively use SDKs from one of Facebook’s Mobile Measurement Partners to measure performance of your mobile app ads.

Create an ad for your app on Fire tablets by visiting Facebook’s Mobile App Ads for Installs to learn more and get started.

 

November 24, 2014

Peter Heinrich

An important success metric for any app is engagement: a measure of how frequently and how long people play your game. Amazon GameCircle is designed to help developers increase engagement through player Achievements, Leaderboards, and saved game syncing across multiple devices. Once you integrate GameCircle, players can seamlessly play games and interact with other gamers across mobile devices.

Now GameCircle social APIs offer new ways for you to improve player engagement by making it easier for players to connect with new friends.  Using a simple API you can now pull GameCircle friends data into your game for players who use Amazon devices. Players using Amazon devices are able to create a profile for themselves, including a nickname and profile image, and can add other GameCircle players to their friends list. You can access this data and display it in your own games or use it to leverage custom social interaction features.

Make It Easy for Players to Find Friends

Players with friends play longer, but not all players have real-life friends playing your game right now.  The GameCircle Friends API helps you solve that problem by enabling you to show your customers a list of suggested friends. By integrating a ‘Find Friends on GameCircle’ button into your game, players can easily click-through to their GameCircle Friends page to discover new friends who are also playing your game and add those suggested friends in just two clicks. GameCircle Friends doesn’t require players to grant your app permission or sign-in to access friends, so players can find and add new friends quickly and get back to playing your game sooner.

Add GameCircle Friends to Your Game

Add GameCircle Friends to your game today to increase player engagement.  Getting started is easy:

 

November 11, 2014

Peter Heinrich

Developers have been using Amazon to store data in the cloud for some time, using the highly reliable and scalable Amazon Web Services like S3 to provide durable object storage and retrieval. Amazon Cloud Drive offers that same convenience to consumers, and millions use it to securely access their digital content from their desktop and mobile devices. Now you can build on that functionality and connect users to their Cloud Drive content from within your own apps. Enhance your photo editing app, for example, by allowing users to browse photos they have already stored in the cloud.

A New REST API

Today Amazon Cloud Drive announced the launch of its public API platform, which provides a RESTful interface for upload, download, manipulation, and organization of data in the cloud. You can use this API to integrate these services in your app and offer added flexibility to your users. Your app can provide direct access to their Cloud Drive storage and the content they keep there, as well as use it to preserve game settings, preferences, and other application state on their behalf.

For example, let’s say you have a note-taking app that stores its data locally. Using the new Cloud Drive API, you could allow users to enable synchronization with their personal storage in the cloud. Saving notes to their Cloud Drive would make the data accessible to your customers wherever they run your app—without requiring you to set up and manage servers, storage, or load balancers.

In addition to the convenience of this direct connection to their Cloud Drive from your app, customers also benefit from the reliability and safety of the underlying AWS platform on which Cloud Drive is constructed.

Less to Build, Faster to Market

When you connect your users to their own Cloud Drive storage, you can preserve and protect their app data without having to build an online data management system of your own. Cloud Drive is built to be robust and to scale transparently, so you never have to worry about availability or performance. The Cloud Drive API doesn’t impose any restrictions on file type, so your app can work with all kinds of content.

Many app developers have already integrated support for Cloud Drive into their mobile products. You can see some of these on the newly launched Cloud Drive App Gallery page. They include photo print services, content creation and editing apps, and content aggregation apps.

You can also hear first-hand what it’s like to integrate with Cloud Drive. Listen to Jason Toy, CEO of Filepicker, discuss the process and how it added value for their customers.

Integration Is Easy

Check out the Cloud Drive API Documentation for details on how to add Cloud Drive to your mobile apps. There is also a third-party SDK provided by Temboo to get you up and running fast.

-peter (@peterdotgames

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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