Starting today, customers in the US, UK, Germany, and Japan will begin receiving the new Fire HD 10 with Alexa Hands-Free, available for order on Amazon.com, starting at $149.99.[Read More]
Today Amazon announced the latest generation of our largest tablet, the all-new Fire HD 10. It’s a device that really lets your app or game shine, sporting faster performance, more storage, longer battery life, and a brilliant 10.1” display.
We’ve all read the declarations that tablets are dead. In reality, tablets—and smartphones for that matter—are just enjoying longer lifespans. Though shipments of tablets are down globally, the market remains considerably large.[Read More]
Mobile and living room devices today present a varied landscape for developers to consider. One aspect that is particularly meaningful for your customers is where your app installs itself. Some devices, like the current Fire tablets and Fire TV have external storage through memory card slots. Other devices, like Fire TV Stick or older Fire tablets have only their internal flash storage. Running out of storage when trying to install a new app can be very frustrating for people who want to use your app. This frustration is compounded for customers who have added a memory card with lots of empty space and still get an error message that the device is out of space when trying to install. That frustration can quickly find its way into negative reviews for your app.
Luckily, for most apps, Android provides a simple solution. By specifying the
installLocation in the app manifest, you can provide your user community with the best experience possible for whatever device they own. This doesn't mean they'lll never run out of space, but it helps best manage the space they have.
xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" android:installLocation="auto" android:theme="@android:style/Theme.NoTitleBar" package="com.examplecompany.myapp" platformBuildVersionCode="23" platformBuildVersionName="6.0-2704002"> android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/> ¦ ¦
installLocation can be specified as any of the following:
The Amazon Appstore has always persevered to make apps more discoverable and to get you more downloads. To align with this goal we’ve introduced a change that will help customers see the most relevant reviews; reviews that reflect your hard work in app updates and improvements.
Today, we are happy to announce our newly enhanced Ratings and Reviews system. Going forward, customer ratings and reviews will be more app-specific, taking into consideration the device type and app version, which ensures that customers see the most accurate rating for your app.
Previously, customers who read reviews on their tablets or other devices saw reviews sorted by helpfulness; reviews that received the most votes. Now these top votes reviews for past versions will no longer surface above latest version reviews. Instead, customers will more easily see reviews for the actual version they are downloading. This means reviews that mention past bugs will rank lower than reviews for the latest version of your app. This new sorting process will be visible on Kindle Fire tablets and for Android Apps first. We expect to launch it on Amazon.com, FireTV and in the Developer Portal shortly thereafter.[Read More]
On November 3rd 2015 300+ attendees, two tracks about monetization and gaming, 13 sessions, multiple guest speakers and the Amazon Appstore evangelists animated a very successful developer-focused conference: the Amazon Appstore Developer Summit 2015, which took place at CodeNode, London.
The Amazon Appstore Developer Summit focused around unique insights into the Amazon Appstore ecosystem, emerging user interfaces and devices that are driving new user behaviors, like Fire TV and Amazon Echo, and new business models like Amazon Underground and Merch, which are opening up opportunities for customers and the developer community.
Here you can find the recordings of all the sessions, complete with slides, organized by topic:[Read More]
Our App Testing Service (ATS) allows you to test your app’s compatibility on the Amazon Appstore for Android, Fire tablets, and Amazon Fire TV. Today we’ve upgraded our existing Nexus 7 fleet of devices so you can now receive compatibility results for Android 6.0 Marshmallow apps and games.
Simply drag and drop your Android APK into the App Testing Service and in as little as 90 seconds you can receive a detailed report of potential issues that could affect your apps’ compatibility with the Amazon Appstore – including guidance on how to resolve them before publishing. You can view the test results which will include screenshots, logs, CPU and Memory utilization information from actual devices that we run the automated tests on using Amazon appXplorer. We will also detect and flag crashes during the automated tests that will help you identify potential compatibility issues of your app.[Read More]
Unity 5 has some great tools to help build great 2D games for Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets. Here are two videos that walk you through how to use Unity’s Sprite Animation tools and also how to set up complex Animation States. I walk through the foundation of setting up Sprite animations and then show you step by step how I link up different states such as walking, running and shooting together so you can control them via C#. Check out the videos here:
If you are looking to learn more about making 2D games with Unity for Amazon devices or game dev in general make sure to check out my daily Twitch stream from 9am to 12pm EST.
If you are a first time game developer or a seasoned pro, the Amazon Appstore is the perfect place for your latest creation. Publishing to the Amazon Appstore is free and easy, especially if you are already building Android games. We offer some great tools and services to help make your game more successful like Amazon IAP, Ads, Merch, Underground and our collection of Fire OS devices. Here are some additional links to help you gets started:
- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)
In Dev Chat – Short Answers to Big Questions, our new video series of short videos created by Amazon Appstore, developers of successful apps and games answer your questions in less than 90 seconds.
In this edition, the team behind Zattoo explains how they approach app design for the living room experience, and how building a native app with a single codebase for both mobile and TV has been advantageous for them. They also discuss how they are using Login with Amazon and Amazon’s in-app purchasing to drive registrations and monetisation. All this has driven their results on Fire devices to surpass their expectations. Zattoo distributes live television and catch up services through the Internet to connected devices. Thanks to its rapid penetration in Germany, Switzerland, and other European countries, it is now the largest Internet TV provider in Europe.[Read More]
The new line of Fire tablets set an entirely new standard for low-cost tablets, with the Fire 7’’ Tablet being sold at less than $50. Amazon has already sold millions of tablets, so it’s a great time for you to submit your apps and games to the Amazon Appstore. In order to provide a great experience to users, the first thing you have to think about is the user interface (UI) of your app. Designing the UI and UX (user experience) of an app could become a very challenging and time-consuming task, but there are some simple steps that you can follow to make your app look great on the new Fire tablets. Also, keep in mind that Fire OS 5, available on all the new Fire tablets, is based on Android 5.1, so all the standard approaches to develop Android apps UI also apply to Fire OS apps!
In this post, we’ll deep dive into understanding screen resolution and density of Fire tablets, disclose the best strategies to properly create and size the layouts and graphical resources of your app, teach you how to provide a correctly-size app icon for Fire OS 5, and how to explicitly declare support for Fire tablets in your Android app manifest.[Read More]
Publish your first app to the Amazon Appstore between October 1st – November 1st and we'll help you drive installs, monetize, and scale with a Success Bundle worth up to $700 including:
• $100 Ad Campaign with Advertise Your App
• Doubled Earnings on up to $500 with the Amazon Mobile Ad Network
• $100 in AWS promotional credits
The Amazon Appstore is preloaded on Fire devices, Blackberry 10 and millions of other Android devices, including certain HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung phones to name a few, as well as certain Samsung and LG tablets. Fire tablets expand that reach even further - just in time for the holiday season. App purchases typically surge by 50% Thanksgiving week, and 400% during digital week. And when customers unbox their new Fire tablet, what’s the first thing they do? Start downloading apps and games of course! Now is the time to develop a new app or bring your existing Android app to Fire tablets.
Join us for a special webinar on how to make the most of the Amazon Success Bundle:
Amazon today introduced all-new Fire tablets, including a new 7” tablet that sets an entirely new standard for a tablet under $50. The new Fire tablets are designed from the ground up for entertainment with a 7”, 8” or 10” display, an incredibly thin and light design, quad-core processor, front- and rear-facing cameras, and up to 128GB of expandable storage. The all-new Fire tablets also introduce Fire OS 5 “Bellini”, which brings the best entertainment experience on any tablet, with an updated user interface, deep integration of Amazon-exclusive services, and hundreds of new and upgraded features and platform updates. Key upgrades and enhancements include:[Read More]
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.
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.
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.
Now is the time to get started. Check out the resources below to learn more about Fire OS5 and the Amazon Appstore
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During the indie developer showcase, hosted by Amazon as part of Quo Vadis game conference during International Games Week Berlin, local developers shared with us their experience getting their games onto the Amazon Appstore, as well as useful tips for other developers.
German developer SlashGames creates high-quality browser and mobile games, as well as consulting in software development, software engineering and producing. For Amazon, they showcased Freudbot, a single player mobile game following a supermarket employee and giving him ‘good’ advice to overcome his problems.
Black Pants Studio demoed their game About Love, Hate and the Other Ones, a fun puzzle game in which, according to PR Manager Florian Masuth, you “influence your surroundings by the force of hate and the power of love [to] find a way through caves and ice, castles and factories”.
Berlin-based publisher Exozet implement popular board games, such as Catan, and have newly implemented Carcasonne for Fire TV as showcase especially for this event. Their premium and free-to-play games are available on all major platforms, from mobile over console to facebook and browser.
Amongst the developers we had Black Moon Design, hailing from near-by Poland, with their fast action, HTML5 game Aliens Attack which “runs really well on FireTV” according to founder Robert Podgorski. Inspired by C64 and classic sci-fi movies from the 60s, Black Moon Design’s mission is to bring fun to players’ lives.
Also from Poland are NowaHutaGames, who presented their game Rounded Strategy. Wanting to make strategy games accessible to everyone, NowaHutaGames target casual and mid-core players instead of the usual hard-core gamers. As a result, Rounded Strategy is a mobile-first strategy game with an extremely low entry point.
Unavailable for video interviews, but with great games nonetheless, were Mimimi Productions with their games daWindci, a highly praised 2.5D mobile puzzle game, and Ooops! Noah is Gone, inspired by the same-named animated movie in which the cuddly characters go on a great adventure and form genuine friendships. The 3-man team Studio Fizbin, focusing on story-based games and original and unique characters, worlds and tales, showcased their tablet game the Inner World, which won the Casual Connect “Indie Prize 2013”, amongst other awards. Finally, Hamburg-based Threaks presented their demo game Beatbuddy on Fire TV, though the game is not yet publicly available on Amazon devices.
Echoed by all developers that we interviewed was the claim that launching on Amazon Fire TV was very easy. Porting their Android app onto the Amazon Appstore was “like a breeze”, explains Jakub Bladek from NowaHutaGames and adds: “We did it in an hour.” Black Moon Design had a similar experience; after adding Gamepad support, “all of a sudden it worked like charms”. Using the App Testing Service, Nick Prühs from Slash Games remarks that “it worked without us doing anything. […] We were live in an hour or two.”
For Black Pants Studio, apart from porting being easy, the showcase represented a first introduction to the Amazon platform: “Being approached by Amazon made us realize that for new games we can think about putting them straight onto your store when we launch.” Similarly, Robert Podgorski from Back Moon Design points out that the Amazon Appstore is a valid alternative platform for Android games and adds that “Making games for Fire TV and seeing them on the big screen is really good, so consider that.” Linda Kerkhoff, developer at Exozet, seconds that and suggests that developers consider the living room as a new market to attract customers, as “it’s not such an effort to build the game from the device to the TV.”
Finally, Nick Prühs emphasizes the importance of having a good core mechanic. “What is really important is that you iterate very soon and very often”, Prühs explains, “make sure the core is fun and then iterate.” Jakub Bladek goes a step further. He admits that they screwed up their first version and therefore got two bad ratings, so his advice to other developers it to “be sure to have your first release finished 100%” before publishing.
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers providing a place for the industry to collaborate, network and share best practices for creating compelling game experiences. This year Amazon hosted a full Developer Day with sessions that covered building Android games for our full line of devices, Amazon Echo, Fire Tablets, Fire TV and Fire Phone, how to build better cloud gaming experiences, reaching fans with Twitch, and applying in-app monetization best practices based on Amazon's IAP data.
These sessions were previously only available to GDC attendees, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve made all of the Amazon GDC Developer Day sessions freely available online. Enjoy!
An Overview of the Amazon Devices and Services for Game Developers
David Isbitski, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
Alf Tan, Head of Games Business Development, Amazon
Vlad Suglobov, CEO, G5 Entertainment
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 Echo, 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
Jesse Freeman, Developer Evangelist, Amazon
In this talk, we 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
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. Hear more about how top mobile games drive greater engagement and revenue and learn how to you can do this with your own game.
Build and Deploy Your Mobile Game with AWS
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
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. Watch 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
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
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
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 how game developers are creating engaging experiences and reaching new customers via the Twitch platform.
Garnett Lee and Tyler Cooper hosted a steam during GDC this year on Twitch. The guys were joined by representatives from 2K games for XCOM: Enemy Within, Tellate for Game of Thrones, Ep. 2, Tripwire for Killing Floor Calamity and ended the night with Hipster Whale and a Crossy Road competition! If you are a gamer interested in seeing first-hand what the current batch of Android games looks like on the big screen be sure check out the stream here.
For more information about getting started with the Amazon Appstore, Amazon Fire devices, or how to submit your game check out the following additional resources: