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September 26, 2014

Jesse Freeman

Are you a game developer already publishing Android games or looking to get started? Need a small, affordable tablet that is not only good for testing but can also play games and help you develop your own?

Well the new Fire HD 6 is an excellent gaming device in disguise, as well as the ultimate digital companion for game developers. At the low price of $99, you get an incredibly well built 6” Android based tablet powered by Fire OS and leverages the Amazon Appstore. This is the one device I have been incredibly excited about, and I wanted to add it to my game development toolset from the moment I got my hands on it.

The Perfect Size For Gaming

I have a wide collection of tablets ranging from 13” all the way down. The one thing I have noticed is that for larger devices, it’s sometimes uncomfortable to play games on for long periods of time without my hands getting tired. Also, my hands are used to the size of game controllers and mobile gaming devices. The Fire HD 6 is roughly the same size and thickness of the base of the Nintendo 3DS XL. That means for games with virtual controls on the screen, it feels more natural to hold the tablet; you still have enough room for your thumbs and the controls without blocking the action.

Games like Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Minecraft, Terraria, VVVVVV, Thomas Was Alone, Delver and many others with on-screen touch controls work great! Especially games where you can customize the size and position of the virtual controls, allowing you to maximize your view of the game will feel more natural on a 6” tablet. The other thing exciting about this device – and many of our other tablets - is the fact that you can also connect a Bluetooth game controller and create a portable Android gaming experience. Playing GTA with the controller, as it was intended to be played, is great. If you have an Amazon Fire Game Controller, connect it up to the Fire HD 6 and enjoy an incredibly portable gaming device. Also, with the new SlimPort connector, you can even connect the Fire HD 6 to the TV with a controller and play games on the big screen.

Game Developer's Companion

In addition to the Fire HD 6 being a capable gaming device, it’s also the perfect digital companion for game developers. Of course using it as an Android based testing device is probably number one in most developer’s minds. The fact that it runs productivity apps as well will help you even more. I use my Fire HD 6 as a digital sketchpad. With a copy of Sketchbook Pro, Wacom’s Bamboo Paper and a touchscreen stylus I am not only able to sketch out all my game ideas, literally in the palm of my hand, but I also don’t have to worry about my hand accidentally resting on the screen causing streaks in my artwork. The Fire HD 6 is a little bigger than the traditional moleskine notebooks I used to carry around, and with everything backed up in the cloud, I no longer worry about losing any of my drawings.

I also take lots of digital notes. I collect articles, websites, jot down ideas, or build to-do lists while I am working on a given project. The Amazon Appstore has Evernote, OneNote and may other note taking apps you probably already use on a daily basis. And since each of these solutions also takes advantage of cloud syncing, my notes are always with me wherever I go. I can easily jot down stuff on my computer and follow up on the go with my Fire phone, or use it as a companion next to my computer while I code.

Enabling Indies

Of course the Amazon Appstore has some big name games, but my own personal interest in mobile gaming is with indie devs and hobby developers. The Fire HD 6 is a new market for indie devs looking to reach customers looking to get an affordable small form factor tablet. There has never been a device at this size or price point from a well-known company such as Amazon that will appeal to consumers. Amazon already has a loyal fan base and adding a more affordable tablet to its holiday lineup means access to even more screens this holiday season.

Here in New York, I’ve been working with local indie devices such as Golden Ruby, who recently launched their hit game Worm Run on Fire tablets and Amazon Fire TV. Because they’re already part of the Amazon Appstore, they’re automatically available on the new line of Fire tablets.

Not only does their game look great on the new device, but since they take advantage of a single binary across all of our devices, Worm Run also supports a Bluetooth controller too. This means that developers who are already taking advantage of the Amazon Appstore and hardware ecosystem continue to grow their customer base as we bring new devices to market.

Developers like Charlie Schulze, who works part time on his games outside of his day job, is also excited about supporting the new Amazon devices.

His latest game, Squiggle Racer, has been growing in popularity on multiple platforms and it is great to see him bringing his game over to the Amazon Appstore. Not only can he now target this new Android powered device with his existing APK, but by adding in GameCircle and controller support, he can now reach customers across our entire family of devices from the Fire phone to Fire TV and of course all of our Fire tablets. Leveraging his current Android build, he was able to not only get his game up and running on our devices quickly, but also take advantage of a new distribution platform to help increase his user base.

For indies and developers who build games as a hobby, the Amazon Appstore offers a great opportunity to grow your user base. Plus, with the Fire HD 6’s affordable price, developers can get a fully functional, well-built Android-based tablet for all of their development needs. But it doesn’t stop at just the hardware and OS, we also offer all game developers some great APIs to increase engagement and help monetize their creations.

Game Services

One of the key benefits of building a game on Fire OS, which powers all of our devices, is the deep integration it has with GameCircle. GameCircle represents more than just a way to add leader boards, achievements and cloud syncing to your game. It also enables developers to increase the player’s engagement in their game and automatically tracking their gamer progress across all of our devices. Each user has their own GameCircle profile that automatically syncs across any Fire OS device they own. As a developer, if you also implement Cloud Syncing you can also ensure that customers who bought your game and play on the Fire HD 6, or any Fire tablet, can continue their progress on their Fire TV and Fire phone.

In addition to GameCircle, we also offer more APIs critical for building a successful game such as:

  • In-App Purchasing API can help with conversion by enabling millions of Amazon customers to purchase your game using Amazon 1-Click settings.
  • Amazon Mobile Ads serves up high quality ads to help you monetization your game. Right now you can earn a guaranteed $6 eCPM running interstitial ads through August and September (iOS apps, too!)
  • Amazon Coins is a virtual currency built into our Appstore, which developers can use as incentives with their customers.
  • Appstore Developer Select gives you more ways to get your app discovered and used with free advertising/merchandising and up to 500,00 Coins rewards.
  • HTML5 publishing tools for web developers looking for a simple way to get their HTML5 games on native platforms.

Learn More

 

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman) is a Developer Evangelist at Amazon focusing on HTML5 and Games for the Amazon Appstore.

 

September 23, 2014

Peter Heinrich

In a short 15 years, mobile technology has come a long way. Monochrome screens and 12-button keypads have given way to touchscreens and multi-touch input. Still, sound quality on mobile has been a nagging issue. Sure, there have been audio-centric devices, but the big sell was always the simple presence of audio, with no expectation of truly engaging sound reproduction. Developers had no guarantees that the time and effort they devoted to building a soundstage for games and apps would pay off. Many times, it didn’t.

Dolby Laboratories has been working in entertainment for nearly 50 years. If you’ve seen a movie, played a tape (how arcane!), played any AAA console games, or listened to music on your home audio/video receiver (AVR), chances are exceptionally high that Dolby has had a part in making that content sound as enticing as it does.

So, when the Dolby logo started appearing on mobile devices, it was a clear signal that audio was starting to take a front seat in the mobile experience.

Fire Tablets Get the Dolby Treatment

The combination of Dolby® Digital Plus™ and Amazon’s Fire tablets creates a new standard in mobile entertainment. Users are now able to enjoy mobile content with high-quality audio—no compromises. The effect is dazzling. Amazon’s streaming video and music sounds deeper and richer on Fire tablets than on nearly any other mobile device. Mobile apps benefit from the technology as well, and hundreds of apps have added a new dimension of audio simply by leveraging Dolby Digital Plus via the Dolby Audio™ API for Android.

Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD and HDX represented the first round of enhanced audio in mobile.

Now Amazon has leveled up to Round 2 with the announcement of the next generation of Fire tablets—including an 8.9" version that is the first tablet to feature Dolby Atmos and deliver theater-like experience over headphones with Amazon streaming movies.

 

Dolby Atmos Brings Cinema Experience to Mobile

Dolby Atmos was primarily designed to allow movie content producers to place sound in a three-dimensional space and create a more lifelike experience for filmgoers. If you’ve never seen a movie in Dolby Atmos, you need to. It transports you into the movie with breathtaking, multidimensional sound that fills the theater with amazing richness and depth. Sounds move all around you, including overhead, making you feel like you are truly inside the story. Dolby Atmos achieves this by rendering audio as objects that are controlled by metadata.

Learn more about Dolby Atmos.

Use Dolby in Your Own Fire Apps

Here’s the really cool part: as an app developer deploying on the Fire OS, you’re ahead of the game. Audio elements in apps are already rendered as objects, so you can take advantage of Dolby Audio enhancements now. While Dolby Atmos sound isn’t available for apps, you can still leverage the benefits of Dolby technology by integrating the Dolby Audio API into your app or game. The benefits include:

  • Volume leveling – Maintains constant volume across all content and applications
  • Audio optimization – Delivers natural sound, louder and distortion-free
  • Dolby digital pass-through via HDMI – Allows direct home theater connections for a full multichannel experience.
  • Surround virtualization – Creates a surround sound experience from standard stereo audio

Integration takes around 15 minutes, and plug-ins are available for Unity, Marmalade, Adobe Air, Xamarin, and Cordova.

The Dolby Audio API is available for free, and you will hear an immediate difference on Dolby technology-enabled devices like Amazon’s Fire tablets.

Set Your App Apart

Now is the perfect time to differentiate your application by using enhanced audio. With mobile companies across the spectrum adding higher quality audio as a major selling point, apps using the Dolby Audio API are poised to grab the spotlight and delight customers with a new take on immersive experiences. Be the first to take advantage of Dolby technology on Fire tablets, and watch your users marvel at the deeper experience it affords.

Interested in learning more? Check out Dolby’s developer website and the next generation of Fire tablets with Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Atmos.

Thanks to guest blogger Andy Vaughan of Dolby Laboratories for introducing Dolby Atmos and describing how Fire tablets use the technology to set a new standard for mobile audio. A 10-year mobile industry veteran and low-level audiophile, Andy knows the state of audio on mobile devices is ripe for change. Before delivering solutions for feature phones, smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, he helped launch developer programs for Rational Software, IBM, and Fortify Software.

 

September 19, 2014

Peter Heinrich

Supporting the announcement of brand-new Fire tablets and enhancements to Fire OS, the App Testing Service (ATS) has been updated to work seamlessly with Fire OS. In as little as 90 seconds, you can receive a detailed report of potential issues that could affect compatibility with the Amazon Appstore—including guidance on how to resolve them before publishing. ATS can also run your app on actual Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 devices, providing a comprehensive compatibility report (including screenshots) in as little as 15 minutes.

What Is Tested?

ATS performs a static analysis of your app’s manifest and optionally analyzes your app as it runs on actual device hardware (including the new 6” and 7” Fire tablets just announced).  It performs tests that fall into three major categories:

  1. Libraries – Identify software libraries incompatible with the Amazon Appstore, in which case we suggest compatible alternatives
  2. Amazon APIs – Determine if Amazon APIs are being called incorrectly, in which case we provide documentation to help
  3. Device Capabilities – Look for features that aren’t supported by certain devices, in which case we provide guidance on how to handle this

Testing combines static analysis of how how your app runs on Fire OS as with analysis of your app as it runs on actual device hardware (including the new 6” and 7” Fire tablets just announced). Your app will be installed and launched, after which the service will explore activities it is able to identify. ATS will generate a report that includes test events, screenshots, CPU usage, and heap utilization during testing. You will also have access to detailed logs.

The testing process is optimized for apps built using native Android widgets, so if you create a custom user interface (for example, using OpenGL or HTML5) testing may be less extensive. Note that ATS does not collect login credentials, so it will not explore sections of your app where these are required.

How to Submit Your App for Testing

Using ATS to check your app is fast and easy. All we need is your APK file, which you can drag and drop directly on the ATS widget located at the top-left of the Developer Portal home page.

Once you drop an APK file on the widget, your app will be uploaded to ATS and testing will begin.

Results of the initial analysis will be available in as little as 90 seconds.

We’ll provide specific instructions on how to resolve issues we discovered.

Device tests will also be performed, though analysis of those results will takes longer—usually between 15 minutes and 6 hours. If you have a developer account with Amazon, you can access those results from your ATS dashboard. If not, you may provide an email address and we will send the results to you as soon as they are available.

Device test results will provide links to screenshots captured during the testing process, letting you see how your app actually appeared while under test.

Publish Your App on Amazon

Once you have used ATS to test your app for potential compatibility issues, reviewed the test results, and made any updates necessary to address specific items called out by the service, you are ready to publish your app to the Amazon Appstore. Submit your app from the Developer Portal or drag and drop your APK to re-run the test; the initial results will include a big orange button to kick off the submission process.

If you don’t already have an Amazon developer account, note that you will be required to create one before you can submit your app to the Amazon Appstore. Creating a developer account is free, however. If you are an Amazon customer, you can even use your existing Amazon account, if you want.

Other Resources

See our Developer Portal for more information on the App Testing Service and

-peter (@peterdotgames)

 

September 17, 2014

Peter Heinrich

Amazon today introduced Fire OS 4 “Sangria,” the next generation of software and services that powers Amazon’s Fire devices, including three all-new Fire tablets introduced today. The Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7, and Fire HDX 8.9 tablets all give customers the power to watch, work, and play.  Aggressively priced, they are highly affordable and will appeal to a whole new customer segment by introducing a smaller, lighter 6” HD tablet form factor.

This release introduces hundreds of new upgrades and platform enhancements, including:

All-new Fire OS 4 “Sangria”

Fire OS 4 “Sangria” starts with Android and adds a customer-friendly user interface, unlimited cloud storage of Amazon content and photos taken on your Fire device, latest productivity apps, and enhanced platform integrations to seamlessly access the best selection of digital content—more than 33 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, and Android apps and games.

Unmatched Entertainment Ecosystem

Fire OS 4 integrates our newest services including Prime Music, ASAP (Advanced Streaming and Prediction), and Kindle Unlimited. Second Screen headphone integration lets you watch Amazon Instant Video on a compatible big screen TV with headphones plugged into your tablet so you can enjoy the movie in enhanced Dolby Digital sound.

Built for Gaming

Fire tablets are built for the best in gaming with tilt, turn, and multi-touch controls. Customers get a new paid app for free everyday, and enjoy great discounts on popular games and apps. Plus, use Amazon Coins to purchase and save on apps, games, and in-app items. New Fire tablet owners in the US get 500 Amazon Coins—a $5 value.

Content in the Cloud

Every Fire tablet includes free unlimited storage in Amazon Cloud Drive for photos taken on the device, plus 5GB of storage for photos and files added to Cloud Drive from other devices.

Starting at $99, Fire tablets feature quad-core processors that more than double the speed and quadruple the graphics performance of previous models. Your apps launch faster and your customers enjoy a smoother and richer experience with better overall performance than ever before. Stunning HD displays and Dolby Audio make your apps and games shine.

Fire OS 4 is available on the new Fire tablets, with some features coming to the 3rd generation Kindle Fire HDX and Kindle Fire HD (released in 2013) as part of free, over-the-air Fire OS updates starting later this year.

Learn more about the new Fire tablet hardware and the software improvements announced today.

Fire OS’ Content-Forward UI Makes Your App More Discoverable

Fire OS 4 and the new Fire tablets are designed to provide fast and easy access to favorite books, songs, videos, and games. By deeply integrating software, content, and the Cloud, we build on Fire OS’s content-forward user interface to deliver innovative services that are available only from Amazon.

Fire OS is designed from the ground up to make it as easy and fast as possible for customers to access their favorite apps and content. The home screen Carousel and media libraries are automatically personalized to put your apps front and center in the app grid, providing easy, one-click access.

This means customers use your apps more, leading to more sessions, deeper engagement, and more opportunity to generate revenue. We expect these and many other features will make the new Fire tablets even more popular than their predecessors, further expanding the reach for your apps and games.

Reach a Global Audience for the Holidays

This year’s Fire tablets will be available to customers worldwide in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, China, and Australia. The Amazon Appstore is also available on Android devices in 236 countries to give your apps even more reach. According to an Amazon-sponsored IDC survey, 76% of developers say that Fire helps them connect with new customer segments that may be difficult to find on other platforms.

Fire tablets expand that reach even further, and with perfect timing. The holiday season is almost here, and Amazon devices have historically surged during this period. According to Flurry Analytics, Christmas Day sees a particularly large number of device activations—24 times the typical number for any other day in 2013, for example—so now is the time to develop a new app or bring your existing Android or web app to Fire tablets, Fire TV, or Fire phone.

Most Android Apps Just Work with Fire OS 4

Fire tablets run Fire OS, which is based on Android 4.4 (KitKat) and offers complete support for API Level 19. This means that it is incredibly easy to bring your Android APK to Amazon devices. Most Android apps we’ve tested work on Fire tablets without modification, so you can publish your apps to the Amazon Appstore with little or no effort and expand your potential audience by millions.

Use the App Testing Service to check the compatibility of your existing Android app in as little as 90 seconds. It will identify potential issues and explain how to resolve them, and then make submitting your app a breeze.

Appstore Monetization Similar to (or Better) than Other Platforms

An IDC survey we commissioned found that developers make as much money per user (often more) when they sell their apps and games on Fire tablets, as compared to any other mobile platform. Playtika, for example, creator of highly immersive social games like Bingo Blitz, saw its highest average revenue per paying user (ARPU) on Fire tablets—70% higher than Android and 15% higher than iOS. Similarly, Crittermap saw superior results using the Amazon Mobile Ads API. Creators of BackCountry Navigator PRO, they earned higher eCPM than on other ad networks.

Fire tablets also support Amazon Mobile Ads, a cross-platform service to display banner, interstitial, and rich media ads inside your apps. You are paid for ad impressions, not just ad click-through events. Use it to monetize app sessions across Fire tablets, Fire phone, and all Android and iOS devices.

Amazon Mobile Ads is just one of many APIs available in Amazon’s Mobile App SDK, which also provides support for In-App Purchasing, A/B Testing, Maps, Login with Amazon, and GameCircle Achievements, Leaderboards, and Whispersync for Games. Build with our Mobile App SDK to get these services up and running quickly, and then use them to engage new customers, understand and improve their experience with your app, and increase revenue.

Learn more about Amazon’s monetization APIs on our website, where you will find Quick Start Guides and sample code to help you integrate them into your apps quickly.   

Your Apps & Games: Now Available on More Devices

The Amazon Appstore has never been available on a broader range of devices and platforms. It’s no wonder 65% of the surveyed developers also say that the Total Revenue achieved on the Kindle Fire is similar to, or even better than, what they experience with other major platforms.

The Amazon Appstore is preloaded on Kindle Fire tablets, Fire TV, and Fire phone devices.  And recently, we announced that Fire TV is available in the UK and Germany. Amazon Fire TV makes it easy for users to stream movies, TV shows, and music as well as download apps and play games right on the HDTVs they already own.

Back in April, we announced the expansion of the Amazon Appstore to 41 new countries, including Egypt, Indonesia, Singapore, and Turkey. Publishing your Android app on Amazon means you can reach customers from around the world, including those in countries that were previously inaccessible.

The Amazon Appstore is not just available on Amazon devices; hundreds of thousands of customers have already downloaded the Amazon Appstore for Android. This announcement expands the distribution of Amazon Appstore apps and games on Android devices. And coming this fall, the Amazon Appstore will be preloaded on BlackBerry 10 devices, giving you access to another new global customer segment.

Now Is the Time to Submit Your Apps

Download our Mobile App SDK today to get started developing for Fire OS and Amazon’s entire device family. You can even test your existing Android apps with our App Testing Service to see how they will actually work on Fire tablets and Fire phone. As the Amazon ecosystem grows, so does your potential audience.

-peter (@peterdotgames)

 

May 02, 2014

Rob Pulciani

At the Amazon Appstore, we’re continuing to create opportunities and services that help app developers reach more customers and make more money. Lately, we’ve highlighted some stories from app publishers who have had success distributing Kindle Fire and Android apps in the Amazon Appstore. You may have read about Soundtracker who increased average session length by 400% and Big Bubble Blue who generated up to 15% better ARPU. Many other developers are experiencing similar success and a recent article from BI Intelligence indicates that Amazon Appstore is “generating strong revenue results.”  

“Popular Kindle Fire apps are generating 59 cents of revenue for every dollar earned by top apps in the Google Play store, according to a Distimo study. Download volumes are about half those on Google Play for top app titles — impressive considering how many more Android devices are in circulation.”

75% of Android tablet apps we tested work on Kindle Fire, with no added development necessary. And with apps available in almost 200 countries and strong monetization potential, there hasn’t been a better time to try the Amazon Appstore. Sign up for a free developer account and get started.


Check out the full Business Insider report here.

 

March 11, 2014

Mike Hines

If you are a developer who has had an app in our store for a while, or someone new to our platform, we encourage you to use Amazon Appstore and Kindle Fire badges and branding to help promote your app.  In this article we’ll review badges, other images, links and guidelines for their use with your app and marketing.

Badges:

There are two badges with three color-treatments each that you can use. Here are the badges that you can use to promote the availability of your app in our U.S. store:


The Amazon and Kindle Fire badges above are available in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Japanese. The Amazon badges are also available in Portuguese.

You can get full-size downloads of these badges on this page, along with some usage guidance.

Other Images

If you’d like to use a plain icon:

Or if you would like to use a Kindle device image:

You can find links to those resources about half way down this page.

Links to the Amazon Appstore

For web-browser based linking, please:

Use this link structure: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ASINnumber/ref=mas_pm_app_name

Replace the bold “.com” with your country marketplace suffix. (.com for US, .de for Germany, etc)

Replace the bold “ASINnumber” with your mobile app’s ASIN (Amazon Standard Item Number) and app name. Please use an underscore (_) to separate the words in the “app_name” portion, if your title is more than one word. You can find the ASIN on the Product Details section of your mobile app on www.amazon.com/apps.

For example, this is the Air Patriots link in the German marketplace:

http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B008KE3960/ref=mas_pm_air_patriots

For in-app advertising or mobile app-based linking:

In the US:

Use this link structure: http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?p=com.example.package&ref=mas_pm_app_name

Replace the bold portions with the package name of your APK, and app name respectively.

For our international stores:

Use this link structure:

amzn://android?p=com.example.package

Replace the bold portion with the package name of your APK.

NOTE: With any of these link structures, please test the links before using them to make sure that they direct to the correct page or search results.

The link instructions above are pretty much identical to the guidance near the bottom of this page.

Other Useful Guidelines

There is still more good stuff on the handy page I keep linking to. This includes guidelines for correct use of the Amazon Appstore trademark when blogging or using social media to promote your app. I would, of course, be remiss if I failed to mention the legal requirements listed at the bottom of the page. Our attorneys have done a good job of breaking the important points down into easily readable bullet points. Please do look at them, it won’t take long.

Just in case you missed the link earlier, you can read all of this information here, on our developer portal.

 

February 19, 2014

Mike Hines

Today, we’re extending Amazon Coins to all Android devices with the Amazon Appstore installed.  Amazon Coins is a way for Amazon Appstore customers to buy and enjoy Android apps, games, and in-app items for less. Customers can save up to 10% on apps and games by purchasing Amazon Coins, while developers continue to get their full 70% revenue share.

More Ways for More Customers to Buy Your Apps

Since the launch of Amazon Coins in the US, UK, and Germany in 2013, customers have already purchased hundreds of millions of Amazon Coins and are actively using them on Kindle Fire devices, representing real dollars to developers.

Now, users of the Amazon Appstore on Android will be able to use Amazon Coins to purchase apps, games, and a broad range of in-app items on any Android device running the Amazon Appstore in the US, UK, or Germany. If a customer is already a Kindle Fire user, he or she will automatically see their existing Coins balance on their other Android devices in addition to their Kindle devices.

How You Can Benefit from This News

We have already seen developers benefit from customers using their Amazon Coins to try out and explore new apps and games. Now that Coins are available to an even larger audience, you can take advantage of the opportunity by making sure your app is available on the largest number of devices.

Check Device Availability

Check your device availability to make sure your app is available to as many Coins-enabled customers as possible.  Checking is easy, and adding supported devices is not much harder. Follow these steps below to get started:

1.      In the Amazon Developer Portal, go to your app’s detail page.

Under the Binary File(s) tab, check the Device Support section for “All non-Amazon Android devices…” (see sample below).

2.      If your app has “All non-Amazon Android devices...” and the Kindle Fire devices listed, then you’re done!

If the entry is missing “All non-Amazon Android devices...” (as shown below), you can change that.

Change this by: a) Modifying your AndroidManifest.xml, b) Creating an ‘Upcoming Version’ in the dev portal, and then c) Submitting the .apk with the new manifest file. Here are the steps to do that:

a.       If you have verified that your .apk will run successfully on some (or most) other Android devices, make sure you reference supported devices in your AndroidManifest.xml file by using <compatible-screens /> or <supports-screens />  (please make sure to increment the version number of your app when you modify the manifest).

b.      Click Add Upcoming Version in the dev portal.

While in the new ‘Upcoming Version’ section, go to the Binary File(s) tab and check all the appropriate boxes.

c.       Upload the .apk with the new manifest.xml, make sure the other tabs are complete (and app version number is different), and re-submit your app.

3.      If your app is not available on Kinde Fire devices, you can use Amazon’s App Testing Service to get the info you need in about a minute. Just drag and drop your .apk into the tool to get your results! You can also check out common reasons for incompatibility, and check out the documentation on our dev portal.

Questions

If you have any questions about Amazon Coins or device availability, please check our dev portal, or contact one of our developer support professionals.

 

January 17, 2014

Mike Hines

Dolby has just released a new Dolby Audio Plug-In for Kindle Fire HD and HDX that helps developers deliver even better audio to their users. Developers can now select an audio profile to optimize the sound based on the kind of audio being delivered. This means optimized audio setting for voice during your app’s dialog, and optimized settings for broad-range sound during your app’s action sequences. All with just a few lines of code you can insert into your app, no re-architecting required!

This isn’t the first time Amazon and Dolby have collaborated. Amazon and Dolby worked together on hardware and software enhancements for the Kindle Fire HD and HDX line of tablets for their launch, delivering Dolby Digital post-processing for native apps. But now Dolby has raised the bar again with Dolby Digital Plus, and the new Dolby Audio APIs for Kindle Fire. (Fear not, Unity fans. There is a Unity plug-in for you too.)

When you use the Dolby Audio Plug-in APIs, you can choose from four audio profiles to tune your sound profile to match the audio use in your app. For example, you can tune your app to use the Voice profile for dialog-heavy parts of your app, and the Game profile for first-person-shooter action. Here are the profiles you can choose from:

-Music: Applies equalization and dynamic range control to enrich instrumental and vocal quality in recorded music

-Movie: Clarifies the dialogue while providing the best representation of the full dynamic range of the program

-Game: Creates a ‘live’ space to best bring out the effect of fast-moving objects in the audio

-Voice: Customized for the reproduction of speech patterns and the tonal range of the human voice

This lets you deliver an optimized audio experience to your users, and it takes very little time to do so. Here are the high level steps to implement this API:

1.      Load the Dolby JAR file and import the DolbyAudioProcessing libraries

2.      Create a OnDolbyAudioProcessingEvent listener

3.      Call getDolbyAudioProcessing to get an instance of the Class (only done once for lifetime of the app)

4.      Wait for the app to connect to the DolbyAudioProcessing handler

5.      Instantiate the audio profiles as needed to in your app (Voice for dialog heavy parts, Game for FPS parts, etc…)

6.      Restore default audio behavior if your app is in the background

7.      Restore default audio behavior by releasing the Dolby instance on destroy

Setting the sound profile to use at different points in your app is pretty easy (see below).

    

You can set profile to Music, Movie, Game or Voice as appropriate at that location in your app.

Overall, integrating the API takes about an hour and does not require re-designing any logic or workflow. It’s a small investment for a big win.

You can download the free sample apk right away so you can hear for yourself how nice this is. To download the API, you need to sign up for a free developer account with Dolby (which took me less than 30 seconds).

Dolby has done a good job of making this easy to deploy. When you download the API package, you’ll get everything you need to get started, including javadocs, a quick start guide, and sample code showing exactly how to invoke Dolby APIs. You can download the free Dolby Audio Plug-in on this page, and learn more about Dolby Developer Services on their developer home page here.

 

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