The Amazon Appstore is now preloaded on BlackBerry 10.3 devices starting with BlackBerry Passport. Starting today, hundreds of thousands of apps and games will now be available to Blackberry customers through the Amazon Appstore.
A FREE high-quality paid app is also available through the Free App of the Day program, which gives customers one free paid app each day. At Amazon, we are always committed to making it easy for our customers to easily find the apps and products they want and ensure they’re satisfied with their overall customer experience. Now we’re excited to extend that same commitment to the BlackBerry community. BlackBerry customers will have the opportunity to discover apps that are relevant to them based on personalized recommendations and download these apps with confidence using Amazon’s trusted payment options.
On the developer side, we’re focused on creating the best platform for developers to build, monetize and distribute their apps. Our developer ecosystem starts with the Amazon Web Services platform for developers’ infrastructure needs. We’ve got programs like Appstore Developer Select that provide advertising and merchandising benefits to developers so they can get their app discovered. And with services like In-App Purchasing, Mobile Associates, Mobile Ads and our virtual currency Amazon Coins, developers can find all new ways to make more money. Click here to learn more.
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 Passport, you don’t have to do anything - your app is already available on BlackBerry Passport devices.
On September 9th, Amazon announced the updated Amazon App for Android – the primary Amazon shopping app enjoyed by millions of customers. The new Amazon App for Android phones provides an award-winning mobile shopping experience on hundreds of millions of physical goods and now enables customers to discover and purchase all of Amazon’s digital catalog - including Amazon Appstore apps and games – from one app. It’s never been easier for Amazon Appstore developers to reach new customers.
Millions of customers already enjoy the benefits of Amazon Prime membership. The new Amazon App for Android combines the fast and easy mobile shopping experience customers have come to know and love with access to unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes from Prime Instant Video. Now, your apps and games are directly integrated into that experience, and you have a new channel to reach customers. Current Amazon Appstore developers don’t have to do anything; your app is already included in the new Amazon App for Android.
Want your App included in the Amazon App for Android catalog? Click here to register as an Appstore developer.
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 integrated into Fire tablets, Fire TV and Fire phone devices. Earlier this month, we announced that Fire TV and Fire phone are now available in the UK and Germany. Back in August, we announced the expansion of the Amazon Appstore to 41 new countries, including Egypt, Indonesia, Singapore and Turkey. So publishing your Android app on Amazon means you reach customers from around the world.
The Amazon Appstore is not just available on Amazon devices. This announcement further expands the distribution of Appstore apps and games on Android devices. And coming this fall, the Amazon Appstore will be preloaded on BlackBerry 10 devices globally, giving you access to more customers with Amazon.
Most Amazon Appstore developers don’t have to do anything; as long as you clicked the box for “compatibility with non-Amazon devices” on the Developer Portal, your app is generally already included in the new Amazon App for Android. Developers who have a check within their app to see if their app was installed on the device by the Amazon Appstore will need to modify their code to include a less specific check to see if their app was installed by Amazon. Want your app included in the Amazon App for Android catalog? Click here to register as an Appstore developer – it’s free.
Submit your app today to get your app or game included in the new Amazon App for Android. Most apps just work with no additional development required.
- Dave (@TheDaveDev)
A common theme that developers often face is deciding which platform they should make their apps available on next. Are the users on this platform engaged enough? Will I be able to make money on this platform? These are only some of the questions that developers face, before investing their time on transferring their apps. For Playtika, a company which builds highly immersive social games, expanding their apps onto as many platforms as possible has become a core strategy.
Playtika’s app Slotomania currently holds the #8 spot worldwide for highest grossed mobile app on iOS and Android. In addition to iOS and Android, Playtika has also launched on the Amazon Appstore, which has proved to be a big success. According to Playtika, the Amazon Appstore provided the team with the highest ARPU (average revenue per user) compared to other platforms and also contained the highest retention rate amongst its competitors. Recently I had the chance to sit down with Elad Kushnir, VP of Business Development, to discuss how their apps were doing in the Amazon Appstore and their experience working with Amazon.
“The Amazon Appstore does not only make the migration easy from an existing Google Play app, but it also has outperforming KPI’s as well.” says Elad. The team has seen some impressive results since their app has gone live in the store and have done fairly well for themselves in terms of revenue. “When we compared our 2014 data, we noticed that ARPU on Amazon was 70% higher than on Android and 15% higher than on iOS”- Elad Kushnir
The team credits the unique audience that Amazon brings in and how engaged they are. “When we looked at retention rates for 2nd day and 7th day metrics, the retention was relatively the same across all platforms. However on the 30th day, retention on Amazon Appstore was 10%-20% higher than on iOS and Google Play.” Says Elad.
Playtika Sees 150% Higher Conversion Rates from Players to Payers on the Amazon Appstore Compared to iOS and 170% compared to Google Play
Getting users engaged is only half the battle. With a free app like Slotomania, conversion rates (paying users/ DAU) is crucial in terms of making revenue which is why Playtika is using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing API. So how many of these users are actually purchasing within the game? From Playtika’s data in 2014, they determined that the average user on the Amazon Appstore is 150% more likely to become a paid user than on iOS and 170% more likely than Google Play.
Figure 1In-App Purchasing
When the team came together to decide on their next platform, they chose the Amazon Appstore immediately. So why did the team decide that Amazon Appstore was the right choice?
“When we were deciding on our next platform, we already had our app on Google Play. We realized that moving our app from Google Play to the Amazon Appstore would be pretty easy since Fire OS is built on Android. Once we started, we got our apps up and running in a couple days and the process itself was seamless. The best part was that it had relatively low development costs.” – Elad Kushnir
From previous tests, we actually found out that more than 75% of the Android apps we tested just work on Kindle Fire with no additional development required. The team has now launched several of their games on the Amazon Appstore and are working on the getting the remaining ones up and running within the next year.
Moving forward Playtika plans to take their apps to the next level by getting them onto Amazon’s newest devices. Their current focus is to get their app on Fire, in which their team is already planning on integrating Fire’s exclusive feature, Dynamic Perspective. In 2015 Playtika is planning to also have their apps on Amazon Fire TV. For now, the Playtika team tells us that they are very happy with how things are going and plan to release even more apps on the Amazon Appstore in the near future.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We frequently hear from developers that allocating resources and prioritizing investments can be a tough decision.
Tivola, a kids and family games publisher based in Hamburg, Germany, was not sure if they should build an Android version of their apps until they heard that apps were monetizing well on Amazon – sometimes even better than on other Android platforms. The return on investment that Amazon could potentially deliver inspired them to take the plunge, with Amazon as their Android partner. Their apps were live when Kindle Fire tablets and Fire TV launched in the US, and today they see Amazon as a core part of their strategy.
Recently we had the chance to meet in person with Hendrik Peeters, COO of Tivola, and he shed some light on Tivola’s experience with Amazon.
The developers at Tivola are the creative brains behind 50 apps, including PetWorld 3D and the popular Fire TV game Grandpa and the Zombies. Founded in 1995, Tivola has nearly 20 years of experience building innovative and entertaining apps and games for kids and families.
Tivola is quick to respond to the constantly evolving business environment. They have pivoted their strategy and moved from selling games on PC CD-ROM, to games consoles, and now to apps and games on mobile devices. Tivola published their first iOS app in 2011 and chose Amazon as the first platform on which to publish their Android apps in 2012.
Reflecting on why they built Android apps for Amazon first, Hendrik says that what ultimately affected the decision was the personal support they knew they would get with Amazon. Hendrik states that monetization on Amazon is stronger than expected, with ARPU being 33% higher than on alternative Android platforms. In the US specifically, ARPU for free titles is up to 4 times more than on Google Play. Hendrik ties the high monetization they’ve seen to Amazon’s customer base:
“Amazon provided a unique platform where we can distribute apps to an audience of invested parents who are interested in high quality content and are happy to pay money for it.”
As a kids and family games publisher, Tivola acts very carefully when offering in-app purchasing, so a customer base who is willing to pay for an app upfront plays a crucial role in Tivola’s success. Indeed, Tivola’s preschool-level games perform very well on Amazon, achieving ratings of 4.7 stars on Amazon.de.
Having understood early on that they have to distribute their apps globally, Tivola have emphasised localisation to expand abroad successfully. For example, Tivola worked very hard to publish Grandpa and the Zombies in 9 different languages, which, according to Hendrik, was a crucial customization to reach customers outside Germany. Indeed, localisation has enabled that 70% of revenue from their kids games and casual games now comes from outside Germany. The Free App of the Day promotion of Grandpa and the Zombies exemplifies this success, with 2/3 of downloads coming from the United States.
Confident in their success on Amazon’s tablet devices in the US, Tivola decided to have their apps live on Fire TV for when it launched in the US in April 2014. Indeed, their game Grandpa and the Zombies was one of the first apps on Fire TV. As Hendrik explains:
“We were excited to be part of something big. We saw it as investing in the future and we wanted to be there from the beginning.”
He strongly encourages developers to be present on a platform from the very beginning. As Tivola discovered first-hand with Fire TV, the high discoverability they got from a brand new platform is a clear advantage and incentive to invest in it.
Why do indie developers love the Amazon Appstore?
Because they can extend their reach and make more money. 65% of developers say total revenue similar or better than other platforms. Trevor Holyoak of holyoak.com says:
"Right now, the income is about five times better than Google Play"
Watch this video to learn more, then click here to register for your free Amazon Appstore account. Already have an app? Click here to test it. Over 75% of apps we tested just work just work on Fire devices, with no additional development required.
Harpan, the developer of popular games Solitaire, FreeCell, Sudoku and Pyramid Solitaire, distributes more than 12 gaming apps on iTunes, Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Harpan was interested in a cross platform mobile ads solution, which can provide the needed earning lift without compromising their user experience. In order to focus more on app development, Harpan needed a solution that was easy to integrate and could help track app performance.
Harpan decided to use the Amazon Mobile Ads API for monetizing their apps across platforms. Tim Oswald, co-founder and CEO of Harpan shared that Amazon was their solution of choice. The Amazon Mobile Ad Network delivered higher eCPM, provided a great experience for their users with high-quality tailored ads, and enabled app optimizations through actionable performance tracking and reporting.
Harpan’s earnings increased with the Amazon Mobile Ad Network. The biggest factor driving this was the payment structure. Amazon pays on ad impressions served instead of clicks on ads. “With the Amazon Mobile Ads API, we are consistently getting 20% higher eCPM on our Android, iOS and Kindle Fire apps compared to other ad networks. We were extremely pleased to see the Amazon Mobile Ads API performing better than other ad networks on iOS, said Tim Oswald.
The quality of ads was very important for Harpan to provide a great experience for their users. Tim explained, “While we want to increase our earnings, we don’t want to compromise our users experience. Amazon provides an engaging experience for our users by delivering relevant ads from Amazon and brand advertisers. We are seeing 25% higher CTR on ads delivered by the Amazon Mobile Ad Network compared to other ad networks.”
Harpan was able to integrate the Amazon Mobile Ads API in minimal time and focus their efforts on app development. Tim shared, “Enabling the Amazon Mobile Ads API in all their apps was very easy and took just few minutes to integrate the API. We really liked the integrated tracking, which helped us in monitoring and optimizing the performance of our apps in real-time.”
*Your results may vary.
The Amazon Mobile Ads API lets you place high-quality display ads from the Amazon Mobile Ad Network in your app, helping you better monetize your apps and gain access to highly relevant ads from brand advertisers, including Amazon and its subsidiaries. Starting today, both Interstitial and Banner ads can now be displayed across iOS devices in addition to Android and Fire OS devices. Beginning on July 25, 2014, ads can also be displayed on the Fire phone. As a developer, you can now monetize your apps with the Amazon Mobile Ads API across iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore while taking advantage of multiple targeting features.
With this release, we are also expanding ad serving to users in Spain and Italy across Android and iOS. Starting today, the Amazon Mobile Ad Network is serving ads to Android and iOS users in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
“Amazon Mobile Ads API is consistently delivering 20% higher eCPM on both Android and iOS platforms compared to other ad networks. In addition to increased earnings, the high-quality tailored ads provides an engaging experience for our users achieving 25% higher CTR.”*
- Tim Oswald, Co-Founder & CEO of Harpan LLC.
* Your results may vary.
If you are already using the Amazon Mobile Ads API in your Android apps today you can skip to the Integrating with Your iOS Apps section below. Otherwise, to get started with the Amazon Mobile Ads API, follow these quick steps:
**If you are performing services for the Amazon Mobile Ad Network outside of the US, please complete the Amazon Services Statement so we report your tax obligations accurately, and do not unnecessarily withhold taxes we are required to collect from developers who perform services in the US.
The Amazon Mobile Ads API for iOS requires iOS 6.0 or later and assumes you have Xcode 5.1.1 installed. After completing the Getting Started steps above, you can integrate iOS support in three steps.
1. Reference the AmazonAd.framework in your existing XCode Project
2. Set up your provided Application Key by calling into the AmazonAdRegistration setAppKey class method. You must set your app’s Application Key in order to receive ads. This allows Amazon to track your impressions and clicks, and associate them with your account. Here is an example of calling setAppKey:
3. Load an ad Using AmazonAdView. You can also set a number of optional parameters, including whether this is a test request. Test requests always return an ad and don’t count as part of your metrics. Here is an example of a loadAd call:
For more detailed information on integrating iOS support, check out our iOS Quick Start Guide here.
Note - During integration and testing of the Amazon Mobile Ads API, you should set the testRequest option to true. This indicates that the request is for testing. Here is an example:
Test requests will not show up in your metrics. Test traffic that doesn’t include this flag could result in blocked requests, fraud investigation, and potential account termination.
The Amazon Mobile Ad Network supports Interstitial Ads as well as banner ad sizes of 300x50, 320x50, and 300x250 for phones and 300x250, 728x90, and 1024x50 for tablets. Your app should request a device-appropriate size. Please see the following chart for recommended sizes by device:
Just like Android and Fire OS, there are a number of targeting options you can include in the requests you send to the Amazon Mobile Ad Network. In addition to ad unit size above, you can specify geolocation (US only), age and gender. For more information on ad targeting in iOS, check out our guide here.
The Amazon Mobile Ad Network allows you to participate in highly targeted campaigns with premium advertisers. The Amazon Mobile Ads API can serve both banner and interstitial ads across Amazon Appstore, iTunes and Google Play. For a limited time, when you send the first ad request from a qualified app, you will receive a guaranteed $6 CPM on interstitial ads (up to a maximum of 1 million impressions per app per month). Qualifying apps now include iOS apps. Please find more details here. The opportunities to monetize your apps have never been better!
To learn more about the Amazon Mobile Ads API, check out our developer portal here, the Quick Start Guide for iOS, as well as our blog with tips on ad mediation and tracking ad events inside your apps.
The Amazon Mobile Ad Network is growing in Europe, adding two more countries soon after announcing its expansion to the UK with ad content now being delivered in Germany and France. In addition, the Amazon Mobile Ads API has been updated to support the Android advertising ID introduced in Google Play Services version 4.0.
You can use mobile ads to monetize your apps and games in more ways, now that the Amazon Mobile Ad Network is available in Germany and France. Including those from the UK, Amazon fills ad requests from Europe’s top three advertising countries, as well as the US. A strong eCPM and high-quality ads characterize the Amazon Mobile Ad Network, and these carry over to all supported countries. Amazon sets a high bar for banners, rich media, and interstitials, generally leading to better conversion and higher revenue.
Google recently announced the creation of a new Android advertising ID. Under Google’s updated ad policy, beginning August 1st, all updates and new apps uploaded to the Google Play Store must use this ID for advertising purposes (when available on a device) in lieu of other device identifiers. The Amazon Mobile Ads API provides support for the Android advertising ID, so incorporating it into new projects or transitioning existing apps is straightforward.
Note that effective July 1st, the rights and obligations of our European affiliate, Amazon E.U. S.à.r.l., under the Amazon Mobile Ad Network Publisher Agreement were assigned to a different European affiliate of ours, Amazon Europe Core S.à.r.l. Please ensure that future communications regarding the Amazon Mobile Ad Network are addressed to the following address, and that any VAT invoices relating to the Amazon Mobile Ad Network reflect the proper VAT registration number for Amazon Europe Core S.à.r.l., as noted below:
Amazon Europe Core S.à.r.l. 5 Rue Plaetis, L-2338 Luxembourg, Luxembourg VAT Registration Number: LU 26375245
Please also make sure you amend EC Sales Lists if you file these. We updated the Publisher Agreement to reflect the change above, effective immediately. For a summary of what’s different, refer to Changes to Mobile Ad Network Publisher Agreement.
To take advantage of this new international expansion and support for Google’s Android advertising ID, you must integrate Amazon Mobile Ads API version 5.4.46 or above into your mobile app or game.
Beta software gets a bad rap. It is usually the first public release and comes as part of the final phase of testing, which means it isn’t always polished and bugs are common. It should be considered more than just a public bug bash, though. A beta serves another important purpose: it is your first chance as a developer to see if the software does its job and meets the need it is designed to meet.
Releasing your application to a community of “beta users” lets you observe unscripted interaction with your software in a wide variety of real-world environments. Managing this kind of release (a “beta test”), though, and collecting the interaction data has traditionally been a logistical chore.
Say we have a mobile game with multiple levels. How should they be presented? The obvious answer is in order of increasing difficulty, but maybe it makes sense to alternate easy and hard levels so players don’t become discouraged. Perhaps they should be arranged in groups, each of which starts easy and grows more challenging as a player advances.
This is the kind of fundamental behavioral question you might try to answer with a beta test. Using traditional techniques, you would code one approach, release it to your beta users, and evaluate its success based on, for example, the number of levels completed or highest level completed. Then you would code the next approach, re-release the updated app, record the user response to the new version, and so on. Finally, you would select the most successful approach for your production release.
There are obvious disadvantages to performing a beta test this way. You must release a new version of your app for each variation you want to evaluate. Beta periods are longer because you must test variations sequentially (unless you manage several different groups of beta users). Test results may be influenced by users’ previous experience, since they won’t necessarily bring fresh eyes to each variation.
For mobile app developers, distributing software to a limited group of users may not even be possible. Once an app is published to an app store—often the only practical way to handle distribution—it is automatically available to everyone using that store. App updates must also go through the store, which means resubmitting a new version and potentially restarting the approval process.
Although everyone agrees that beta testing is important, most developers would also agree it is very time-consuming and difficult to execute.
Amazon’s A/B Testing Service is designed to run in-app experiments, which also makes it perfect for beta tests. A free, cross-platform service that supports iOS, Fire OS, and Android, it can handle multiple tests at once with up to five variations each. You can use it to make app adjustments on the fly without updating client-side code or redeploying your app.
The service also makes it easy to manage beta users, since it has built-in support for user segmentation. This means that you can target your beta test to users matching particular criteria (that you specify), or even run more than one test at once targeting different groups.
The Amazon Developer Console provides an online dashboard from which you can monitor and control all aspects of your beta tests.
We can use Amazon’s A/B Testing Service to address these issues and simplify the testing process. First, we create a project to represent our test.
Next, we identify which users will be included in the test by defining a special segment. Only beta users will see the variations; everyone else will see the default behavior (also called the control).
Finally, we create the actual A/B test we want to run and describe each variation in terms of the variables that connect it to our app. We will evaluate success based on the percentage of time that players complete Level 5 after starting Level 5.
The user segment we defined above (betaUsers) will be divided equally, with each subgroup seeing one of the variations we described. We can use the Amazon Developer Console to review the results of our test.
As the customers in the “betaUsers” segment, play the game data is uploaded to the service is tabulated within an hour. Once the confidence reaches statistical significance (100% in the example above) you can decide how you’d like to react. You can pick the winning variation and make that live for all new users. In this situation, we see that the existing Level 5 design (Variation A) is better than the new level 5 (Variation B) that we’re testing. Somehow, we made the level worse and shouldn’t deploy this particular change to everyone.
Beta testing is an effective way to test different configurations in your app under real-world conditions, but it’s also a good opportunity to evaluate user satisfaction with your app’s basic operation. Using Amazon’s A/B Testing Service, you can easily compare different functional implementations of key features or behavior, allowing you to identify which approach will resonate most with your users.
To learn more about A/B Testing and how you can incorporate it into your app development, see Amazon’s developer website and the A/B Testing Service documentation:
IDC conducted an Amazon sponsored survey of 360 mobile application developers to understand their key motivators and gather feedback on their experience developing apps for the Kindle Fire platform versus Android and iOS. According to the survey, 65% of surveyed developers say that total revenue on Kindle Fire was similar or better than on other platforms. 76% of surveyed developers say that Amazon helps them connect to new customer segments.
To download the full report, click here.
IDC asked developers who currently build apps for the Kindle Fire to describe the return-on-investment profile of Kindle Fire and compare it to other platforms.
65% of the surveyed developers also say that the Total Revenue achieved on the Kindle Fire is similar to, or even better that, what they experience with other major platforms. 74% of the same developers say that Average Revenue per App/User is similar to or better than other platforms.
Finding new customers can be extremely difficult. Developers who build apps for the Kindle Fire say:
The Kindle Fire platform can be a significant source of net new business and “reach” for developers at a time when new segments may be difficult to find on competing platforms.
To learn more, click here to download The Case for Developing Mobile Apps for the Amazon Appstore and Kindle Fire report prepared for Amazon by IDC.
Last year, we launched Amazon Coins in the US, UK, and Germany. As of today, Amazon Coins are available to even more customers in Europe as we are expanding the program to France, Spain, and Italy. We’re giving millions of Euros (100 Coins = €1) worth of coins to customers in France, Italy, and Spain, so this is a great time to submit new apps to the Amazon Appstore and ensure your existing apps are available for distribution in these countries.
Amazon Coins allows Amazon customers to buy and enjoy Android apps and in-app items at a discount, with savings of up to 10%. As a developer, you are paid whether your apps or in-app items have been purchased with Amazon Coins or another payment method, and you’ll continue to get your full 70% revenue share. Since the launch of Amazon Coins in the US, UK, and Germany, customers have already purchased hundreds of millions of Amazon Coins and are actively using them on Android phones and tablets, including Kindle Fire devices, representing real dollars to developers.
Kindle Fire owners will receive 500 free Coins automatically in their accounts and, for a limited time, users of the Amazon Appstore on Android phones and tablets will receive 500 Coins once they’ve updated the client and downloaded an app. During the promotion, you’ll have additional opportunities to boost your sales while customers enjoy buying apps with their free Coins. We ran a similar promotion after we launched Coins in the US, UK, and Germany, and developers gave us positive feedback about the monetization they achieved in conjunction with the promotion. Here’s what a few of them had to say:
“Sales went up 10-fold (1000%) for about a week during the Amazon Coins promotion and 500% afterwards.” –Barnstorm Games
“We saw a significant increase in revenue after the Amazon Coins announcement. Revenue from Amazon Coins during the launch week was higher than previous week’s revenue. What was also interesting is that our cash receipts also saw a lift from Coins.” — Halfbrick Studios Pty Ltd
“Our SMS texting and calling app revenues grew more than 300% on Kindle Fire the day after Amazon Coins went live, with a staggering 78% coming from Coins. We’re convinced that this virtual currency makes sense for developers no matter what category their app is in; it certainly does for us.” — textPlus, Inc.
We continue to receive positive feedback from developers about the monetization they see on Amazon and their ability to connect with new customers via Amazon Appstore. Learn what developers like Pixowl, TuneIn, and Toca Boca have to say in our latest developer blog.
To benefit from Amazon Coins, you do not need to integrate an API. If your apps are already available on the Amazon Appstore and available for distribution to customers in France, Italy, and Spain, you’re already set. If you have new apps and games that are still in development, then you’ll want to submit them soon to take advantage of this promotion. If you have a new Android app, we’ve found that 75% of Android apps we’ve tested just work on Amazon Appstore, with no coding changes required. Test your APK in less than 10 minutes with our drag-and-drop testing tool. It’s also a good idea to ensure your apps are available in France, Italy, and Spain, which you can check from your account on the developer portal.
This quick video will give you an overview of the Amazon In-App Purchasing API. It will cover how to get started, offer advice on popular In-App items and categories, and cover the process for creating your own In-App SKU catalogs. Whether you are completely new to In-App Purchasing, or have existing items for sale on other Appstores like Google Play, this video will help point you in the right direction.
When it comes to monetizing your apps who couldn’t use just a little help? Amazon is consistently looking for solutions to help you simplify the process of attracting new users, increase discoverability, improve IAP performance and grow revenue in your apps and games. While we have built many solutions on our own we know there are a number of solutions outside Amazon that can help increase app revenue and get your apps discovered.
PreApps is one of those solutions, and we are working with PreApps to provide Amazon Appstore developers with discounted offers and services. PreApps connects developers and app enthusiasts, before the launch of an app, to help developers improve app quality and hopefully monetization as a result. The concept is pretty simple – users get access to your apps to help identify bugs and things like UI enhancements and if they like your app, they can help promote it through their social network. More than one-thousand apps have used the service, and we’d like to hear how it works for you..
Starting today Developers with a registered Amazon Account can get free access to the PreApps User Feedback program which includes the ability to post your free app, receive customer feedback, access to beta testers, see the number of users asking to be notified when your app goes live and access to PreApps App Analytics. We’ll be sending a code to all registered developers so keep an eye out for it in your inbox and let us know what you think.
Reaching More Customers and Making More Money Per User
In a previous case study, you heard about the tactics that Big Blue Bubble uses to monetize their free to play (F2P) games. In this study, we’d like to share how June Software increased their app exposure by going from an iOS-only producer to an iOS and Android platform producer, and how their presence in the Amazon Appstore has racked up higher Average Revenue per User (ARPU) than any other app store.
June Software is a small San Francisco based software company founded in 2008. They build casual, arcade games and e-learning games for children. Initially June Software only built games for iOS where they have titles such as Math vs. Zombies and Guess the Movie, which is ranked #3 worldwide and is #1 in Australia.
June + Unity + Amazon Appstore = Less Friction, More Revenue
To grow their customer base, June Software decided to address the Android marketplace. June chose to port their iOS games to Android using Unity. Unity allows them to build their app once and deploy it to multiple app stores, including the Amazon Appstore.
When we asked about their experience on Amazon apps store, June Software Director Products Saurabh Jain said: “On Amazon, we have seen 2x times the ARPU [we see] from Google Play, and 1.2x [more than] than Apple AppStore. The overall downloads aren’t there yet, but the revenue makes it a very good market for us.”
Increasing Time in Games Increases Potential Income
One effective strategy that Saurabh implemented is that they have integrated Amazon IAP and GameCircle features in their games, which increased potential revenue and player engagement. GameCircle includes features such as leaderboards and achievements that keep players engaged and can increase user session time and session frequency, giving uses more opportunities to make IAP purchases. And it works on Android and iOS. This is exactly what June Software needs for their games available for both platforms.
What can you do?