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June 19, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

We’re pleased to announce that you can now submit apps for distribution in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, using the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. We’ll begin distributing apps in these countries later this summer (and we have more countries planned in the near future). 

The Amazon Appstore in the U.S. has had a very successful year with millions of customers discovering and downloading apps and games. We continue to welcome new developers onto our platform, and since launch, we’ve grown to tens of thousands of apps—with more coming every day. Our recently launched In-App Purchasing API is already helping developers like Mobile Deluxe, G5 Entertainment, and Social Gaming Network delight their customers and generate significant revenue. Amazon now offers developers the opportunity to experience similar success with app sales outside the U.S.

Now is a great time for new developers to sign up and become familiar with the program. You have the ability to select the countries where you would like your apps to be sold and set your list prices by marketplace. If you are already participating in the program, your apps will automatically be made available for sale internationally by default. And you can easily change international availability for your apps via the Distribution Portal if your apps should not be sold in select countries. Developers allowing Amazon to sell apps internationally are responsible for ensuring their apps comply with all applicable export and import restrictions and the laws of the countries in which the apps are sold.

Though Amazon will not require apps to support multiple languages, we encourage you to consider localizing your apps with language translations and to think of creative ways to deliver great experiences to your international customers. Just as in the U.S., if you sell apps in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, you will benefit from Amazon’s trusted 1-Click purchasing as well as the easy-to-integrate In-App Purchasing API.

Today we are also announcing two changes to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution agreement. First, building on the success of the April In-App Purchasing Service launch, and to simplify our global terms, Amazon will be aligning the revenue share for paid apps with that for in-app products sold using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing Service. Starting July 1, you will earn 70% of list price on each paid app sale. This is a change from the prior terms under which you earned either 70% of the app’s sales price or 20% of list price (whichever was greater). To put it differently, starting in July, you’ll receive 70% of the list price for all sales, regardless of whether you monetize your apps up front (paid apps) or downstream (using our In-App Purchasing Service).  

Second, we will be adapting the terms of the distribution agreement to provide more flexibility around timing for app submissions. You will now control which apps you will make available to Amazon customers, and when, as well as the countries in which your apps may be sold. As a reminder, it’s your responsibility to ensure your list prices do not exceed the lowest prices at which your apps and in-app products are sold in similar stores. To review the full agreement, including the two changes described above, please follow this link.

If you don’t already have a developer account, it’s easy to join and we’ve waived the annual fee for 2012  it’s free to register for a developer account. Sign up now, and start submitting your apps for international distribution later this summer!

We’re pleased to announce that you can now submit apps for distribution in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain using the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal.  We’ll begin distributing apps in these countries later this summer (and we have more countries planned in the near future).   

 

January 31, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Amazon is excited to announce an update to reports within the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal. Reports provide developers with important historical and trend data for sales and earnings. Improving the developer interface and strengthening service capability were two of the most important factors we focused on for this update.

During the past two months, we beta tested the update with more than 500 developers. Many of these developers provided valuable feedback that we incorporated into the final design. 

Starting today, we will begin rolling out this update to all developers on the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal.  You will notice the following changes:

  • Infrastructure updates to enhance scalability and speed
  • Enhanced sales and units reporting interface and navigation
  • Streamlined earnings report with at-a-glance views of your monthly earnings statements
  • Expanded selection of downloadable CSV reports

We encourage developers to explore the new reports and provide feedback via the Contact Us link on the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal homepage or by clicking on the Submit Feedback flag on your Reports page.

August 24, 2011

Winkie Chen

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

Farkle Dice - Free and Farkle Dice Deluxe (Ad-Free) are two popular and well-reviewed apps in the Amazon Appstore for Android.  Developed by Smart Box Games, the apps present a fast-paced dice game and offer both solo and social gaming experiences. 

Smart Box Games was one of the first developers to join the developer program after the Amazon Appstore launched in March. 

Why did Smart Box Games act so quickly to join a brand new store? Todd Sherman, president of Smart Box Games, said that as a small, independent game company, “Our priority is to make sure the games have beautiful art, professional sound effects, and music, and are programmed to be stable and responsive. We typically have limited resources for marketing.  The Amazon Appstore gives developers like us a chance for success by offering customers multiple ways to explore and find games.”  He added, “For example, you can navigate the store by Top 100 Games, or by category, or through widgets powered by Amazon’s recommendation engine such as ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.’ Plus, the first year fee for the developer program was waived.”

Within a few weeks of its publishing, Farkle Dice - Free skyrocketed to the top of the Board Games category and soon climbed the charts under the Top 100 Free Bestselling Games. 

Amazon featured Farkle Dice Deluxe (Ad-Free) on July 23  as the Free App of the Day, a daily promotion in which we make a premium app available to our customers for free and prominently promote the app on Amazon.com and in the Amazon Appstore. 

Farkle_fad

 

We set an expectation of approximately 75,000 downloads for the Free App of the Day promotion with Farkle Dice - Deluxe. “Our actual downloads far exceeded that expectation, and we were thrilled by the exposure and the comments from new players,” Sherman said regarding the result of the promotion.  What does it mean for Smart Box Games to have so many new users? “As part of a long-term monetization strategy, we plan to contact those newly acquired users via the messaging function within Farkle Dice - Deluxe when we release our new game later this year.”

March 24, 2011

peracha

With the rise in popularity of bar code-reader apps, QR Codes have become a convenient way of transferring text from media to mobile devices. A report published recently by MGH indicates that a growing number smartphone owners use the two-dimensional images to gain access to products and promotions.

A QR Code is a square, black and white image that contains standardized patterns to store text, in the same way that bar codes contain patterns for alphanumeric characters. The amount of encoded text can vary depending on the size of the QR Code image, but typically the text encoded is relatively short and takes the form of a URL. You may have seen the following options on our Get Started page to quickly give you access to the Amazon Appstore on your Android device:

Image001

As mentioned in a previous post, you can link directly to apps in the Amazon Appstore with a mobile-friendly URL. The URL can be represented as a QR Code, which can then direct potential customers on your website or blog to your app on the Amazon Appstore mobile client. For instance, the following link and corresponding QR Code will send users to the detail page for the Amazon MP3 App for Android:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?p=com.amazon.mp3 

Image002

The following URL will invoke a search to find MP3 related apps on the Appstore:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?s=mp3

Image003

Any QR Code generator that meets the ISO requirements will suffice. Some websites that can do this for you include Delivr, bit.ly, the URL shortening site, and Google.

March 03, 2011

peracha

If you own a Kindle, you’ve experienced the power of having a Digital Locker and the ability to download your purchased content to just about any device. The notion of “buy once, read anywhere” will now also apply to your Android apps purchased through the Amazon Appstore

Customers who purchase an app will retain an entitlement to their app even if they decide to replace their current Android device and/or purchase new devices, as long as the new devices meet the installation requirements of the app. This provides insurance to customers that their purchased apps will be available for use on all supported devices, even if the customer has uninstalled or otherwise removed those apps in the past.

The digital locker service combined with a robust Digital Rights Management (DRM) solution not only make managing apps easier for customers, they also address one of the biggest concerns developers have:  unauthorized copying and distribution. An authorized user can now install your app on any of their supported devices; however, if you chose to apply DRM on your app at submission time, your app will not run on unauthorized devices.

Any app that has Amazon DRM applied to it will require users to have installed and signed-in to the Amazon Appstore client to access the app. When an app is accessed by the user, it will verify with the Amazon Appstore device service as to whether the user has an entitlement to the app. If the user does not sign in or does not have an entitlement to that app, then the app will not be usable. However, any user can gain an entitlement by purchasing the app through Amazon.

We will be posting more updates on Amazon DRM over the next few weeks on the Amazon Appstore Developer Blog.  We will cover additional topics, such as sharing data between apps and signing your app after Amazon DRM has been applied.

Update:  In response to your questions, we’d like to take this opportunity to provide a few clarifications.

Do I have to use Amazon DRM if I sell my app through Amazon.com?

No, it is not required. When you submit your app you can choose to offer your app DRM free or you can apply Amazon DRM.

Do customers need to have internet access to use an Amazon DRM-enabled app?

No. Once an app is installed, a user can use the app without having internet access.

How can you verify that the user has an entitlement to the app without internet access?

During the installation process for an app, the Amazon Appstore client downloads a small token that grants the user the right to access the application. A valid token permits the user that purchased the app to access their app offline. The Amazon Appstore client will periodically communicate with Amazon servers to refresh the token.

February 23, 2011

peracha

As an app developer, you know the importance of using external services and APIs offered by other developers. Leveraging third-party software eliminates unnecessary coding on your part and allows you to quickly bring higher-quality, feature-rich apps to market. An app can leverage the features of other apps to handle various types of requests. One common example is using a browser to handle user requests to hyperlinked text displayed in your app. Another example is launching a third-party social networking app to authenticate your user. Although on the surface these integration points appear similar-- the reality is that they can be very different. The difference lies in the mechanism used to invoke the external app.

In the first scenario, when a user clicks on a hyperlink, the action will automatically invoke an intent, which is sent to the Android system to process.  The intent, which encapsulates an operation to be performed and contains the necessary data to send to the operation, acts as the glue between two or more loosely coupled Android apps.  The Android system matches the intent to one or more activities, services, or receivers that have registered with the system. In the case of a hyperlink, typically the default browser activity will handle the intent. However, if more than one intent handler is able to process the operation (such as when a user clicks on an e-mail address), the system offers the user the option to select the intent handler they are interested in using. In the example below, an e-mail handler and the copy-paste handler are invoked after a user clicks on an e-mail address within a browser.

  Linking


The important thing about the first scenario is that your app does not concern itself with who handles the intent, and no data is shared between the two.  Your app will defer to the user to make the appropriate selection.

In the second scenario, you will have a more tightly coupled dependency on the authentication service provided by the third-party social networking app. This means that you do not want just any social networking app to authenticate your user. Instead, you are looking for a particular app, and if that app does not exist, you will respond accordingly. 

However, before this dependency can be created, your app will need to be able to share data with the service provider. This is done by signing your app and obtaining the appropriate security key(s) from the third party to access its API.  Depending on the requirements of the service provider, you can then either bundle its library with your app or require that the third party’s app be installed on the device. 

At runtime, if you cannot resolve the dependency to the third-party app (i.e. it’s not installed), then you will want to provide the user an opportunity to install the app. This can be done by launching an intent from your app to an Amazon Appstore URL:

String url = "http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?p=com.amazon.mp3";
Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);
intent.setData(Uri.parse(url));
startActivity(intent);

The above example links the intent to the Amazon MP3 app.  To link to a different app, you can simply take the package name (“com.amazon.mp3”) and replace it with the one for the app you are depending on.  The Amazon Appstore mobile client will be configured to handle URL intents of the following pattern:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?p=<packagename>

The invocation of the intent will then provide the user the option to view the app page through the Amazon Appstore mobile client. 

Appaction
 

From there, the user can take advantage of Amazon’s 1-Click purchase feature to download the app (paid or free).  After the user installs the third-party app, they can go back to your app’s activity and continue from there.

The following list includes some other helpful links you can use to make requests to the Amazon Appstore:

  • To search the Appstore:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?s=<searchtext>

  • To show all apps by the developer of the app corresponding to the specified package name: 

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/dl/android?p=<packagename>&showAll=1

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