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March 19, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

On the occasion of our first birthday, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank our developer community. It’s been a busy year here at the Amazon Appstore for Android. Our store has grown tremendously since launching one year ago, and we could not have made it happen without partners like you.  In our first year, customers have already bought millions of apps and games for their Kindle Fire and other Android devices. The Amazon Appstore has also grown its selection nearly eight-fold since launch, from 4,000 apps to over 31,000.

During our first year, we introduced Kindle Fire. Since launch, Kindle Fire has helped our developer community connect their apps with engaged customers. "At Quickoffice, we've experienced a massive lift in our Android app sales since the launch of Kindle Fire. The Amazon Appstore has been a great showcase for our app, and we've seen significant gains in conversion rates compared to other app stores based on the integrated Amazon buying experience," said Alan Masarek, CEO of Quickoffice, Inc.

Over the past year, we’ve been listening to your feedback, and we’re working on enhancing our tools and resources to meet your needs. We created blog posts to help your apps fly through testing, to help you message customers within your apps, and to help you develop for Kindle Fire.  Over the last year, we released enhancements to our Developer Portal, including updated developer reports, and new user permissions functionally.  And, we have more upgrades in the works for our second year of operations.  We hope to support you with tools that allow you to continue delighting customers with your apps and games.  In the coming weeks and months, check back here on our developer blog—we’ll be posting information on enhancements.   

We know many of our developers are Amazon customers as well.  To celebrate our first birthday, we worked with several of our developers to offer special discounts on some of our most popular apps. The Amazon Appstore Birthday event will get extra customer visibility from a dedicated Amazon Appstore Birthday page that will display new deals daily as well as more of customers’ favorite apps. The Amazon Appstore also kicks off its Amazon Appstore for Android Birthday Giveaway and will award a Kindle Fire to eight lucky winners who enter the sweepstakes by March 31st.

Thank you for your partnership! We look forward to collaborating with you to bring customers great apps for another year!

Amazon_Appstore_Birthday_Banner
 

March 16, 2012

lisamar

KF_image_from_PDP
 

A few months ago, Amazon introduced Kindle Fire and, here on the blog, we talked about how you can get your app(s) onto Kindle Fire. We endeavor to provide our developers with useful, relevant information to help you develop your app(s) and we continue to get queries about developing for Kindle Fire. We have more information to share!

Your app requires an SD card—does Kindle Fire have one?

Kindle Fire has an internal SD card that your app can write to. Kindle Fire's SD card is internal and is not removable. You should not have to change your app for Kindle Fire if it currently stores data on the SD card. Using getExternalStorageDirectory() will enable you to write to the internal SD card on Kindle Fire.

Your app uses Adobe Air—will it work on Kindle Fire?

Yes, Adobe Air 2.7.1.1999 is pre-installed on Kindle Fire. If you wish to create and publish Adobe AIR 3 applications, you may do so by packaging them as 'captive runtime' apps. Note that captive runtime apps will not support on-device debugging.

Your app needs the support of an e-mail client—is that a feature of Kindle Fire?

Kindle Fire has a pre-installed e-mail client that will respond to both mailto links and e-mail intents.

How do you configure the supports-screens element for compatibility with Kindle Fire?

To ensure your app is compatible with Kindle Fire, specify <supports-screen android:largeScreens="true"/> in your manifest file.

Your app has audio—what audio playback does Kindle Fire support?

Kindle Fire supports the following audio formats natively:

  • AAC LC/LTP
  • HE-AACv1 (AAC+)
  • HE-AACv2 (enhanced AAC+)
  • AMR-NB
  • AMR-WB
  • MP3
  • MIDI
  • Ogg Vorbis
  • PCM/WAVE

You plan to upgrade your app to Android v4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich)—will your upgraded app work on Kindle Fire?

To increase the probability that your app will be compatible with Kindle Fire, you should only use Android 4.x APIs that are backwards compatible with Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Your app has lots features—what specific features does Kindle Fire support?

Kindle Fire supports the features in the following list. To ensure your app is compatible with Kindle Fire, it should only use features found in this list.

KF_feature_table
 

March 02, 2012

lisamar

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

Fire Maple Games is a mobile app developer located in Garnet Valley, PA. Their adventure game app, The Secret of Grisly Manor, continues to be a best-selling title since the launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android in March 2011. The sharp graphics and engaging storyline of this hidden object game continue to amass downloads and excellent reviews.

Fire Maple Games has taken advantage of many Amazon Appstore offerings including the Free App of the Day promotion. The Free App of the Day program has offered customers a paid app, for free, every day since the launch of the store. Additional, Fire Maple Games capitalized on app placement throughout the store and targeted e-mail campaigns. They also optimized their application for the Kindle Fire. By leveraging the Amazon Appstore platform, downloads of The Secret of Grisly Manor have seen significant gains on a weekly basis.

Initially engaged by the Free App of the Day promotion out of pure curiosity—what does and does not work when selling apps?—Fire Maple Games was pleased with the level of exposure they got from participating. “It was a fantastic increase of our user base,” said Joe Kauffman, owner of Fire Maple Games. “It wasn’t directly profitable, of course, as we were giving the game away for free, but now many more people have been exposed to the company and our games.” Kauffman has gotten many e-mails from people saying they would definitely buy the company’s next game. “For an indie developer on a limited budget, it was a great way to get the game into lots of people's hands,” he added.

Fire Maple Games joined the Amazon Appstore in November 2010 and was part of the Amazon Appstore launch four months later. “Amazon is such a great brand with such a powerful presence…we had high hopes for the Amazon Appstore for Android,” Kauffman said. They were also intrigued by the approval process and liked “that the apps would be curated, so a nicer selection of apps could be promoted.”

Lost_City_1
 

Fire Maple Games recently added a second adventure game, The Lost City, to their Amazon Appstore catalog, and the app has been getting stellar reviews. With the traction Fire Maple Games has seen thus far, new titles are sure to be a hit. “We use previous games to cross-sell new games,” Kauffman explained. “It seems to be working pretty well…both games have stayed within the Top 25!”

Kauffman revealed that the company hasn’t gotten any specific emails from customers regarding their experience with the Amazon Appstore and that that is a good thing: “It means that the process is pretty seamless. I recommend that everyone partner with Amazon! It is a nice, curated app-store with a great customer experience.”

March 02, 2012

lisamar

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

Fire Maple Games is a mobile app developer located in Garnet Valley, PA. Their adventure game app, The Secret of Grisly Manor, continues to be a best-selling title since the launch of the Amazon Appstore for Android in March 2011. The sharp graphics and engaging storyline of this hidden object game continue to amass downloads and excellent reviews.

Fire Maple Games has taken advantage of many Amazon Appstore offerings including the Free App of the Day promotion. The Free App of the Day program has offered customers a paid app, for free, every day since the launch of the store. Additional, Fire Maple Games capitalized on app placement throughout the store and targeted e-mail campaigns. They also optimized their application for the Kindle Fire. By leveraging the Amazon Appstore platform, downloads of The Secret of Grisly Manor have seen significant gains on a weekly basis.

Initially engaged by the Free App of the Day promotion out of pure curiosity—what does and does not work when selling apps?—Fire Maple Games was pleased with the level of exposure they got from participating. “It was a fantastic increase of our user base,” said Joe Kauffman, owner of Fire Maple Games. “It wasn’t directly profitable, of course, as we were giving the game away for free, but now many more people have been exposed to the company and our games.” Kauffman has gotten many e-mails from people saying they would definitely buy the company’s next game. “For an indie developer on a limited budget, it was a great way to get the game into lots of people's hands,” he added.

Fire Maple Games joined the Amazon Appstore in November 2010 and was part of the Amazon Appstore launch four months later. “Amazon is such a great brand with such a powerful presence…we had high hopes for the Amazon Appstore for Android,” Kauffman said. They were also intrigued by the approval process and liked “that the apps would be curated, so a nicer selection of apps could be promoted.”

Lost_City_1
 

Fire Maple Games recently added a second adventure game, The Lost City, to their Amazon Appstore catalog, and the app has been getting stellar reviews. With the traction Fire Maple Games has seen thus far, new titles are sure to be a hit. “We use previous games to cross-sell new games,” Kauffman explained. “It seems to be working pretty well…both games have stayed within the Top 25!”

Kauffman revealed that the company hasn’t gotten any specific emails from customers regarding their experience with the Amazon Appstore and that that is a good thing: “It means that the process is pretty seamless. I recommend that everyone partner with Amazon! It is a nice, curated app-store with a great customer experience.”

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.

January 26, 2012

Yosuke Matsuda

Amazon DynamoDB is a fast, highly scalable, highly available, cost-effective, non-relational database service. Amazon DynamoDB removes traditional scalability limitations on data storage while maintaining low latency and predictable performance. The sample mobile application described here demonstrates how to store user preferences in Amazon DynamoDB. Because more and more people are using multiple mobile devices, connecting these devices to the cloud, and storing user preferences in the cloud, enables developers to provide a more uniform cross-device experience for their users.

This article shows sample code for the Android platform. The complete sample code and project files are included in the AWS SDK for Android. Links to the SDK are available at the end of this article.

To use the sample app, you'll need to deploy a token vending machine (TVM). A TVM is a cloud-based application that manages AWS credentials for users of mobile applications. To deploy the TVM, you'll first need to obtain your own AWS credentials: an Access Key ID and Secret Key.

If you haven't already signed up for Amazon Web Services (AWS), you will need to do that first to get your AWS credentials. You can sign up for AWS here. After you sign up, you can retrieve your credentials at this page. The credentials will be used to set up the TVM to authenticate users of AWS mobile applications. Sample Java web applications are available here: Anonymous TVM and Identity TVM (this sample uses Anonymous TVM).

Overview

In Amazon DynamoDB, a database is a collection of tables. A table is a collection of items, and each item is a collection of attributes. For our app, we create a single table to store our list of users and their preferences. Each item in the table represents an individual user. Each item has multiple attributes, which include the user's name and their preferences. Each item also has a hash key—in this case, userNo—which is the primary key for the table.

The app demonstrates how to add and remove users, and modify and retrieve their preference data. The app also demonstrates how to create and delete Amazon DynamoDB tables.

Registering the Device with Token Vending Machine

In order to create an Amazon DynamoDB client, we must first register the mobile device with the token vending machine (TVM). For this sample, we use the Anonymous TVM to register the device. Then we store the UID and key returned by the TVM on the device.

RegisterDeviceRequest registerDeviceRequest = 
                                        new RegisterDeviceRequest(this.endpoint, this.useSSL, uid, key);ResponseHandler handler = new ResponseHandler();response = this.processRequest(registerDeviceRequest, handler);if (response.requestWasSuccessful()) {	AmazonSharedPreferencesWrapper.registerDeviceId(this.sharedPreferences, uid, key);}

Retrieving the Temporary Credentials from Token Vending Machine

The following code demonstrates how to request that the TVM generate temporary credentials, and how to store the returned credentials on the device.

Request getTokenRequest = new GetTokenRequest(this.endpoint, this.useSSL, uid, key);ResponseHandler handler = new GetTokenResponseHandler(key);GetTokenResponse getTokenResponse = 
                                (GetTokenResponse) this.processRequest(getTokenRequest, handler);if (getTokenResponse.requestWasSuccessful()) {	AmazonSharedPreferencesWrapper.storeCredentialsInSharedPreferences(			this.sharedPreferences, getTokenResponse.getAccessKey(),			getTokenResponse.getSecretKey(),			getTokenResponse.getSecurityToken(),			getTokenResponse.getExpirationDate());}

Creating an Amazon DynamoDB Client

To make service requests to Amazon DynamoDB, you need to instantiate an Amazon DynamoDB client. The code below shows how to create an Amazon DynamoDB client for Android using the stored temporary credentials from the TVM.

AWSCredentials credentials = AmazonSharedPreferencesWrapper		.getCredentialsFromSharedPreferences(this.sharedPreferences);AmazonDynamoDBClient ddb = new AmazonDynamoDBClient(credentials);

Creating a User List (Table Creation)

Each user's preferences are stored as items in an Amazon DynamoDB table. The following code creates that table using the client we created above. Every Amazon DynamoDB table require a hash key. In this sample, we use userNo as the hash key for the table.

AmazonDynamoDBClient ddb = UserPreferenceDemoActivity.clientManager.ddb();KeySchemaElement kse = new KeySchemaElement()
                                                    .withAttributeName("userNo")
                                                    .withAttributeType(ScalarAttributeType.N);KeySchema ks = new KeySchema().withHashKeyElement(kse);ProvisionedThroughput pt = 
                new ProvisionedThroughput().withReadCapacityUnits(10l).withWriteCapacityUnits(5l);CreateTableRequest request = new CreateTableRequest()		                               .withTableName(PropertyLoader.getInstance().getTestTableName())                                               .withKeySchema(ks)
                                               .withProvisionedThroughput(pt);ddb.createTable(request);

Checking the Status of the Table (Table Description)

Before we can move to the next step (creating users), we must wait until the status of the tables is ACTIVE. To retrieve the status of the table, we use a describe table request. This request returns information about the table such as the name of the table, item count, creation date and time, and its status.

AmazonDynamoDBClient ddb = UserPreferenceDemoActivity.clientManager.ddb();DescribeTableRequest request = new DescribeTableRequest()		.withTableName(PropertyLoader.getInstance().getTestTableName());DescribeTableResult result = ddb.describeTable(request);String status = result.getTable().getTableStatus();

Creating Users (Item Creation)

For each user, we'll create an item in the table. An item is a collection of attribute/value pairs. For each item, we'll have three attributes: userNo, firstName, and lastName. These are added to a put item request in order to create the item.

HashMap<String, AttributeValue> item = new HashMap<String, AttributeValue>();AttributeValue userNo = new AttributeValue().withN(String.valueOf(i));item.put("userNo", userNo);AttributeValue firstName = new AttributeValue().withS(Constants.getRandomName());item.put("firstName", firstName);AttributeValue lastName = new AttributeValue().withS(Constants.getRandomName());item.put("lastName", lastName);PutItemRequest request = new PutItemRequest().withTableName(		PropertyLoader.getInstance().getTestTableName()).withItem(item);ddb.putItem(request);

Deleting Users (Item Deletion)

To remove a user from the list simply means deleting the corresponding item from the table. We specify the item we wish to delete using the hash key for the item.

AmazonDynamoDBClient ddb = UserPreferenceDemoActivity.clientManager.ddb();Key primaryKey = new Key().withHashKeyElement(targetValue);DeleteItemRequest request = new DeleteItemRequest().withTableName(		PropertyLoader.getInstance().getTestTableName()).withKey(primaryKey);ddb.deleteItem(request);

Listing Users (Table Scan)

We can retrieve a collection of users with a scan request. A scan request simply scans the table and returns the results in an undetermined order. Scan is an expensive operation and should be used with care to avoid disrupting your higher priority production traffic on the table. See the Amazon DynamoDB developer guide for more recommendations for safely using the Scan operation.

AmazonDynamoDBClient ddb = UserPreferenceDemoActivity.clientManager.ddb();ScanRequest request = new ScanRequest();request.setTableName(PropertyLoader.getInstance().getTestTableName());ScanResult result = ddb.scan(request);ArrayList<HashMap<String, AttributeValue>> users = 
                      (ArrayList<HashMap<String, AttributeValue>>) result.getItems();

Retrieving a User's Preferences (Item Retrieval)

Knowing a user's userNo, the hash key of the table, it is easy to find the item for the user. This next snippet shows how to get all the attributes for an item using the hash key.

AmazonDynamoDBClient ddb = UserPreferenceDemoActivity.clientManager.ddb();AttributeValue userNoAttr = new AttributeValue().withN(String.valueOf(userNo));Key primaryKey = new Key().withHashKeyElement(userNoAttr);GetItemRequest request = new GetItemRequest().withTableName(		PropertyLoader.getInstance().getTestTableName()).withKey(primaryKey);GetItemResult result = ddb.getItem(request);HashMap<String, AttributeValue> userPreferences = 
                                        (HashMap<String, AttributeValue>) result.getItem();

Modifying User Preferences (Item Update)

The hash key also makes it easy to update an attribute for an item.

AmazonDynamoDBClient ddb = UserPreferenceDemoActivity.clientManager.ddb();AttributeValue av = new AttributeValue().withS(value);AttributeValueUpdate avu = new AttributeValueUpdate().withValue(av).withAction(AttributeAction.PUT);Key primaryKey = new Key().withHashKeyElement(targetValue);HashMap<String, AttributeValueUpdate> updates = new HashMap<String, AttributeValueUpdate>();updates.put(key, avu);UpdateItemRequest request = new UpdateItemRequest()		.withTableName(PropertyLoader.getInstance().getTestTableName())		.withKey(primaryKey).withAttributeUpdates(updates);ddb.updateItem(request);

List Deletion (Table Deletion)

The easiest way to remove all the user preference data is to delete the Amazon DynamoDB table. The following code shows how:

AmazonDynamoDBClient ddb = UserPreferenceDemoActivity.clientManager.ddb();DeleteTableRequest request = new DeleteTableRequest()		.withTableName(PropertyLoader.getInstance().getTestTableName());ddb.deleteTable(request);

Conclusion and Additional Resources

The code in this article demonstrates how to use Amazon DynamoDB as a storage device for your mobile application. You can find more information about Amazon DynamoDB here.

Sample apps that include the code from this article are provided with the AWS SDK for Android. You can download the SDK using the following link:

AWS SDK for Android

For more information about using AWS credentials with mobile applications see the following article:

Authenticating Users of AWS Mobile Applications with a Token Vending Machine

Questions?

Please feel free to ask questions or provide comments in the Mobile Development Forum.

January 06, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Interested in learning more about selling your apps on Amazon.com and Kindle Fire? Aaron Rubenson, director of the Amazon Appstore for Android, will offer insight at CES into how developers can get in front of millions of Amazon customers  – and make money – when they sell their apps at Amazon.com.

Learn about submitting apps for Kindle Fire,  which topped Amazon.com’s “Best of 2011” list as the best-selling, most wished for, and most gifted product as determined by Amazon.com customers. Throughout December, customers purchased well over 1 million Kindle devices per week. Also on the agenda is information about programs such as in-app purchasing and Test Drive, which lets customers try an app on their computers before they buy.

  AaronRubenson

Rubenson and other Amazon Appstore representatives will be available for informal discussions after the presentation.

Who:  Aaron Rubenson, Director, Amazon Appstore for Android

What:  “Selling Apps on Amazon.com and Kindle Fire”

Where:  The Venetian Meeting Rooms, Veronese 2404

When:  Friday, January 13, 9 a.m. – no R.S.V.P. needed

January 06, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Interested in learning more about selling your apps on Amazon.com and Kindle Fire? Aaron Rubenson, director of the Amazon Appstore for Android, will offer insight at CES into how developers can get in front of millions of Amazon customers  – and make money – when they sell their apps at Amazon.com.

Learn about submitting apps for Kindle Fire,  which topped Amazon.com’s “Best of 2011” list as the best-selling, most wished for, and most gifted product as determined by Amazon.com customers. Throughout December, customers purchased well over 1 million Kindle devices per week. Also on the agenda is information about programs such as in-app purchasing and Test Drive, which lets customers try an app on their computers before they buy.

  AaronRubenson

Rubenson and other Amazon Appstore representatives will be available for informal discussions after the presentation.

Who:  Aaron Rubenson, Director, Amazon Appstore for Android

What:  “Selling Apps on Amazon.com and Kindle Fire”

Where:  The Venetian Meeting Rooms, Veronese 2404

When:  Friday, January 13, 9 a.m. – no R.S.V.P. needed

December 21, 2011

lisamar

One great benefit to having your app on the Amazon Appstore for Android is cross-promotion. Cross-promotion is a form of marketing where customers of one product are targeted with promotion of a related product. Amazon.com has millions of customers, and those customers purchase tens of thousands of products every day. With so many great products (and customers), we have the unique ability to employ cross-promotion, even across product categories.

So, what do you need to do? Nothing! By default, apps that are published in the Amazon Appstore qualify to get picked up in the cross-merchandising widgets and promotions.

In the below image, you’ll see the product detail page for an Android app. In the Customers Who Bought Related Items Also Bought widget right below the general app information, you see that our site is automatically recommending a USB cable to the customer who is interested in this app—simply because other customers purchased similar items.

Calengoo-other-items

 

Similarly, in the following image, you can see the Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought widget. This form of cross-promotion allows customers to make informed decisions about which apps they purchase while also showing them additional apps that might interest them.

Customers_Who_Bought_This_Item_Also_Bought

Another Amazon widget that can benefit your app is the What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item? widget. Below, the widget is appearing on the product detail page for a tablet device and is advertising an app that was purchased by a customer who also purchased the tablet.

Automated Merchandisting slot promotes recent FAD_edit

All of the above-mentioned widgets are automated, but we also have the ability to manually cross-promote your app. In the following image, note that on the product detail page for a hardcover copy of this Dr. Seuss book, we’ve added a recommendation for the related Android app.

Cross-promotion screenshot

Cross-promotion means customers can discover your app in a number of ways—not just by searching on the title or category. And over time, your app sales have the potential to increase, purely based on this cross-promotion. That’s never a bad thing, right?

November 28, 2011

lisamar

KO-aag-apps._V162619036_
 

Recently Amazon released Kindle Fire, our newest addition to the Kindle family that showcases a color touch display and provides instant access to the Amazon Appstore for Android and Amazon’s massive selection of digital content, as well as free storage in the Amazon Cloud.

Kindle Fire puts Amazon’s digital powerhouse of content at customers’ fingertips. In addition to the thousands of popular apps and games available in the Amazon Appstore for Android, customers can also choose from over 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books—and all of their Amazon content is automatically stored in the Amazon cloud, free of charge. Web browsing is simple and fast with Amazon Silk and an even better experience because of the Kindle Fire’s vibrant color touchscreen with an extra-wide viewing angle. All this, plus a fast, powerful dual-core processor, and an unbeatable price, make us proud of this newest member of our Kindle family.

Don’t take our word on it though—we’re not the only ones admiring Kindle Fire!

The first easy-to-use, affordable small-screen tablet, the Amazon Kindle Fire is revolutionary...I can't emphasize this "ease of use" thing enough. More than anything else, that's what's been holding non-iPad tablets back. Amazon cracked it. End of story." - PC Mag

"The Kindle Fire is a 7-inch tablet that links seamlessly with Amazon's impressive collection of digital music, video, magazine, and book services in one easy-to-use package. It boasts a great Web browser, and its curated Android app store includes most of the big must-have apps (such as Netflix, Pandora, and Hulu). The Fire has an ultra-affordable price tag, and the screen quality is exceptional for the price." – CNET

How do you get your app onto the Kindle Fire?

Submit it! Simply join the Amazon Appstore Developer Program, if you haven’t already, and submit your app using the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal just as you would if you were submitting to our store for any other supported Android device. All apps will go through regular Amazon Appstore testing, as well as testing for Kindle Fire.

What are the requirements for your app to work on Kindle Fire?

For your app to work on Kindle Fire, it needs to be compatible with the device's specifications. At a high level, it must be optimized for non-Google Mobile Services (GMS), Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread), and a 7" screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600. Your app cannot require a gyroscope, camera, WAN module, Bluetooth, microphone, GPS, or micro-SD to function. In addition, your app must not be a theme or wallpaper that manipulates the user interface of the device. As with any other app submission to the Amazon Appstore for Android, your app will also need to comply with our Content Guidelines. For additional information, please visit our Kindle Fire FAQs.

What if your app was already submitted - will it be considered?

Yes. If you already have an app published in the Amazon Appstore for Android, we will automatically review the app for Kindle Fire compatibility. We're currently in the process of testing our entire catalog of published apps to ensure each app provides a high-quality customer experience on Kindle Fire.

What if you want to test your app(s) prior to submitting?

We strongly recommend you test your app on your own and submit an update if you discover any problems. It is possible to configure a standard Android emulator to simulate the Kindle Fire device platform. You should configure your emulator with the following characteristics:

  • Width: 600px
  • Height: 1024px (the device will reserve 20px of the height to display a soft key menu, yielding a height of 1004px when in full-screen mode)
  • Abstracted LCD Density: 169
  • Target: Android 2.3.4 - API Level 10
  • RAM: 512 MB

If you haven’t already submitted your apps, submit via the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal. Interested in marketing opportunities?  Fill out our marketing request form.

October 20, 2011

alexbow

Customer Reviews are extremely important to us here at Amazon. While it’s meaningful to make sure that your product description paints a compelling and realistic picture, we can’t always anticipate everything customers will be interested in before purchasing. When a customer leaves a review, they’re helping other customers decide if a particular item is right for them. This is just as important for the Amazon Appstore for Android. Customers are likely to view a few similar apps before choosing the one that suits them best and will use Customer Reviews to help make that determination.

Paying attention to the reviews on your apps has a lot of benefits. You can use the feedback to decide to add new features and functionality to your app, fix bugs, or make general improvements. While we understand you never want to see less than positive reviews posted about your app, you should take these comments as opportunities to improve your app and better serve your customer base. We give you the option of commenting on reviews so you can show the customer that their feedback is important and you are listening.

Here’s a great example: Capigami makes sure to follow customer reviews for their app, Out of Milk.  A review was posted that shared how much the customer loved Out of Milk but also had a few suggestions on improving the app.

Capture1

Capigami responded with a comment, thanking the customer for the kind words but also going through all of the recommendations and responding to each one. In this case, one of the recommendations was already in development.

Capture2

Amazon pays attention to customer reviews, too. We use that information to make decisions on many things, including which apps to market in various promotions, such as Free App of the Day or the Amazon Appstore for Android merchandising areas.

On Amazon.com, customer reviews are an extremely important part of our customers’ purchasing decisions. Ensuring that you stay on top of customer feedback will reward you with good customer reviews, which will get more customers interested in your app and other apps that you develop.

September 20, 2011

lisamar

Vervv, a mobile developer specializing in finance and productivity apps, currently has two Android apps available in the Amazon Appstore for Android. They are Convertr, which instantly and accurately converts anything, from currency to torque, and Ledgerist, the Android solution to the old pen-and-paper balancing of the checkbook.

The Amazon Appstore team approached Vervv prior to the launch of the Amazon Appstore. Ultimately, Vervv’s decision to submit its apps came down to Amazon’s large and engaged customer base. “There aren't many companies out there with the size and reach that Amazon has,” Vervv co-founder James Kelso said.

Vervv was initially surprised by its lack of traction with other Android offerings. “We noted a great response to our release on iOS, but the market was just too saturated on Android. When we released to the Amazon Appstore, and we were featured as the Free App of the Day, we noted much better user engagement with our product. We've seen a significant increase in sales ever since,” Kelso said.

 
       Convertr_thumbnail_225x225 Ledgerist_thumbnail_225x227


   
Vervv has not had to deal with a lot of non-technical feedback for its app in the Amazon Appstore for Android, a very positive sign. Kelso explained, “We're constantly bombarded with e-mails from users of the other Android marketplaces needing us to fix billing issues or other non-technical issues. Because customers can reach out to Amazon.com customer service for help with app-related billing and non-technical issues, the Amazon Appstore has been great in that it takes that burden off our shoulders.”

Kelso recommends the Amazon Appstore for Android as a good place for emerging apps “because it's difficult to get separation in most segments these days. Amazon is big enough to help gain traction in the market.” He added, “The most important thing that we've learned is probably that your app could be discovered any day.”

September 12, 2011

merydith

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Mobile SDK for Android is now generally available (GA).  The SDK features APIs designed specifically for mobile apps, and has sample code showing you how to connect to AWS using the AWS Security Token Service.

Made by mobile developers for mobile developers, the AWS Mobile SDK for Android provides support for connecting your application to the cloud. These “connected” apps leverage AWS to manage and scale new and compelling features.  The SDK makes it easy for you to build connected mobile applications by providing APIs that hide much of the lower-level networking code, including authentication, request retries, and error handling.

What types of connected features can you implement with the AWS Mobile SDK for Android?

  • Build a camera-to-cloud media application that uploads photos or videos to Amazon S3 for world-wide distribution through Amazon CloudFront. Amazon S3 provides the storage and Amazon CloudFront provides low-latency delivery of static or streaming content.
  • Make your mobile game "social" by adding the ability to share moves, high scores, or player stats between devices using Amazon SimpleDB.  Use the SDK to store and query data items via a simple interface, and Amazon SimpleDB does the rest.
  • Add the ability to broadcast messages (“It’s your turn, Dave”) between devices with Amazon Simple Notification Service and Amazon Simple Queue Service―without writing any server code.
  • And remember that camera-to-cloud application? Well, when your users ask you to update the application so they can email those photos and videos to friends, it’s going to be a snap, because you can use Amazon Simple Email Service to send emails from your application.

Get started by visiting the AWS SDK for Android page where you can download the SDK and read the Getting Started Guide.

If you submit your app to the Amazon Appstore for Android by November 15, you'll receive a $50 credit.  Learn more about this promotion at:  http://aws.amazon.com/Android-development-with-AWS

September 12, 2011

merydith

The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Mobile SDK for Android is now generally available (GA).  The SDK features APIs designed specifically for mobile apps, and has sample code showing you how to connect to AWS using the AWS Security Token Service.

Made by mobile developers for mobile developers, the AWS Mobile SDK for Android provides support for connecting your application to the cloud. These “connected” apps leverage AWS to manage and scale new and compelling features.  The SDK makes it easy for you to build connected mobile applications by providing APIs that hide much of the lower-level networking code, including authentication, request retries, and error handling.

What types of connected features can you implement with the AWS Mobile SDK for Android?

  • Build a camera-to-cloud media application that uploads photos or videos to Amazon S3 for world-wide distribution through Amazon CloudFront. Amazon S3 provides the storage and Amazon CloudFront provides low-latency delivery of static or streaming content.
  • Make your mobile game "social" by adding the ability to share moves, high scores, or player stats between devices using Amazon SimpleDB.  Use the SDK to store and query data items via a simple interface, and Amazon SimpleDB does the rest.
  • Add the ability to broadcast messages (“It’s your turn, Dave”) between devices with Amazon Simple Notification Service and Amazon Simple Queue Service―without writing any server code.
  • And remember that camera-to-cloud application? Well, when your users ask you to update the application so they can email those photos and videos to friends, it’s going to be a snap, because you can use Amazon Simple Email Service to send emails from your application.

Get started by visiting the AWS SDK for Android page where you can download the SDK and read the Getting Started Guide.

If you submit your app to the Amazon Appstore for Android by November 15, you'll receive a $50 credit.  Learn more about this promotion at:  http://aws.amazon.com/Android-development-with-AWS

September 12, 2011

lisamar

You’ve probably heard about Amazon’s goal to be the Earth’s most customer-centric company. Having clear, concise, and accurate app descriptions is one way the Amazon Appstore for Android strives to meet that goal.

When submitting your app(s) to the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal, you can provide content for the app’s product detail page. We’d like to share some of the key standards we use to help you along your way to great app product detail page content.

Title

The title is the first thing a customer sees and may even be the term they searched on. It appears at the very top of the product detail page, right above your company name.

Title_PDP_screenshot

  • Keep it simple. Don’t include extraneous marketing verbiage such as “MyAppTitle – the best most greatest app in the whole wide world and beyond!!!!!!!!”
  • Make it readable. Unless your app has special capitalization (PicSay, SwiftKey, SeekDroid), capitalize the first and last words of the title, no matter what part of speech. Between those words, capitalize each word except for coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, and for), articles (the, a, an), and prepositions of four or fewer letters.
  • Be concise. No more than 100 characters—it’s a title, not a Tweet!
  • Be clear. If your app has multiple versions, let your customer know by calling it out in the title (e.g., Premium, Pro, Lite, Donate, Free).

Description

The description appears on your Amazon product detail page in a section titled Product Description and provides you the opportunity to sell your customer on downloading/purchasing your app. Consider your audience. Who is your app’s target customer? Make sure the customer knows you are speaking to their interests.

  • What is your app’s point of differentiation? What are the key features of the app? Let customers know why this app is special and something they need.
  • Be truthful and avoid being vague. Don’t lead your customers to any unsupported conclusions—that leads down a quick path to unhappy customers and bad reviews. Accurate details always trump vague claims.
  • Avoid describing specific how-to information for the app. Customers want to know more about your app features than the step-by-step details on how to use it. That information would be more beneficial placed in a help section within the app. Use the description to sell your app!
  • If your app uses another app (like Adobe AIR) or synchronizes with a service (like Pandora) be sure to mention that information. Always let the customer know when fees are involved. Be up front with our customers and you’ll build customer loyalty and trust.
  • Use active (vs. passive) voice. Using active voice makes your meaning clear to the customer, and keeps the sentences from becoming too complicated or wordy.

Description_PDP_screenshot_1

Description_PDP_screenshot_2

Description_PDP_screenshot_3

Product Feature Bullets

Product feature bullets summarize key features of your app and are displayed in their own section, titled Product Features, on your app’s product detail page.

  • Detail your app’s specific features or actions and list its main (or most compelling) feature first. Some customers may only read the features bullets on your app’s product detail page, so it is important to make them as comprehensive as possible while remaining concise.
  • Try to sum up your app in 3 – 5 bullets.
  • Capitalize the first word and don’t end a bullet with a period—remember that the product features are a concise feature list and not full sentences (like these bullets!).
  • Make the bullets parallel by starting with the same part of speech (e.g., noun, verb), using the same verb tense (e.g., present, past, future), and the same voice (e.g., active or passive, preferably active).

ProductFeatures_PDP_screenshot_1

ProductFeatures_PDP_screenshot_2

ProductFeatures_PDP_screenshot_3

Upload!

Upload all of your app metadata (content, images, basically anything other than the actual APK) in your Developer Portal account within the app profile.

The title will go in the General Information section.

Title_field_screenshot

The description will go in the Merchandising section.

Description_field_screenshot

The Description field allows for 4,000 characters. If you have more to say, you can send us additional information via the Contact Us link in your Developer Portal account.

Using the knowledge we gain from your provided description, testing your app, and listening to general customer feedback, the Amazon Appstore team will publish content that most accurately represents your app in a manner that customers will find clear, concise, and pertinent to their needs.

  • Keep it simple. Don’t include extraneous marketing verbiage such as “MyAppTitle – the best most greatest app in the whole wide world and beyond!!!!!!!!!”
  • Make it readable. Unless your app has special capitalization (PicSay, SwiftKey, SeekDroid), capitalize the first and last words of the title, no matter what part of speech. Between those words, capitalize each word except for:
    • Coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, and for)
    • Articles (the, a, an)
    • Prepositions of four or fewer letters
  • Be concise. No more than 100 characters—it’s a title, not a Tweet!

 

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