Amazon Developer Blogs

Amazon Developer Blogs

Showing posts by Winkie Chen

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.”

April 12, 2011

Winkie Chen

The manifest of your Android app provides essential information about the app to the Amazon Appstore for Android. Your app must include an “AndroidManifest.xml” file in the root directory.

The Amazon Appstore uses the app manifest file to ensure we merchandise apps appropriately. Prior to submitting your app to Amazon, please ensure the manifest is packaged with your app and includes the following elements and data:

• VersionName: A string value that represents the release version of the application code, as it should be shown to users. The value is a string so that you can describe the application version as a <major>.<minor>.<point> string, or as any other type of absolute or relative version identifier. There is a hundred-character maximum on the length of the version name string.

• Uses-sdk: Tells us which OS the app runs on.

• Uses-configuration: Tells us which configuration is required by the app. (This element may be left empty if nothing is required.)

• Uses-feature: Tells us which features of the phone are used, such as the camera. (This section may be left empty if there are no required features.)

• Supports-screens: Tells us if the app supports large and/or high-intensity screens

• Uses-permissions: These are Android permissions and are required by the platform. (This should NOT be present if your app does not require permissions.)


Below is an example manifest structure with required elements in red:

<manifest versionName="string">

    <uses-permission />

    <permission />

    <permission-tree />

    <permission-group />

    <instrumentation />

    <uses-sdk />

    <uses-configuration />

    <uses-feature />

    <supports-screens />

     <application>

        <activity>

            <intent-filter>

                <action />

                <category />

                <data />

            </intent-filter>

            <meta-data />

        </activity>

         <activity-alias>

            <intent-filter> . . . </intent-filter>

            <meta-data />

        </activity-alias>

         <service>

            <intent-filter> . . . </intent-filter>

            <meta-data/>

        </service>

         <receiver>

            <intent-filter> . . . </intent-filter>

            <meta-data />

        </receiver>

        <provider>

            <grant-uri-permission />

            <meta-data />

        </provider>

         <uses-library />

    </application>

</manifest>
 

If you do not have any data for a certain element--for instance, if your app does not utilize any permission--you should remove that element entirely instead of leaving it empty.  Empty elements can cause issues in the ingestion process.  Also, make sure your app only requests permissions that it actually needs to function properly.  Unnecessary permission requests can cause a spyware or malware concern from a customer’s perspective.

If your manifest does not comply with this set of rules, it may be rejected directly by the Developer Portal or in the app approval phase.

You can find more information about the AndroidManifest.xml File on the Android Dev Guide:

http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/manifest/manifest-intro.html