Amazon Developer Blogs

Amazon Developer Blogs

Showing posts tagged with Kindle Fire

June 05, 2014

Corey Badcock

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.  

65% of Developers Say Total Revenue Similar or Better Than Other Platforms

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.

76% of Developers Say Amazon helps them Connect with New Segments

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.

Download the Report

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.

 

May 22, 2014

David Isbitski

With the release of the latest version of the Amazon Appstore for Android, customers using the Amazon Appstore on Android tablets and phones have more ways to discover and purchase apps.

New Features for Customers

The Amazon Appstore for Android is continuously updated with new features that improve the customer experience and make it easier for developers to monetize their apps. Here are a few recent updates:

More Ways to Buy Apps with Amazon Coins

Amazon Coins can be purchased directly inside the Amazon Appstore for Android. Customers save up to 10% on apps, games and in-app items by purchasing Amazon Coins. Customers are shown their current Coins balance at the top of the screen as well as during checkout.

   

Figure 1- Available Amazon Coins displayed at top with ability to purchase at discount when clicking

Any of your apps or games that reward Amazon Coins when purchased can also be easily discovered in the Amazon Appstore for Android. Customers can search only for those apps and games that reward Amazon Coins from the navigation menu. We also feature apps and games rewarding Coins directly on the home screen.

Amazon Coins are a great way for your apps to get noticed in the Amazon Appstore. As a developer with a qualified app in the Appstore Developer Select program, customers who purchase your app will be rewarded with Amazon Coins for simply downloading your app. They can then use these Coins to buy other apps and in-app items.

   

Figure2- Apps and games that reward Amazon Coins can be viewed from the menu and on the main screen

Purchasing Directly from Search

Customers now get search hints whenever they’re searching for new apps and games. The title, publisher, customer rating and price are all displayed on the search hint. If a customer clicks on the button to make a purchase (Free or Paid), then more details about the app or game will be displayed, along with a “Get App” button that allows customers to immediately download your app or game. 

      

Figure 3- Purchasing a new game directly from search

Publish Your App to the Amazon Appstore

With the Amazon Appstore, customers can purchase your apps and games from a web browser, Kindle Fire tablets, Amazon Fire TV and select Android devices. Customers can find your apps and games in a variety of ways inside the Amazon Appstore.

If you have not submitted your Android app yet to the Amazon Appstore, registration is free and simple to complete and over 75% of Android tablets we tested work on Kindle Fire devices with no additional development required. Amazon also offers a free Mobile App SDK that supports In App Purchasing, Mobile Ads, A/B Testing, Analytics and more. Once your app is in the Amazon Appstore you can expand your reach to Kindle Fire and Amazon Fire TV devices at any time directly from within the developer console.

You may also want to check out these additional developer resources:

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

May 02, 2014

Rob Pulciani

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

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

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


Check out the full Business Insider report here.

 

April 30, 2014

Jesse Freeman

One Game, Everywhere

Gone are the days where you can make a game and publish it to a single platform and expect to be successful. Like any business that sells consumer products, you need to go where the people are. That means the games you make should run on a multitude of different platforms and accept any number of different input types. There’s also one more catch: your players expect to be able to share their game data across all of these different platforms, especially if they are paying for your game multiple times. With that in mind I have outlined what I call “responsive game design,” which is modeled loosely after some of the core concepts of responsive web design. It’s also a framework that will help you think about enabling your games to scale across multiple platforms.

Applying Responsive Design Concepts To Games

On the web, responsive design is a set of guidelines and best practices that help websites scale from desktop to mobile. Web developers discovered early on that it was too difficult to maintain separate designs for desktop and mobile so this solution allows a site to re-adjust to any resolution based on a set of ideal screen sizes. While responsive design on the web focused solely on adapting a site’s visual design based on common viewports, the notion of responsive game design builds on this concept to include other key aspects you need to consider when making multi-platform games.

Responsive game design can be summed up in the following key requirements:

  1. Game graphics and UI support multiple resolutions
  2. Game mechanics work across multiple types of input
  3. Publish to multiple platforms with the same codebase
  4. Saved data is synced across all platforms

While most of these are already best practice for games in general, the collection of them represent a guideline for game designers moving forward to help reach the broadest audience possible.

1. Scaling Game Visuals Across Different Resolutions

If you come from desktop game development this is not going to be a big shock to you since it’s common practice to support multiple-resolutions and varying computer performance. While mobile development is relatively new in this space, over the past few years, mobile device resolutions have tended to normalize around a few key aspect ratios (3:2, 4:3 & 16:9) allowing the same desktop game concepts to be applied:

  • Build for aspect ratios not fixed resolutions
  • Create simplified, dynamic UI that can adapt to different resolutions
  • Have degradable graphics that can adapt to the power of the device

It’s also important to note that optimizing a game’s graphics goes well beyond just the resolution. Each system has different performance so being able to dynamically scale the game’s visual effects across these different platforms is critical as well. Especially when dealing with high pixel density displays, you could actually end up pushing incredibly high resolutions on devices that can’t fully support them. Also you may need to tone down specific special effects on mobile verses desktop or perform special optimizations when going to TV to account for slower display refresh rates. Make sure that you take into account these limitations and plan accordingly.

2. Supporting A Single Control System Across Different Input Types

A single game can support three types of input (mouse + keyboard, controller and touch) based on the device they are on. While thinking through each of these inputs, game designers should consider how their game will work going from desktop to tablet to phone and TV. Will the controls hold up on a system without physical buttons or should the gameplay be simplified a bit to account for the lowest common denominator?

It’s completely possible to have games work with a single input mechanic but a lot of planning and consideration must go into the overall design of the game. Most devices accept a game controller at this point so while not ideal, players can still plug one in if virtual controls are too frustrating. It’s especially important to take into account that not everyone who plays your games will have access to a controller. The Fire TV ships with a remote by default so if you want to capture the largest audience possible you’ll want to make sure you support the remote out of the box. You can still publish a controller only game but keep in mind that each input limitation you place on your game shrinks your potential audience accordingly.

3. Publishing a single game from the same codebase.

For years, developers had leaned on C++ as a cross platform solution to making games that work across multiple platforms. A successful port could be anything above 50% core reusability. I still know developers who build their own game engines that allow them to manually port from platform to platform but that process can be time consuming and if you are a small indie developer, the additional bug testing time may not possible to maintain across all the devices you want to support. That is why it is critical to find a cross publishing solution you feel comfortable with.

The most popular game engine today for indies is Unity 3D. From there other solutions, which grow in complexity, are Unreal Engine, CryEngine. There also some smaller more specialized game engines like GameMaker Studio. If pre-built game frameworks are not your thing, consider some cross compilers like HaXe, Monkey and CocoonJS. Either way there are many options and each will have some kind of impact on your end result or the platforms you can reach so do your research while designing your game.

4. Saving State Across Devices

What good is having a game that can be played on multiple platforms but the player needs to restart their progress every time? A key component to the responsive game design concept is allowing a single game session to extend across different devices allowing your player to start on one platform and continue on another. Imagine being able to play a Fire TV game at home then continuing your game on the go on any mobile device?

Steam was one of the first game publishing platforms to introduce cloud based game saving and since then more companies have offered similar solutions. The biggest issue is that these services are platform specific. For a developer to support different platforms, they would have to roll their own solution. However, built into our GameCircle API is WhisperSync, which can be used to not only have cross platform leaderboards but also sync game data across different mobile devices.

By adding GameCircle’s WhsperSync to your game, you can leverage this to let your players go from mobile (iOS, Android and FireOS) to the Fire TV for the full 10-foot experience then sync their game data back across all of these devices. While GameCircle doesn’t support PC syncing today, being able to have a consistent saved game mechanism for your mobile and Fire TV builds is a huge advantage for your players and a step in the right direction.

Where Do We Go From Here?

While this is just the foundation for a larger concept in game design, it’s up to you as the game designer to help define and shape the future of what gaming on multiple platforms means to the player. At Amazon we are incredibly focused on the customer and we build tools to help you as the developer serve them better. Over the next few years we will see more and more games that reach across platform walls to enable a gamer to pick the device and play style they want and with the correctly designed game, that player will have the same experience no matter where they choose to play your game.

Resources:

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

April 16, 2014

Mike Hines

Amazon WebView (AWV) is a Chromium-derived web runtime exclusive to Fire OS. AWV makes better performing and more powerful apps possible by providing support for a faster JavaScript engine (V8), remote debugging, and hardware optimizations for Kindle Fire devices including an accelerated 2D Canvas. Enabling your Cordova project to support AWV gives you access to HTML5 features not supported by Android’s built in WebView such as: CSS Calc, Form Validation, getUserMedia, IndexedDB, Web Workers, WebSockets and WebGL.

For developers who are not familiar with Cordova, it is an open source solution that provides tools and templates that wrap web code and assets, allowing you to publish your web code and assets as if they were native apps. Cordova is also customizable via its plugin architecture which allows developers to extend the framework in order to access OS level APIs like the built-in contact list, as well as physical hardware on the device itself like the camera.  Cordova also makes it possible for two way communication from the web app wrapper to the device’s native language.

To ensure that all core Cordova plugins will be natively supported, Amazon worked with the Apache community when adding Cordova support for the Amazon Fire OS platform. Here is how to set it up on your local computer, enable Amazon Web View and create a project from scratch.

1. Install Tools

You need to make sure you have all the required tools and libraries needed to compile and package an Android application. Download and install the following (please note these links will take you to third-party sites):

You'll need to have Java installed, and the Android SDK from developer.android.com/sdk which includes the Android Developer Toolkit (adt). You may be presented with a choice of where to install the SDK, otherwise move the downloaded adt-bundle tree to wherever you store development tools.

For Cordova command-line tools to work, you need to include the Android SDK's tools and platform-tools directories in your PATH environment:

To modify the PATH environment on Mac, Linux, etc.:

  • Use a text editor to create or modify the ~/.bash_profile file, adding a line such as the following, depending on where the SDK installs:
export PATH= $ {PATH}:/Development/adt-bundle/sdk/platform-tools:/Development/adt-bundle/sdk/tools

You will also need to enable Java, Ant and/or Node from the command line. Open a command prompt and type "java", then "ant" then "node". Reinstall, or append to the PATH whichever fail to run.

This will expose the tools in newly opened terminal windows. Otherwise run this to make them available in the current session:

$ source ~/.bash_profile

To modify the PATH environment on Windows 7:

  • Click on the Start menu in the lower-left corner of the desktop, right-click on Computer, then click Properties.
  • Click Advanced System Settings in the column on the left.
  • In the resulting dialog box, press Environment Variables.
  • Select the PATH variable and press Edit.
  • Append the following to the PATH based on where you installed the SDK, for example:
;C:\Development\adt-bundle\sdk\platform-tools;C:\Development\adt-bundle\sdk\tools
  • Save the value and close both dialog boxes.

You will also need to enable Java, Ant and/or Node from the command line. Open a command prompt and type "java", then "ant" then "node". Reinstall, or append to the PATH whichever fail to run:

;%JAVA_HOME%\bin;%ANT_HOME%\bin

2. Install Cordova

Make sure you are able to invoke npm (Node Package Manager) on your command line; it's added as a part of Node.js. (You can install Node.js from the nodejs.org homepage and type NPM in the command line to validate the installation.)

To install Cordova, open a command prompt/terminal and use:

$ npm install -g cordova

On Unix-like systems, you may need to append "sudo" to ensure it is installed correctly. See Cordova's documentation for the Command-Line Interface for more details.

3. Create Cordova Project

Create project. Open a command line/terminal in a directory where you'd like to have your project stored and run the following commands to create a project and add the files needed to build for Amazon Fire OS:

$ cordova create hello com.example.hello HelloWorld

Add Amazon Fire OS platform.  Change into the newly created project directory and add the files needed for the amazon-fireos platform target.

$ cd hello
$ cordova platform add amazon-fireos

4. Install the Amazon WebView SDK

The first time you try to add the amazon-fireos platform you will be instructed add the Amazon WebView SDK. Download and extract the Amazon WebView SDK zip file from the Amazon Developer Portal.

Copy awv_interface.jar from the unzipped folder into the amazon-fireos directory found in Cordova's global working directory. Note: You'll need to create the libs/ folder manually.

On Mac/Linux:

$ mkdir ~/.cordova/lib/amazon-fireos/cordova/3.4.0/framework/libs
$ cp awv_interface.jar ~/.cordova/lib/amazon-fireos/cordova/3.4.0/framework/libs/

On Windows:

> mkdir %USERPROFILE%\.cordova\lib\amazon-fireos\cordova\3.4.0\framework\libs
> cp awv_interface.jar %USERPROFILE%\.cordova\lib\amazon-fireos\cordova\3.4.0\framework\libs

Then you will need to remove and re-add the platform:

$ cordova platform rm amazon-fireos 
$ cordova platform add amazon-fireos

5. Build your Project

Add HTML5 assets. Your web app's assets - HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images, etc.  - should be placed in the project's www folder. You can use the sample placeholder files installed as a template, or you can replace them completely with your web apps's files.

Add support for Android devices if needed. If your app is going to be used on non-Fire OS devices running Android, you can provide a fallback to the stock Android WebView engine by adding the awv_android_factory.jar file found in the AWV SDK bundle into your Cordova project under the platform libraries folder. For example:

./hello/platforms/amazon-fireos/libs/awv_android_factory.jar

Adding the code above will allow you to submit the app to the Amazon Appstore and target non-Kindle Fire devices as well as all Kindle Fire devices.

Build and deploy your project. Make sure that USB debugging is enabled on your device as described on the Android Developer Site, and use a mini USB cable to plug it into your system. (Note: Currently, testing via an emulator is not supported for Amazon WebView based apps.)

Then you can build and deploy the app to the device with the following single command:

$ cordova run

What You Can Do Now

With Amazon Web View support enabled for Cordova, you can build higher performance apps with tools like WebGL, CSS Calc and Web Workers, debug your app remotely, and see performance gains through a faster JavaScript engine and access to accelerated hardware on Kindle Fire devices.

To learn more, follow these links (some of which will take you to third-party sites):

 

 

 

April 15, 2014

David Isbitski

In May last year we announced Login with Amazon (LWA), an OAuth 2.0 protocol authentication service that allows your mobile apps for Android and iOS to securely connect with Amazon customers.

Today we are making things even easier for customers using apps enabled with Login with Amazon  on the latest generation of Kindle Fire devices.  Starting today, mobile apps and games that use Login with Amazon on these Kindle Fire devices will no longer need to ask Amazon customers to sign in each time the app is run. Instead, the first time the app is run Login with Amazon will automatically use the account registered to the Kindle Fire device.  The user will then simply need to consent to share their information once for each of those apps to be automatically signed in.

What Has Changed for Developers?

In addition to enabling single sign-on for Kindle Fire, Login with Amazon is now integrated with the Amazon Mobile App SDK with documentation available here in the API section of developer.amazon.com.  Login with Amazon is now part of your one-stop destination for all of Amazon’s Mobile App Developer offerings.

What Has Changed for Kindle Fire Customers?

Mobile Apps and Games downloaded to Kindle Fire devices that have implemented Login with Amazon will no longer need to ask customers to sign in each time.

In the below screenshot I launch the Sample Login with Amazon app from the Amazon Mobile App SDK.

Figure 1- Launching the Login with Amazon Sample App from the Amazon Mobile App SDK

The Sample App provides a Login with Amazon button for the user to click.  Since this is the first time I am logging in with the Sample App I am greeted with a prompt where I agree to consent to share specified information from my Amazon account under the Settings section.  Note, I am only prompted the first time I run the app and when I use the app in the future, I will automatically be logged in. To stop logging in automatically, go to Your Account>> Manage Login with Amazon settings and remove the app.

 

Figure 3- Giving the App permission to automatically log you in on future launches

What Versions of Kindle Fire Are Supported?

All third generation of Kindle Fire are supported including:

  • Kindle Fire HDX 7” HDX (3rd Gen)
  • Kindle Fire HDX 8.9” HDX (3rd Gen)
  • Kindle Fire HD 7" (3rd Gen)

How Do I Get Started?

To enable Login with Amazon, click on the Login with Amazon tab in the Developer Console to create or select a security profile.

Next, follow the below steps to setup your developer environment and add Login with Amazon to your app:

  1. Install the Login with Amazon SDK for Android
  2. Run the Sample App
  3. Register with Login with Amazon
  4. Create a Login with Amazon Project
  5. Use the SDK for Android APIs

The above Login with Amazon sample app is now included with the Amazon Mobile App SDK.  Simply download the latest version and navigate to  Android/LoginWithAmazon/samples/SampleLoginWithAmazonApp in the folder where you unzipped the SDK.

Learn more about the Login with Amazon API section of developer.amazon.com here.

Conclusion

By enabling Login with Amazon on your Mobile Apps and Games for Kindle Fire, you no longer need to ask customers to sign in. This streamlines the experience for your customers and increases engagement for your apps where your customers may have needed to remember their specific login credentials. 

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

 

April 14, 2014

Jesse Freeman

We are excited to announce that developers can publish their web apps to the Amazon Appstore without a manifest. As we continue to streamline the web app submission process our goal is to make submitting hosted web apps just as easy as submitting Android ones. Now all you need to do is supply your hosted web app’s url, instead of uploading an APK, and the rest of the process is exactly how you would expect. Fill in the app’s description, upload screenshots and define your app’s permissions which allow you to quickly publish web content to the Amazon Appstore. Let’s take a look at how this works.

Our web app submission process revolves around being able to take any online website and by submitting its URL it will be published like a native app to the Amazon Appstore. For customers who have websites that support responsive design, work well on mobile, and are looking for a way to distribute their site next to native apps, this is the best solution out there for getting hosted content in the Amazon Appstore. Additionally, they can monetize their website by setting a base list price or by using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing APIs. If this is your first time submitting a web app, you simply provide a url where you would normally upload a native APK.

 

Let’s take a look at how you can get your own web app ready for submission in four easy steps.

Step 1: Verifying Your Web App’s URL

You can now validate your web app’s URL right from the developer portal.

Simply put your URL in, click the verify button and the tool will let you know if the contents at the URL pass the preliminary submission requirements. We check for the following things:

1.      Is the URL properly formated

2.      Make sure that a URL does not return a 4XX or 5XX http status

3.      URL has valid security certificate

4.      Redirects don’t lead to an eventual 4XX or 5XX code 

Just keep in mind that users will need to have an Internet connection to access your site once it’s submitted.

Step 2: Declaring Web App’s Permissions

Once your URL has has been verified, you can select your app’s permission. Simply check off the options that apply to your app.

 

Step 3: Select Compatible Platforms

Then you can define on which devices this web app can be published.

While the Kindle Fire HD and HDX devices offer the best performance for web apps, make sure you test your web app on older devices to ensure the performance is ideal for your users. Intensive web games and anything using WebGL should be distributed on Kindle Fire HD and above.

One other thing to keep in mind is that while you can install web apps in the Amazon Appstore on any Android device that has the store installed, it will default to the native WebView on that device. This means you will not have access to the optimized Amazon WebView and will see a drop in performance. Make sure to test out your URL in the web app Tester and select Android Web View to see what it will run like on native Android devices.

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Step 4: Agreeing to Distribution Rights

Finally, the last thing you need to do is check off Distribution Rights.

 

This ensures that you own the domain and the rights to publish the app. We will do our own verification to make sure you are in fact the owner of this domain and are not trying to publish another site to the store.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the process of submitting a web app to the Amazon Appstore couldn’t be easier. Now that the entire process is done through the developer portal it should take you only a few minutes to expand your web app’s user base by making it available to millions of Amazon Appstore customers in nearly 200 countries. Better yet, you now have the ability to charge for your web app or add in-app purchases to create new opportunities to monetize your online content on mobile devices.

Additional Resources

Amazon Developer Portal -

- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)

 

March 27, 2014

Paul Cutsinger

While at GDC last week, I was able to speak to over 300 developers. It’s exciting to see all the ideas and the passion that fuels them - I love being around people that are so creative and productive. Often our conversations would turn to how to take their great idea and turn it into a great business. We’d talk about how to expand their distribution channels, best practices for monetization, opportunities for promotion and, most importantly, how to continuously improve the experience of their game.

Most of the people I spoke to understood the basic premise of AB Testing — to provide more than one experience and see which performs the best. For example, it’s common in advertising to deploy several ads with different messaging or art work to a small number of customers and then expand to more with the one that performs the best. It’s similar in a game, where you could test several experiences like the difficulty of a level, the impact of ad placement, or the effectiveness of your viral mechanic, etc.

Still, most of the developers I spoke to were surprised and excited by the following 4 aspects of Amazon’s AB Testing service:

  1. FREE. Anyone with a (free) developer account can use the free AB Testing service for an unlimited number of tests.
  2. Cross Platform. iOS, Android and, Kindle Fire are all supported. You can use AB Testing in any or all of these platforms.
  3. Deploy Instantly. Part of the power of AB Testing is that your producers, level designers, analysts (the non-coders) can instantly deploy the winning experience to all players without a re-submit to any app store.
  4. Multiple goals. It’s easy to imagine testing which ad placement results in the best click-through. But, how does it impact 3 day retention or level completion or time to first purchase? Amazon’s AB Testing can help you measure an experiment against multiple goals.

You can give it a try right now. It’s available from the developer portal at https://developer.amazon.com/public/apis/manage/ab-testing.

 

March 21, 2014

Mike Hines

Don’t send a gift, we’ll give one to you

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

Yes, on our birthday this year, we’d like to offer you some gifts!  Before we get to the numbers, let’s take the wrapping off our present to you. Starting on March 16th we kicked off our birthday week with discounts on apps and in-app items along with some great Free App of the Day specials (FAD). Starting today and running through Saturday, we’ll offer a “Appstore Hits” FAD bundle, which is valued at over $50 and includes titles like Monopoly, POLARIS Office, Dr. Panda Airport, Swype Keyboard and more.  You can find this FAD bundle at www.amazon.com/FADhits.

We’re also continuing the deals and discounts we kicked off our birthday week with, where you’ll continue to find deals of up to 60% off on select apps plus amazing promotions on in-app items for titles including Wheel of Fortune from Sony Pictures, Terraria from 505 Games and Warner Bros.’ Batman: Arkham City Lockdown. As an added bonus, for a limited time, customers who buy select in-app items within great games like Asphalt 8, Animal Voyage, Kingdoms of Camelot, The Hobbit, Sonic Dash, World at Arms and Despicable Me: Minion Rush can earn up to 50% back on the purchase price in the form of Amazon Coins. 

Great deals will continue to run through March 29th, so check back to our store for the latest. We hope you enjoy these savings. Now on to the numbers.

Amazon Appstore by the numbers

The Amazon Appstore launched on March 22, 2011 with 4,084 apps available for users of Android devices. Since that day, the Kindle Fire line of devices has launched with the Amazon Appstore, and an increasing number of mobile carriers around the world are selling Android phones with the Amazon Appstore pre-installed.

We’re happy that we’ve been able to meet the needs of so many customers over that time. We thought you might like to see some of the numbers from the Amazon Appstore over the years:

Downloads

On our Birthdays, these were the most downloaded apps:

Amazon Appstore Numbers

Number of apps: Over 180,000 in the US

Number of countries: 198

Hours required for a developer to submit an app: Less than 1

Delivering value to developers and customers

Since we started three years ago, both customers and developers have seen value from programs like Free App of the Day, Amazon Coins and Appstore Developer Select. We’ve also expanded our developer services significantly and have launched services like Mobile Associates, which lets developers earn commissions on physical goods sold on Amazon.com, and A/B Testing which helps developers tweak and tune their apps in real-time. These services and others have helped developers earn more money, and we’re certainly not finished yet. Look for more innovative cross-platform programs and services in the years to come. As always at Amazon, it’s still day 1 in this business, and we’re just getting started.

What you can do

  • Keep an eye on the Free App of the Day here.
  • You can get started on the Amazon Appstore in less time than you think.  You can create a free Appstore developer account in less than 30 minutes here.
  • You can submit one of your existing apps in less than an hour (watch this video to learn how).

 

March 13, 2014

David Isbitski

Founded in 2011 Pixowl, Inc is a mobile games developer headquartered in San Francisco, CA. With the success of its four iOS games, The Sandbox, Greedy Grub, Doodle Grub and Safari Party, Pixowl has made a name for itself in casual mobile games.  Their game, The Sandbox, is a unique world-building and crafting game in 2D with touch controls and access to over 150+ physics elements. Players can craft amazing worlds, create pixel art, chiptune music, electric circuits or just play with physics.

I had a chance to sit down with Sebastien Borget, COO and Co-Founder at Pixowl and ask him about Pixowl’s experiences porting The Sandbox to the Kindle Fire, what type of success Pixowl has seen in the Amazon Appstore, and what it was like implementing many of the APIs available in the Amazon Mobile App SDK.

Betting on the Amazon Appstore pays off

“We have built with Amazon an improved version of The Sandbox which is deeply integrated with Amazon’s GameCircle service for a more seamless experience on Kindle Fire.” – Sebastien, Pixowl

Pixowl was able to submit The Sandbox early on in the Amazon Appstore’s launch.  “We were present at an event organized by Amazon UK to present other developers success stories on the Amazon Appstore.  While it was still in an early stage of maturity we were really impressed by the performance the apps had already seen there. This convinced us we had to be among the early movers and adopt a cross-platform strategy fitted for each partner.  Now, we couldn’t be happier about this decision as the Amazon team has held all of its promises and has been over achieving for us.” recalls Sebastien.

For the Kindle Fire version of The Sandbox, Pixowl decided to integrate Amazon GameCircle allowing a more seamless experience.  GameCircle is a free, cross-platform API from Amazon that provides everything you need to implement achievements, leaderboards, and saved game syncing across any device, regardless of mobile platform. Once you integrate GameCircle, customers can play and interact with other gamers across any mobile device.

“Amazon is proving that Android users could be as engaged with games as on other platforms and made it worth considering alternative distributions models, with  a huge revenue potential.” – Sebastien, Pixowl

“For us, the decision making process was relatively easy. On a business perspective, we wanted to make sure that the platform had enough of our core audience: kids and casual players, from 5 years old to 20+ .  On the technical side, we had to check what level of compatibility with existing Kindle models was, evaluate the adaptations required and make sure we could provide the best game experience on the devices.” says Sebastien.

Quick porting process and easy Amazon Mobile App API integration

Pixowl already had an existing Android version of The Sandbox so moving to the Amazon Appstore was relatively quick.  “The overall porting process took us 2 weeks maximum including development and testing. We are developing in C++ with Cocos2DX and everything worked almost seamlessly.” says Sebastien.

The Sandbox follows the “freemium” monetization model; a free download to all Amazon customers the games utilizes Amazon’s In-App Purchasing API to unlock additional campaigns of level or acquire elements faster.

The API offers a completely Amazon hosted checkout experience to customers and integrates fully with their Amazon account.  They can choose to utilize their 1-Click purchase settings as well as Amazon Coins which now work on both Android and Kindle Fire devices.

According to Pixowl the Amazon Appstore represents 5% of the total downloads volume from all Android marketplaces, but over 20% of their total Android revenues. Some days, it’s could be as high as 50%!   “That’s very close to the performance we’re seeing with Apple iOS!” says Sebastien.

According to Pixowl Amazon is proving that Android users can be as engaged with games as on other platforms.  It made it worth Pixowl considering alternative distributions models, with a huge revenue potential.  “Success is no longer determined just by the amount of downloads, but by their quality. Go for the full experience with Amazon.  It’s really worth it!” says Sebastien.

You can check out The Sandbox in the Amazon Appstore here.  You find out more about the Amazon In-App Purchasing API here and the cross-platform GameCircle API here.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)