Update – 12/18/13 - As part of our continuing efforts to simplify the Amazon Appstore for developers we have loosened the requirement for SSL in Web Apps. The practice is still recommended but not required to pass certification for certain scenarios such as Geolocation and Authentication. You can view additional details on using SSL in your Web App here.
Following up on the latest in a series of webinars covering Amazon devices, game services, and mobile applications, here’s a list of questions we collected during and after our presentation on HTML5 Mobile Web Apps.
Q: How much does it cost to publish my Web Apps?
A: There are no developer registration or subscription fees. There is no cost to publish your Mobile Web Apps with Amazon and all of the corresponding services, such as In-App Purchasing, are free to use.
Q: How are apps currently published, do I need to have a Website?
A: Currently Web Apps get distributed by having you host all of your current on your own Web Infrastructure. You are free to use any hosting service and we walk through an AWS EC2 Micro Instance in the recorded webinar.
Q: Do I need to make any changes to my Website?
A: We support HTML5 and responsive web design for all Web Apps. The only required change is that you create a web-app-manifest.json file and return the JSON correctly. This ensures you are the owner of the website. We also highly encourage the use of SSL.
Q: How do I test my Web App?
A: Since the Web App application is the same HTML5 code as your Mobile Web site you can do all of your testing through a browser like you would normally or your favorite Developer IDE (WebStorm, Eclipse, Sublime, Visual Studio, etc.)
Q: How do I test my Web App on a Kindle Fire or Android Device?
When you are ready to see the website running on a device you can install the Web App Tester from the Amazon Appstore. The Amazon Web App tester will run on Kindle Fire and select Android devices.
Q: How do I debug my Web App on a device?
A: The Web App Tester tool uses ADB to allow debugging of your Web App through the Chrome Dev Tools. We do a complete walk through of this process in the recorded webinar and you can get more details on our SDK website here.
Q: What HTML5 features are currently supported?
A: The current version of Web Apps is built on the open source Chromium project version 25. You can view the full list of supported features here.
Q: Can I lock the device screen orientation?
A: Yes for a full list of best practices around device orientation and other capabilities check out the SDK documentation here.
Q: How do I take screenshots of my Web App for submission to the Appstore?
A: You will need to run the Web App Tester on a Kindle Fire device and hold down the power button + volume down. Once you have taken the screenshot you can find it in your pictures\screenshots folder. You can read more details here and we walk through this process in the recorded webinar.
A: The current Web App API library is hosted here and available for viewing or inclusion in your own web projects. The recorded webinar includes a walkthrough and summary of this file.
Q: Can I use In-App Purchasing with my Web App?
Q: Are Web Apps eligible for the Amazon Developer Select program?
A: Yes, Web Apps are eligible for Amazon Developer Select and you will automatically see the status for each of your apps under the My Apps section in the developer portal.
What an exciting time it is to be a modern Web Developer! No longer confined to just a browser the web has become a platform of dynamic interactive applications and games. With the rise of technologies like HTML5 Canvas and WebGL, to the scaling power of Node.js, those same web skills can now be used to create engaging Apps on mobile devices. With the Amazon’s Mobile Web App Distribution program you can even distribute your Web Apps on Kindle Fire and select Android devices in nearly 200 countries around the globe.
We will be on site at HTML5DevConf giving open office hours to help answer any technical or app submission process questions you have as well as a session on optimizing HTML5 for distribution on Mobile Devices.
From the HTML5DevConf website…
Our next conference is at Moscone North in downtown San Francisco on October 22nd & 23rd. Registration link: http://html5devconf-oct13.eventbrite.com/
Hope to see you there!
The Mobile and Gaming track at this year’s AWS re:Invent conference is coming together! As our speaker list continues to grow, we’re adding more great content every day. Topics like mobile game architecture, scaling, cutting-edge in-app purchasing, and cross-platform development are just a few of the areas we’ll explore, mixing case studies with technical deep dives and coding demonstrations.
We’ve also got some great practical sessions in store, like Coding Tips You Should Know Before Distributing your HTML5 Web App on Mobile Devices. The HTML5 state of the art is finally beginning to deliver on its cross-platform promise, with significant advances in performance, development tools, and support for native device APIs becoming available daily. This session will look under the hood and explain how to get the most out of the technology, especially when it comes to rendering and optimization.
We’ll also discuss new ways to profile and debug your web app directly on a mobile device, a process which has been non-trivial until now. If this has been a pain point in your web app development, Amazon’s Web App Tester tool may be just what you need. It extends web app tool support, even to apps running outside of the browser.
This is just one session of many at AWS re:Invent 2013 dedicated to mobile and game developers. Take a look at the sessions we have so far, and don’t forget about our pre-conference technical bootcamp. Register now and join me in Las Vegas this November.
To make sure your web app works great on Kindle Fire and Android devices, you can use the Web App Tester, which you can get from our store here. The Web App Tester allows you to test your web app in a production-like environment before submitting it to Amazon, and offers a suite of tools to help with on-device debugging of your web apps, ensuring that they’ll work great on Android and Kindle Fire.
Kindle Fire web runtime
Kindle Fire’s web runtime is based on the open source Chromium project, and is GPU-accelerated and optimized for fluidity to make sure your web apps run smooth on Kindle Fire, just like a native app. The new runtime supports the latest HTML5/web features and includes standards-based extensions that give you access to offline storage and location sensors. Read more about the updated web app runtime here.
Get started today
Web developers with HTML5 apps and mobile-optimized web sites can easily get started at the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. Once you’re logged in, go to “My Apps”, hover over the green “Add New App” button and click “Add new Web App”. More information on how to prepare and submit your web apps is available here.