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October 05, 2011

amberta

Last week Amazon announced the upcoming release of Kindle Fire.  Kindle-fire-screenshot

Kindle Fire is a new addition to  the Kindle family with a vibrant color touch display that offers instant access to the Amazon Appstore, along with Amazon’s massive selection of digital content and free storage in the Amazon Cloud.  A fast and powerful dual-core processor powers the 14.6-ounce device that’s light enough to hold with one hand—all for only $199.

Customers in the U.S. can pre-order Kindle Fire at www.amazon.com/kindlefire.  Read more in the press release.

What does this mean for you?
Kindle Fire ships on November 15.  We encourage you to ensure you have submitted the most current versions of all your apps to the Amazon Appstore for Android.  Now is also a good time to verify that each app’s meta-data (including list price) is up-to to-date.  You can update your existing apps and submit new apps using the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal.

Where can I find the technical specifications for Kindle Fire?

The Kindle Fire has a 7” multi-touch display with 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, can display 16 million colors, and has instant access to the Amazon Appstore for Android.  For more detailed information about the device, including technical specifications, app compatibility information, development tips, and instructions for submitting your app, please see our Kindle Fire FAQ

How can developers get merchandising placement in the Amazon Appstore and on Kindle Fire?

If you have ideas about merchandising and marketing your app at the Amazon Appstore, or if you would like to be considered for Free App of the Day placement, please fill out the the Marketing Proposal Form.

We appreciate your interest in the Amazon Appstore for Android and the new Kindle Fire!

September 28, 2011

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Kindle Fire is a new addition to the Kindle family with a vibrant color touch display that offers  instant access to the Amazon Appstore, along with Amazon’s massive selection of digital content and free storage in the Amazon Cloud. A fast and powerful dual-core processor powers the 14.6-ounce device that’s light enough to hold with one hand—all for only $199.Apps-on-kindle-fire

Kindle Fire puts Amazon’s incredible selection of digital content at customers’ fingertips:

  • Amazon Appstore for Android – thousands of popular apps and games
  • 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
  • Ultra-fast web browsing - Amazon Silk 
  • Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle  
  • Fast, powerful dual-core processor 

Key features:

Stunning Color Touchscreen: Content comes alive on a 7” vibrant color touchscreen that delivers 16 million colors in high resolution and an extra-wide viewing angle.

Fast Dual-Core Processor: Kindle Fire features a state-of-the-art dual-core processor for fast, powerful performance. Stream music while browsing the web or read books while downloading videos.

Easy to Hold in One Hand: Designed to travel with you wherever you go. Light enough to hold in just one hand, Kindle Fire is perfect for browsing, playing, reading and shopping on-the-go.

Beautifully Simple and Easy To Use: Designed from the ground up, Kindle Fire's simple, intuitive interface lets customers spin effortlessly through your recent titles and websites straight from the home screen.

Free Cloud Storage: Kindle Fire gives you free storage for all Amazon digital content in the Amazon Cloud. Apps, books, movies, and music are available instantly to stream or download for free, at a touch of a finger. 

Ultra-fast web browsing – Amazon Silk: Amazon Silk is a revolutionary, cloud-accelerated browser that uses a "split browser" architecture to leverage the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud. Learn why it’s so fast

Only $199: The all-new Kindle Fire is only $199. Customers in the U.S. can pre-order Kindle Fire starting today at www.amazon.com/kindlefire, and it ships Nov. 15, 2011.

Read more in the press release.

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

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!

 

September 07, 2011

amberta

The Amazon Appstore for Android is the place where developers can get exposure for their Android applications through automated merchandising and other marketing.  Amazon also offers great solutions for developers to build apps with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Mobile SDK.

From September 7, 2011 through November 15, 2011, developers who submit an Android app to the Amazon Appstore are eligible to receive a one-time $50 promotion code for use on certain AWS services (subject to terms and conditions).  Promotion codes will be emailed directly to developers during the first week of October and the last week of November.


AWS delivers a set of simple building block services that together form a reliable, scalable, and inexpensive computing platform “in the cloud”. With AWS, developers can easily access a scalable and cost-effective cloud computing resources through simple API calls or with the use of the AWS Mobile SDK for Android (and iOS).  As noted in this blog post , some highlights of the AWS SDK for Android include:

  • Storage – developers can store and retrieve any amount of data using Amazon S3
  • Database – developers can add a highly available, scalable, and flexible non-relational data store using Amazon SimpleDB with little or no administrative burden
  • Messaging – developers can integrate reliable, highly scalable mobile-to-mobile communication into applications using Amazon SQS and Amazon SNS

The SDK includes a library, full documentation, and some sample code.  You can get the library on GitHub.  Also, in true open source fashion, AWS is open to and encourages external contributions.

Learn more about the AWS SDK and this promotion online here.

Submit your app online here.

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.”

July 27, 2011

lisamar

Why are release notes important?


Release notes are a valuable developer tool that can be used to provide a better customer experience. Customers are becoming more aware of and interested in changes to their apps—they want to know why they should take the time to download app updates and what changes may be happening on their device(s)!


Release notes let your customers know what changes you are making to your app and it keeps them in the loop regarding bug fixes, app enhancements, permission changes, etc. Providing release notes may also speed up the turnaround time on app updates as it advises our testers what to look for when testing your update.


Where do release notes show up?


The release notes appear on the product detail page for your app in a section titled “Latest Updates”.

Repligo_reader_release_notes

Where do I enter my release notes?


You can enter release notes for your app through your Developer Portal account. Go to the App Details Page for the app and you will find the Release Notes field in the section titled Upload Binary. (Note that the field will not appear until after you have uploaded your APK.)


How do I format my release notes?


The Release Notes field will automatically make each new line a bullet on your product detail page. Simply enter each release note as a new line and we’ll do the rest.

Dev_portal_release_notes_field_EDIT
 

July 15, 2011

johnjord

Distinct dev image Recently, we announced a new improvement to the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal:  User Permissions (Developer Portal User Permissions).  This feature allows your organization to assign roles for different responsibilities on your team.  One organization that has fully embraced this tool expansion is game developer DistinctDev, Inc.

DistinctDev, Inc., is a small and energetic development house creating highly-addictive casual game titles – most notably, The Moron Test. 


Recently, DistinctDev Co-Founder and CTO, Steven Malagon, and his brother, Berkeley MalaThe Moron Test smallergon – also the President and CEO – took advantage of structuring their organization using the new permissions.  The only rivalry that existed between these two siblings was one that revolved around Developer Portal access: Berkeley, a self-described “data junkie,” was completely reliant on his brother Steven to “get signed in using his personal Amazon account.”  Without global visibility to all the great functionality of the Developer Portal, it became Steven’s role to debrief the team.  Needless to say, the entire team was very excited to receive the announcement for User Permissions.

Steven said, “The setup was super easy, and it literally took me seconds to enter email addresses and send out the invites for assigned roles.” Berkeley Malagon sees this as “a scalable solution as we move forward and grow as a company…adding new users and assigning access.”

The team at DistinctDev also sees the new User Permissions functionality as a great sign for things to come with the Amazon Appstore.  “The improvements really make it even simpler, organizationally, to upload new titles, and it makes us feel like our feedback is really taken seriously,” stated Berkeley.

This is all good news for Amazon customers as well, who have taken a liking to great quality games, like The Moron Test.  The DistinctDev team cannot wait to see what new enhancements are to come and encourage everyone participating in the Amazon Appstore to take advantage of setting up their permissions.  Berkeley said it best, “User Permissions is spot-on.”

July 13, 2011

amberta

AppStoreHQ In addition to merchandising your apps in our store, we often work with media outlets to market Android apps published in the Amazon Appstore for Android.  AppStoreHQ is running a promotion in which they’ll be looking at all new apps submitted to the Amazon Appstore today, July 13th, through July 22nd and selecting five apps to feature on their homepage, in a future AppStoreHQ newsletter, and in their AppESP Android app.  AppStoreHQ’s website has more than a million monthly visits. 


Submit your app to be elligible on the Amazon Appstore here.

July 11, 2011

johnjord

Tired of having to give colleagues on your team access to your Amazon Appstore Developer Portal account?  Worried about sharing your Amazon.com password for access to the Portal?  Based on developer feedback, we have released a new functionality that will make managing your account even easier: User Permissions.  We understand the need for each organization to have sets of access levels and visibility to the Portal’s functionality.  Now, you will be able to set these permissions for multiple users of the same Developer Portal account.


If you are the Administrator on the Amazon Appstore Developer Portal for your company’s apps, you will have the unique ability to manage permissions and payment information, and oversee all activities which occur under the users authorized for the Developer Portal account.  The assignable roles under the Administrator include:

  • Marketer - Outside of an Administrator - this is the only role that gives users the ability to edit the company profile and content associated with apps (i.e., merchandising and multimedia). Like the Analyst, this role also gives access to earnings reports.
  • Developer - Outside of an Administrator - this is the only role that gives users the ability to upload binaries associated with apps.
  • Analyst - Outside of an Administrator - this is the only role that gives users the ability to view payment reports. Like the Marketer, this role also gives users access to earnings reports.

Matrix

While there is only one owner-designated Administrator, there is no limit on the number of additional Administrators or sub-roles.  Only the Administrators can easily see all other users associated with the account.  Have a small team where the person handling submissions also oversees marketing strategy?  No problem, users with Administrator privileges can be assigned to more than one role.


The process for assigning roles is simple.  Once you identify everyone who requires access, go to “User Permissions” and enter their email addresses and we will send an invitation email for them to accept access and their role.  Once everyone has accepted, we make it easy to sort by name and role on the Permissions Page for everyone on the team.

  User Permissions Dash blocked out


Finally, we realize that some users do work for more than one organization.  So, we have added a new Account drop-down menu on the Home Page of the Developer Portal—allowing you to manage multiple organization accounts from the same Amazon.com user login.

Account selection

There you go - User permissions granted!  Begin setting up your team today.