In September 2016 we announced the all-new Fire HD 8 tablet, designed form the ground up for all-day entertainment. Among the many new features mentioned was support for Alexa, as quoted here:
"Alexa is Amazon’s cloud-based voice service that allows customers to play music and get information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly, just press and ask. In the coming months, Fire tablets will also be able to connect to Alexa, enabling Alexa developers to extend their reach to Fire tablet users."
Today, customers can now access Alexa on Fire, Fire HD 8, and Fire HD 10 tablets by simply pressing down on home icon in the navigation bar and start talking. For Alexa developers, this not only extends the reach of your audience, it provides another scenario where voice-interactions can be complemented with a visual skill card to enhance the experience. When using Fire Tablets or Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, the visual cards appear immediately and can also be referenced in the Alexa app.
Skill cards contain a title, a text body, and optionally one image. These cards present information for easy consumption by customers.[Read More]
Mobile and living room devices today present a varied landscape for developers to consider. One aspect that is particularly meaningful for your customers is where your app installs itself. Some devices, like the current Fire tablets and Fire TV have external storage through memory card slots. Other devices, like Fire TV Stick or older Fire tablets have only their internal flash storage. Running out of storage when trying to install a new app can be very frustrating for people who want to use your app. This frustration is compounded for customers who have added a memory card with lots of empty space and still get an error message that the device is out of space when trying to install. That frustration can quickly find its way into negative reviews for your app.
Luckily, for most apps, Android provides a simple solution. By specifying the
installLocation in the app manifest, you can provide your user community with the best experience possible for whatever device they own. This doesn't mean they'lll never run out of space, but it helps best manage the space they have.
xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" android:installLocation="auto" android:theme="@android:style/Theme.NoTitleBar" package="com.examplecompany.myapp" platformBuildVersionCode="23" platformBuildVersionName="6.0-2704002"> android:name="android.permission.INTERNET"/> ¦ ¦
installLocation can be specified as any of the following:
The Amazon Appstore has always persevered to make apps more discoverable and to get you more downloads. To align with this goal we’ve introduced a change that will help customers see the most relevant reviews; reviews that reflect your hard work in app updates and improvements.
Today, we are happy to announce our newly enhanced Ratings and Reviews system. Going forward, customer ratings and reviews will be more app-specific, taking into consideration the device type and app version, which ensures that customers see the most accurate rating for your app.
Previously, customers who read reviews on their tablets or other devices saw reviews sorted by helpfulness; reviews that received the most votes. Now these top votes reviews for past versions will no longer surface above latest version reviews. Instead, customers will more easily see reviews for the actual version they are downloading. This means reviews that mention past bugs will rank lower than reviews for the latest version of your app. This new sorting process will be visible on Kindle Fire tablets and for Android Apps first. We expect to launch it on Amazon.com, FireTV and in the Developer Portal shortly thereafter.[Read More]
On November 3rd 2015 300+ attendees, two tracks about monetization and gaming, 13 sessions, multiple guest speakers and the Amazon Appstore evangelists animated a very successful developer-focused conference: the Amazon Appstore Developer Summit 2015, which took place at CodeNode, London.
The Amazon Appstore Developer Summit focused around unique insights into the Amazon Appstore ecosystem, emerging user interfaces and devices that are driving new user behaviors, like Fire TV and Amazon Echo, and new business models like Amazon Underground and Merch, which are opening up opportunities for customers and the developer community.
Here you can find the recordings of all the sessions, complete with slides, organized by topic:[Read More]
Our App Testing Service (ATS) allows you to test your app’s compatibility on the Amazon Appstore for Android, Fire tablets, and Amazon Fire TV. Today we’ve upgraded our existing Nexus 7 fleet of devices so you can now receive compatibility results for Android 6.0 Marshmallow apps and games.
Simply drag and drop your Android APK into the App Testing Service and in as little as 90 seconds you can receive a detailed report of potential issues that could affect your apps’ compatibility with the Amazon Appstore – including guidance on how to resolve them before publishing. You can view the test results which will include screenshots, logs, CPU and Memory utilization information from actual devices that we run the automated tests on using Amazon appXplorer. We will also detect and flag crashes during the automated tests that will help you identify potential compatibility issues of your app.[Read More]
Unity 5 has some great tools to help build great 2D games for Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets. Here are two videos that walk you through how to use Unity’s Sprite Animation tools and also how to set up complex Animation States. I walk through the foundation of setting up Sprite animations and then show you step by step how I link up different states such as walking, running and shooting together so you can control them via C#. Check out the videos here:
If you are looking to learn more about making 2D games with Unity for Amazon devices or game dev in general make sure to check out my daily Twitch stream from 9am to 12pm EST.
If you are a first time game developer or a seasoned pro, the Amazon Appstore is the perfect place for your latest creation. Publishing to the Amazon Appstore is free and easy, especially if you are already building Android games. We offer some great tools and services to help make your game more successful like Amazon IAP, Ads, Merch, Underground and our collection of Fire OS devices. Here are some additional links to help you gets started:
- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)
In Dev Chat – Short Answers to Big Questions, our new video series of short videos created by Amazon Appstore, developers of successful apps and games answer your questions in less than 90 seconds.
In this edition, the team behind Zattoo explains how they approach app design for the living room experience, and how building a native app with a single codebase for both mobile and TV has been advantageous for them. They also discuss how they are using Login with Amazon and Amazon’s in-app purchasing to drive registrations and monetisation. All this has driven their results on Fire devices to surpass their expectations. Zattoo distributes live television and catch up services through the Internet to connected devices. Thanks to its rapid penetration in Germany, Switzerland, and other European countries, it is now the largest Internet TV provider in Europe.[Read More]
The new line of Fire tablets set an entirely new standard for low-cost tablets, with the Fire 7’’ Tablet being sold at less than $50. Amazon has already sold millions of tablets, so it’s a great time for you to submit your apps and games to the Amazon Appstore. In order to provide a great experience to users, the first thing you have to think about is the user interface (UI) of your app. Designing the UI and UX (user experience) of an app could become a very challenging and time-consuming task, but there are some simple steps that you can follow to make your app look great on the new Fire tablets. Also, keep in mind that Fire OS 5, available on all the new Fire tablets, is based on Android 5.1, so all the standard approaches to develop Android apps UI also apply to Fire OS apps!
In this post, we’ll deep dive into understanding screen resolution and density of Fire tablets, disclose the best strategies to properly create and size the layouts and graphical resources of your app, teach you how to provide a correctly-size app icon for Fire OS 5, and how to explicitly declare support for Fire tablets in your Android app manifest.[Read More]
Publish your first app to the Amazon Appstore between October 1st – November 1st and we'll help you drive installs, monetize, and scale with a Success Bundle worth up to $700 including:
• $100 Ad Campaign with Advertise Your App
• Doubled Earnings on up to $500 with the Amazon Mobile Ad Network
• $100 in AWS promotional credits
The Amazon Appstore is preloaded on Fire devices, Blackberry 10 and millions of other Android devices, including certain HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung phones to name a few, as well as certain Samsung and LG tablets. Fire tablets expand that reach even further - just in time for the holiday season. App purchases typically surge by 50% Thanksgiving week, and 400% during digital week. And when customers unbox their new Fire tablet, what’s the first thing they do? Start downloading apps and games of course! Now is the time to develop a new app or bring your existing Android app to Fire tablets.
Join us for a special webinar on how to make the most of the Amazon Success Bundle:
The London Amazon Appstore Developer Summit is designed to provide you with insights into the Amazon eco-system, emerging user interfaces that are driving new user behaviors, and new business models that are opening up opportunities for customers and the developer community. The event will include developer guest speakers, from disruptive start-ups to established consumer brands who are at the forefront of innovation in their market segments.
Here are is a sneak peek of some of the key items on the agenda:
Bringing Apps and Games to the Living Room
In this session, we cover what's needed to bring your Android app or game to Fire TV. We walk you through controller support for a game scenario (buttons and analog sticks), controller support for UI (selection, moving between menu items, invoking the keyboard), and how to account for the form factor (overscan, landscape, device and controller detection). By the end of this session, you’ll be able to understand what you need to do if you want to build or modify your own app to work on a TV.
An introduction to using Amazon Web Services and the Alexa Skills Kit to Build Voice Driven Experiences
Come learn firsthand how to build for Amazon Echo and Amazon Voice Service enabled devices using the Alexa Skills Kit and Amazon Web Services. This session will walk through using Amazon Echo and how to build your first Alexa Skill using both AWS Lamda and AWS Beanstalk. We'll also take a look at how to monitor your new Alexa Skill using AWS CloudWatch and how to submit it for certification so it's available to customers later this year.[Read More]