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January 06, 2015Jesse Freeman
Working on a Fire TV or Fire TV Stick app/game? Let us know at @AmazonAppDev with the following hashtag #MadeForFireTV
In April, Amazon introduced Amazon Fire TV, and it quickly became the best-selling streaming media box on Amazon. Amazon Fire TV, made it easier for customers to watch Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and more on their big-screen TV, and brought photos, music, and games to the living room. In October, we brought the same experience customers love about Amazon Fire TV—ease of use, great performance, and vast selection—to a smaller and even more affordable device - Fire TV Stick.
For developers, one of the most exciting prospects of publishing your game on Amazon Fire TV is that you can run Android games directly on the TV. If you are already building games for Android, you can use the same codebase you currently have, and make that game playable on Amazon Fire TV.
While you may be familiar with targeting Android tablets and phones, there are a few things you need to consider for your app to run correctly on Amazon Fire TV. Below is a quick round-up of some of the great content we created in 2014 to help make the transition easy.
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. 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. Click here to learn more.
If you’re porting an existing Android app to Fire TV, you have to add support for user input from the Amazon Fire TV remote and maybe the Amazon Fire game controller. Luckily, basic controller support is already built into Android. You can leverage the Android input device APIs and the game controller API from the Amazon Fire TV SDK to get your game ready to publish in no time. Here are the top ten things you should do in order to get your game ready for Amazon Fire TV customers.
While you may be familiar with targeting Android tablets and phones, there are a few things you need to consider for your app to run correctly on Amazon Fire TV. This includes understanding the layout, dimensions and orientation of Amazon Fire TV views, changes to the user experience when interacting with a TV (10’ away on average), UI and navigation patterns, as well as some other TV-specific gotchas such as overscan and color reproduction. Here are some practical tips to help you get your Android apps looking good on Fire TV.
Fire TV Stick is one of the most affordable devices on the market for creating apps and casual games intended for the big screen. The best part is if you are already building for Android, Fire TV stick is another great platform to help grow your audience. In this post we cover how to get started, optimizing for Fire TV Stick as well as the hardware/software differences between the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV to help make your apps and games run great on both devices.
Xamarin is a cross platform development environment that leverages the power of the C# programming language and takes full advantage of native hardware acceleration. Xamarin includes a suite of tools that allow you to test, build, and analyze your apps across all of the major mobile platforms. Utilizing Xamarin you can now publish your own apps and games to all Amazon Fire devices. This includes Amazon Fire tablets, Amazon Fire phone, Amazon Fire TV and the recently announced Amazon Fire TV Stick. Click here to learn how to get your app or game running on Fire TV using Xamarin.
Fire TV and Fire TV Stick both support HTML5 web apps. The Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV is a new open source project intended to help developers get up to speed quickly creating a simple media-oriented app for this exciting new web platform. Features of the project include an example user interface designed for the 10-foot user experience, support for the Fire TV remote control, and sample components to create and customize a media app. You can learn more about the Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV here.
- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)