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June 30, 2015

Corey Badcock

Get Marketing Tips, Technical Advice and Best Practices Delivered to Your Inbox

Join our community of developers and subscribe to the Amazon Developer Weekly.

Amazon’s developer blog covers everything you need to grow your mobile app business. Get your dose of technical tips, industry insights, product announcements and app marketing best practices delivered to your inbox every Monday. Get articles like these and more when you subscribe:

  • Introducing the Alexa Skills Kit, Enabling Developers to Create Entirely New Voice Driven Capabilities
  • Why Isn’t Your Game Doing Better?
  • Free Video Training: Tips for Reaching New Customers with Your Android Apps

Signing up is easy. Click here to complete the form to subscribe by email today.

 

June 19, 2015

Mike Hines

Starting today, developers have the opportunity to participate in a Developer Preview of Fire OS 5, the next generation Android-based operating system that powers Fire tablets, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. And because Fire OS 5 is based on Android Lollipop, we can make this update while preserving even more compatibility with existing Android apps than ever before. This means that even more of your apps should work on Fire devices with no additional engineering effort. There are several ways you can participate in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview.

Participate in the Fire OS5 Developer Preview

To ensure your app is available to millions of customers on the next generation of Amazon devices, you can now participate in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview. As an Amazon Developer, we’re offering you early access to Fire OS 5. You can now see your app running on a Fire HD 6 or Fire HD 7 tablet, and identify any app compatibility issues well in advance of our new Fire OS launch later this year.

To participate in the Fire OS 5 Developer Preview, click here.


 

Free Fire OS5 Compatibility Testing in 90 Seconds or Less

Amazon Testing Service is a free tool that allows you to test your app for compatibility on Fire and Android devices. We’ve updated Amazon Testing Service to provide feedback on your apps compatibility with Fire OS 5 and Android Lollipop. To test your app, simply drag and drop your Android APK into the App Testing Service on the Amazon Developer Portal homepage page. In about 90 seconds, you will get compatibility results for Fire OS 5 and Android Lollipop. 



 

Want To Learn More?

Now is the time to get started. Check out the resources below to learn more about Fire OS5 and the Amazon Appstore

         Register for a Free Amazon Developer account

         Sign up for the Fire OS5 Developer Preview

         Learn more about Fire OS 5

Want Amazon Developer blogs delivered to your inbox? Stay in the loop on the latest industry best practices, Amazon promotions, and new launches by subscribing to our weekly blog summary here.

June 17, 2015

Adrian Hall

Today we are pleased to release new Android and iOS SDKs for mobile developers interested in supporting Amazon Cloud Drive. These new additions are a part of the existing Amazon Mobile App SDK and can be downloaded directly from the Developer Portal. The updates will allow you to provide Unlimited Storage benefits for your customers using your apps more quickly and efficiently.

Improved Efficiency and Benefits

You can now quickly write new apps or make your existing apps interact with Amazon Cloud Drive using both the Android and iOS SDKs. With these updates you no longer need to understand and implement a separate instance of Login with Amazon. We’ve even taken care of the best practices of implementing a back-off strategy. Best of all, you can communicate with the Amazon Cloud Drive API without ever needing to worry about networking code.

Additional benefits include the ability to work exclusively with native Java and Objective-C object types, removing the need to ever parse JSON, as well as eliminating the need to refer back to the REST API documentation online. You also no longer need to explicitly use the Amazon Cloud Drive API to get Account endpoints, removing an entire step from your development workflow.

Apps Using New Amazon Cloud Drive Mobile SDKs

With the launch of the Amazon Cloud Drive mobile developer SDKs, we are also excited to announce new third-party apps supporting Cloud Drive through the Android and iOS SDKs.

A+ Gallery (Android): iPhone style photo gallery.

PhotoTime (iOS): Explore your photos at snapshot speed.

TextMaker HD Basic (Android): Create and edit documents on your tablet.

PlanMaker HD Basic (Android): Create and edit spreadsheets on your tablet.

Presentations HD Basic (Android): Create and edit presentations and slide shows on your tablet.
 

And, coming soon:

FiLMiC Pro (iOS): Turn your iOS camera into a broadcast worthy 2K HD video camera.

Vizzywig (iOS): All-in-one, movie-making application for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that lets you record, edit, and preview in real time.

Cleen (iOS): Clean up your camera roll and photos in your Amazon Cloud Drive account.


For more photo, video and productivity apps be sure to check out the Amazon Cloud Drive App Gallery. You can also visit the Developer Portal to download the Amazon Mobile App SDK or to learn more about the Amazon Cloud Drive API and SDKs for Android and iOS. If you have any questions about getting started you can visit our Developer Forum.

-Dave (@TheDaveDev)

June 15, 2015

Chris Phillips

Cross Platform Engines have become critical tools for developers to build applications once and deploy their apps across the Google, Apple, and Amazon ecosystems to reach the greatest number of consumers.  Amazon has developed a number of plugins for cross platform tools to allow developers to utilize Amazon Services without the need to write boilerplate code to bridge cross platform code with native language Amazon APIs.  Amazon has released new plugins for Apache Cordova, Unity, Adobe Air, and Xamarin to allow developers to monetize their cross platform apps using Amazon In-App Purchasing.  The In-App Purchasing (IAP) API makes it easy to offer digital content and subscriptions for purchase within your app.  The newly released plugins enable cross platform developers to quickly get up and running, and give millions of Amazon customers the ability to purchase engaging digital content using Amazon 1-Click settings.  To learn more about IAP and pick up the latest plugin, check out the Amazon In-App Purchasing site.

Build Once and Deploy Across Multiple Platforms

Before you can use a plugin in an app, you need to include the plugin in the cross platform tool for use. Each tool has its own specific set of steps, and we have created a page to guide you through this process for Unity, Xamarin, Cordova, and Adobe Air

If you have never monetized an app or are new to Amazon IAP, it would be good to familiarize yourself with what In-App purchasing is here.  There were plugins built for Unity and Adobe Air for IAP v1.  If you are migrating your current app to the new IAP v2 plugin, now would be a good time to review what is new and the IAP v1 to IAP v2 migration guide.  And finally, if your current app uses Google Play In-App Billing (IAB), review the Amazon migration guide for Google Play developers for guidance on migrating your app to Amazon IAP.

During development, it’s a good idea to verify purchasing works in your app and you are able to handle successful purchases and error scenarios.  To test your app, you should download and install the Amazon App Tester.  The Amazon App Tester is a mobile app that is available in the Amazon Appstore.  You will need to download the Amazon Appstore to purchase and download the tester app to your test device.  Review the IAP Testing guide to unit test IAP purchases in your app.

Easily Add In-App Purchasing To Your App or Game

The IAP cross platform plugins are part of a single Amazon In-App Purchasing SDK (which you can download here) that also provides access to other Amazon mobile services and additional free plugins such as the plugin for GameCircle. 

To use the IAP plugins in your cross platform tool, first download the SDK and extract the zip file to the appropriate location on your development machine. Here’s what the Unity plugin part of the SDK folder looks like on my machine.  The plugins can be found off the root directory inside the zip file by their respective cross-platform tool name, AIR, Unity, Cordova, or Xamarin.

Each plugin makes similar sets of calls to the native IAP Java SDK, but making calls through the plugin differs based on the cross platform tool and language semantics.  There are code samples for each plugin type and I would suggest playing with the code samples in a test app.  Check out the code samples in your cross platform user’s guide below.

How to Get Started

Plugins make it easier than ever to integrate Amazon IAP, and other Amazon services into your mobile app.  You can now monetize your cross platform app without the need to write your own plugin or boilerplate code to integrate the native Java SDK and focus instead on building great apps and reach millions of Amazon Appstore customers.  Once you have used the plugin to integrate the Amazon IAP API, you will get paid for any In-App purchases your customers make in your app.

Here are some additional useful links to Amazon’s Cross Platform Engine support and Amazon In-App purchasing:

Want Amazon Developer blogs delivered to your inbox? Stay in the loop on the latest industry best practices, Amazon promotions, and new launches by subscribing to our weekly blog summary here.

 

 

June 12, 2015

Ankur Prasad

We are excited to announce that developers can now monetize their Amazon apps with TrialPay, a leader in cross-platform monetization and reward-based advertising.  By integrating the TrialPay Evergreen SDK or native ads API, developers can dynamically surface any type of ad format including native ads, offer walls, or videos. This enables Amazon developers to monetize users who don’t typically buy IAP items by offering them ads they can interact with in exchange for in-app currency.

For example, users can watch a movie trailer or buy flowers for Mother’s Day to earn in-app currency. Giving users a way to enjoy IAP items for free makes TrialPay an attractive tool for increasing the number of paying users. Industry leaders such as Glu, Zynga, and Kik use TrialPay to enhance their ad offerings.

“TrialPay is a great partner with deep experience in mobile advertising. They are strong technologists who continue to create unique opportunities for advertisers to connect with users through Kik Points.”

Jairaj Sethi, Head of Platform, Kik

As of late, TrialPay is also helping developers tap into the online-to-offline opportunity by rewarding users for everyday purchases at retailers such as Peet’s Coffee and Sephora.

Image caption: TrialPay Peet’s offline offer - buy coffee and earn in-app currency

Contextually Relevant Ads in a Variety of Formats

Their event-based Evergreen SDK lets developers show offers that are contextually relevant to events in their apps. Developers have easy dashboard controls to toggle dynamically between ad formats. 

In addition, TrialPay’s Native Offers API provides access to a wide variety of ad types, supporting app installs, video, and seasonal promotions. Developers have complete control over the UI to match the look and feel of their app and integrate more deeply with the app experience.

Getting Started Is Easy

Developers have a choice on the integration method. TrialPay offers both a lightweight SDK and a Native Offers API option. Visit the TrialPay Mobile Development Center to get implementation details. You can also email mobilesales@trialpay.com for more information. Mention this Amazon blog post in the subject line to be paired with a dedicated account manager today.

 

 

June 04, 2015

Corey Badcock

In April, Amazon introduced Amazon Fire TV, and it quickly became the most wished for item by Prime members in 2014.  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, which is the fastest-selling Amazon device ever.

This week, we announced that Amazon Fire TV has the fastest growing selection of any streaming media device. In just the last 3 months, Amazon has added over 600 channels, apps and games to the Amazon Fire TV platform—more than Roku and Apple TV in the same timeframe. Popular new titles include Popcornflix, Funny Or Die, GameFly, Candy Crush Saga, and Fox News. 

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.

How to Optimize Your App or Game for 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’ve created since the device launched to help make the transition easy.

Responsive Game Design: Making Games that Scale Across Desktop, Mobile & TV

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.

10 Tips for Remote & Controller

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.

Tips for Getting Your Android Apps Looking Good on 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. 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.

Building Apps & Casual Games for Fire TV Stick

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.

Reaching New Android Customers with Xamarin & Amazon Fire TV

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.

Introducing the Web App Starter Kit for Fire TV

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.

 

May 27, 2015

Emily Roberts

Today, we announced a new Amazon Fire TV web app kit for Brightcove, a company that offers cloud services for delivering and monetizing video across connected devices. Brightcove has over 5,500 customers in over 70 countries. Read the full press release here.

The Brightcove-specific web app kit for Amazon Fire TV is a new HTML5 template available to Brightcove Video Cloud customers that optimizes the delivery of Brightcove Video Cloud customers' content directly to Amazon Fire TV. The kit enables content owners to leverage their existing Brightcove-based workflows for Amazon Fire TV. For Brightcove customers, the template provides a way to seamlessly pull in content that’s hosted and organized in Video Cloud and use the Brightcove Player. Because of the integration with the Brightcove Player, customers can run ads against their content on Amazon Fire TV using the Google IMA3 advertising plugin and also capture analytics about video consumption on Amazon Fire TV in Video Cloud. Learn more about Brightcove and Amazon Fire TV.

RLJ Entertainment is an example of a Brightcove customer that is eager to leverage the new template across its multiple properties. Titus Bicknell, Chief Digital Officer at RLJ Entertainment said:

"We're excited about the reach and high-quality experience we'll be able to provide our audience on Amazon Fire TV. As we look to launch our Acorn TV (British TV), UMC (Urban Movie Channel), and AcaciaTV (Fitness) apps, the new template will greatly simplify the release of our current and future niche channels.”

Quickly Publish a Fire TV App

It’s easy for Brightcove customers to get started using the sample project on GitHub. The Brightcove example is in the src/projects/brightcove directory. You can quickly get this project up and running on Fire TV by creating a zip package with the sample Brightcove app that can be found in out/brightcove/ directory. This is just a standard zip, but the index.html must be at the top level of the zip directory - so that there if you unzip the package there is no folder.

Once you’re up and running, you can test your app on Fire TV or in a browser, customize your project, and add additional features. Read the Brightcove documentation on GitHub here.

Ready to get started?

Download the Fire TV web app starter kit GitHub project and learn how to support Brightcove.

 

 

May 19, 2015

Ankur Prasad

There are plenty of resources available online to help you get started with Android programming. However, most of these require some degree of experience to fully take advantage of. We’ve often heard that there is a chasm that absolute beginners find difficult to cross on their journey to become proficient app developers.

The Delta program is designed to help anyone become an Android developer from scratch. The program curriculum includes Java tutorials, Android development exercises, app implementation walk-throughs and more to offer a complete learning experience. It also has a community of over 5,000 students, mentors and professionals who will help you achieve your goal: to build and publish your first Android app.

"It's a humbling experience. I am very grateful for all the training and support I received from both this course and other resources on the web. The ability to implement my ideas (as an Android app) is priceless.”

Ezugo Nwosu, Delta Program graduate.

Exclusive Offer for Amazon Developers

We are also excited to announce an exclusive offer for Amazon developers. Register for the Amazon Appstore by July 1st and receive access to the Delta Program (valued at $200), for free.

How to Get Started

The Delta Program is a great way for people who are just getting started in app development to learn to make and publish apps, as well as connect to the right peers and professionals in the industry. So get started today!

Step 1: Register for the Amazon Appstore. Here is a short video on How to create your developer account

Step 2: Share the email address (HERE) you used to create an Amazon developer account. 

Step 3: Receive an email with instructions on how to access your benefits within 2 weeks.

 

May 13, 2015

Corey Badcock

As the cost to acquire mobile users continues to rise, developers are starting to evaluate the quality of users they acquire via paid campaigns. Developers need to reach the right mobile users: those who will engage with an app and become loyal over the long term.

To help developers reach new users, we are excited to announce the launch of Advertise Your App with Amazon!  This advertising platform is exclusively available to Amazon mobile app developers. It’s simple, fast, and effective. Promote your app to millions of users on Fire tablet wakescreens and mobile placements on the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.

Amazon Reaches the Big Spenders Best

According to Newzoo, gamers using the Amazon Appstore are the most likely to spend money.  More specifically, 64% of mobile gamers that use the Amazon Appstore spend money on mobile games, versus 37% for Google Play. Amazon users are more likely to engage with your app and spend money, and Advertise Your App enables you to target new customers while driving the installs you need to grow your business.

When you launch an Advertise Your App campaign, your app can be merchandized on Fire tablet wakescreens and mobile placements on the Amazon Mobile Ad Network, enabling you to directly reach Android and Fire users.

Reduce Your Cost of Acquisition with Advertise Your App

To get early feedback on Advertise Your App, we conducted a beta with Amazon Appstore developers. Developers who participated in our beta program had this to say about using Advertise Your App:

We’ve seen the highest revenue per user on the Amazon platform…with an excellent CPI as low as $0.50 via Advertise Your App.”

- Majid Khosravi, Twimler

“Advertise Your App is the most cost effective, scalable solution to acquire the users I care most about!”

- Kevin Tydlacka, Kevin Tydlacka Apps

Ready to get started?

Create an Advertise Your App campaign in less than 90 seconds, and launch a campaign with as little as $100. And the best part? You only pay when a user clicks on one of your ads. For more information check out the following additional resources:

 

 

May 12, 2015

Corey Badcock

How will IoT play out in your ecosystem? Is HTML vs. Native still relevant? Are you using AWS, Azure or Google Cloud? Which are the hottest IoT verticals? These are some of the questions that our friends at VisionMobile address through their Developer Economics research, so take their quick survey and make your voice heard.

Participate in the 10-minute Developer Skill Census survey by June 5th and enter a draw to win prizes such as an Oculus Rift Dev Kit. A free chapter from one of VisionMobile’s premium paid reports will also be given immediately upon completion, taking a close look at app profits & costs. 

Now in its 9th edition, the Developer Economics research program tracks developer sentiment across platforms, revenues, apps, tools, APIs, segments and regions. This is the most ambitious developer survey to date, spanning across mobile, IoT, desktop and Cloud. The key insights from the survey will be given back to the community as a free download in late July.

Take the survey here: vmob.me/DE3Q15Amazon

May 08, 2015

Corey Badcock

Starting May 9th,the Amazon Appstore will be sponsoring a 2-day Hearthstone “Challengestone” Twitch tournament in partnership with top Hearthstone influencer @Reynad27 (236K followers, +20MM views).  The goal of this tournament will be to test players’ execution abilities and deck building skills.  The tournament will be casted by @nl_Kripp and @Artosis and include some of the top Hearthstone players from around the world: @Hyped, @Lifecoach, @Trump, @StrifeCro, @Kibler, @Xixo, @Chakki, and @Savjz.   The prize pool will be $3,000 with the 1st place winner earning $1,800.  In conjunction with the tournament, Amazon Appstore will be running an Amazon Coins promotion which will provide customers the ability to get more Card Packs in Hearthstone for the money they spend. For example, for $90, a Hearthstone player can get 106 Card Packs when they purchase through Amazon Appstore using Amazon Coins (vs. only 70 Card Packs when they purchase Card Packs through Google Play).

Tune into the Challengestone Tournament (http://www.twitch.tv/tempo_storm) to find out more.

Inline image 1

Saturday May 9th 09:00 PDT / 11:00 CT / 12:00 EDT / 18:00 CEST: Deck building & Ro8

 

 

Sunday May 10th 09:00 PDT / 11:00 CT / 12:00 EDT / 18:00 CEST: Semi-finals & Finals

 

 

How Game Developers Reach New Customers with Twitch

Twitch is the largest live video platform and community for gamers with more than 100 million visitors per month. Twitch connects gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play.  At GDC San Francisco, the Twitch team facilitated a session about how game developers are creating engaging experiences and reaching new customers via the Twitch platform. Watch this video to learn more.

 

May 05, 2015

Corey Badcock

Beginning March 9, the Amazon Appstore ran a $25,000 sweepstakes designed to encourage customers to download apps and games from the Amazon App for Android. To enter, customers simply had to fill out a brief form and then download any app or game – paid or free – from their Amazon App for Android Phones.

 

We’re excited to announce that Carlos G. from Broadlands, VA was selected as our grand prize winner.  Carlos has been an Amazon customer since 2010 and downloaded “World of Goo” to qualify for the sweepstakes.  When we asked Carlos what the first item he planned to buy was, he told us he wanted to "...buy a nice camera for his wife - something she’d always wanted."

Reach New Customers with the Amazon App for Android

Text Box:

Millions of customers can find and download apps and games from the Amazon App for Android. These apps are merchandized and surfaced whenever customers search for relevant products, so consumers can find your app wherever they are in the Amazon shopping app. Plus, Amazon Appstore is preloaded on Fire devices, Blackberry 10 and millions of other Android devices, including HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung phones to name a few, as well as Samsung and LG tablets.

 

 

Ready to Submit Your App or Game?

For more information about getting started with the Amazon App for Android, Amazon Fire devices, or how to submit your game check out the following additional resources:

April 29, 2015

Ankur Prasad

Today, Amazon is happy to announce that Appstore developers can now integrate the AppLovin SDK and start monetizing their Amazon apps with ads from Applovin. According to Applovin, they process over 30 billion advertisement requests a day and use real-time feedback to make effective marketing decisions across 1 billion mobile consumers worldwide - delivering results for publishers like Disney, Uber, Groupon, CBS, Hotels.com, Yelp, Zynga, and King.com and others.

What AppLovin Delivers for Developers

Because the AppLovin platform optimizes advertiser campaigns for ROI, advertisers see a higher return on their ad spend and are willing to pay for the quality placements they receive.  By providing top quality ad placements, with the hundreds of top brands they work with, they can then serve ads at a massive scale, thereby maximizing developers’ earnings. Moreover, with AppLovin, developers get paid quickly -- just 15 days after month-end.

“AppLovin has consistently been one of Pixelberry's top monetization partners, paying out strong CPMs and serving stable, high-quality ads. Its customer support has been impressive, offering proactive support and coming up with creative ways to optimize our performance.”

Max Doty, 3rd Party Monetization Lead, Pixelberry

AppLovin offers all ad formats (native, video/graphic interstitial, and rewarded video) to allow developers to optimize the ad format type for the best user experience and increased monetization. AppLovin has grown its business fast with a focus on a strong product and a quality service. The company offers ad creative services in-house, and a fully managed service for advertisers. This means advertisers reap the benefits of creative and account optimization working together, and that the service can manage down-funnel goals that are focused on ROI.

Getting Started with AppLovin

Sign-up is fast and takes less than a minute. Just go to the AppLovin sign up page, and make sure to note that you are a developer in the sign-up field. Once sign up is completed, approval is immediate -- you’ll receive a welcome email. Then simply click “login” on the AppLovin site to login, and from there integrate the AppLovin SDK (https://applovin.com/index#fireosIntegration) and get any additional support you might need.

April 23, 2015

Peter Heinrich

If you have published an app on Amazon that uses v1.0 of the Facebook Platform API, you have until April 30, 2015 to ensure your app works properly with v2.0 of the API. Beginning April 30, v1.0 API requests will be processed as v2.0 API requests. This may break your app’s functionality unless it is built with a recent version of the Facebook SDK or you have custom code that explicitly calls v2.0 of the API (or higher).

Detailed information about the nature and scope of this update by Facebook is available from their Facebook Platform Upgrade Guide. You can get specifics on the migration process from Facebook’s Upgrading from v1.0 to v2.0 page.

API VERSIONING

Whenever a public API is updated, there is the potential to break applications that rely on it. API providers want to avoid this, of course, so they usually do two things. First, they assign a unique version number to each release, so developers can be specific about which functionality we are requesting. Second, they support both old and new API versions simultaneously, for a time, allowing our apps to continue to function until we can upgrade them to use the newest API.

Facebook did both of these. They first released their Platform API in April 2010, updating it several times since then and always attaching a new version number to each release. They have also continued to support previous API versions, so even if a developer were slow to upgrade, his or her apps would continue to work as expected.

APRIL 30 CUT-OFF

That finally changes on April 30, 2015. That’s the day that Facebook will officially turn off support for v1.0 of the Facebook Platform API. Versions 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, and 2.3 of the API are already available (and have been for some time), so starting April 30, new and existing apps will be expected to use one of these versions, if they don’t already.

Luckily for most developers, Facebook provides SDKs for several platforms and languages, which makes handling API versions largely automatic. If you develop your app using a recent version of one of these SDKs, chances are you will not be affected when the Facebook Platform API v1.0 is deprecated. See Facebook’s Platform Versioning page for more information.

NEW PERMISSIONS, LOGIN FLOW

If you did not build your app using a recent Facebook SDK, or you have custom code that constructs unversioned API requests, your app may break on April 30. There are several significant differences between v1.0 and v2.0 of the API besides functional changes and improvements, including updates to permissions and user login. You should review the complete list on Facebook’s Upgrading from v1.0 to v2.0 page. There you will find detailed documentation explaining the impact of every change, how to adjust your app to deal with them, and how to invoke versioned calls manually if you still prefer not to use a Facebook SDK.

Here are just a few of the areas affected by the migration:

  • User IDs and Friends – App-scoped User IDs, new friends permissions, scope change when querying friends, friend lists are now title-only, etc.
  • Login – Optional permissions, basic_info is now public_profile, new review process for apps using Facebook Login, etc.
  • Graph API – All calls require access token (except picture retrieval), several new API endpoints to support taggable, inviteable, social context, and more.
  • FQL – Official warning of upcoming deprecation.
  • Sharing – Tagging people, app-to-app linking, new shared dialog for web, feed dialog limited to friends using your app, etc.
  • Games and Payments – Adding users has changed, apps can no longer read a group’s feed, no more event creation by API, apps can post as apps, etc.

IS MY APP AFFECTED?

Unless you know for sure that your app uses v2.0 or later of the Facebook Platform API, you should assume that it will require an update. However, API v2.0 is used by default by Facebook’s Android SDK starting with version 3.14, so if you built your app after April 2014 using that SDK or a later version of it, no update is needed.

Keep in mind that v2.0 of the Facebook Platform API is itself scheduled to be deprecated eventually; after April 30 it will simply be the oldest version still supported. Facebook has committed to maintain each API version for not less than two years after it is introduced. See the Facebook Platform Changelog for more information.

NEXT STEPS

If you believe your Amazon mobile app or game may be affected by Facebook’s deprecation of it’s v1.0 API, it is highly recommended that you visit the version-specific upgrade page mentioned above, or the more general Facebook Platform Upgrade Guide.

- peter (@peterdotgames)

 

April 16, 2015

Corey Badcock

Since its launch in March 2011, over 16,000 apps have been launched on TestDrive, giving customers the experience of running the app and discovering new features before committing to purchase. However, with the increasing use of 'free to play' business models, we have seen a significant decline in customers using TestDrive, and effective 15th April 2015, we will decommission the TestDrive service.

What do you need to do?

Nothing – it’s just the TestDrive service that is being decommissioned. Apps that are currently using TestDrive will still be available and promoted in the Appstore, but without TestDrive functionality. The TestDrive category will be removed from the Appstore client, and we will not be enabling TestDrive for new app submissions.

Thank you for your continued support of the Amazon Appstore. If you have any questions, please contact us.

 

 

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