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Amazon Developer Blogs

Amazon Developer Blogs

Showing posts tagged with Amazon

September 19, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

The all-new Kindle Fire and the Kindle Fire HD family of tablets include a new feature, called Billboards, that introduces customers to new apps using engaging and colorful imagery.  Ina similar fashion to how large outdoor billboards are designed to catch the eye, our Billboards feature makes use of engaging imagery on the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD storefront to introduce customers to new apps. At Amazon, we are constantly looking for new ways for you to grow your business by connecting you with new customers. Billboards is one of our newest features to improve app discoverability for both customers and developers. 

Where's my perry billboard

Customer Experience

When customers view our store on an all-new Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD device, they’ll see multiple scrollable billboards at the top of their screen.  Each billboard serves as an immediate entry point to its app’s detail page where the customer will have the opportunity to purchase or download the app.  Promotional images will be curated from our selection of apps and highlighted in the billboards placement. We recommend developers use promotional images that visually communicate the essence of their app.  The promotional image should speak to what your app is all about, your brand and should entice customers to simply check out your great app.  Customers will see billboards on the all-new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. 

Creating Your Billboard

Promotional images should be 1024x 500 pixels and in PNG or JPG format.  When creating your image, were commend that you strive for an engaging image that speaks to what your app is all about. Make your image colorful to catch the eye of customers, and choose imagery that promotes the essence of your app and brand. Text on your promotional image should be large, simple, and readable. Do not add the price to the image ($0.99) or any discount call outs (50% off).

All recipies billboard

Submitting Your Billboards

Once your billboards are ready,submit them to Amazon through the Mobile App Distribution Portal

1. From the Distribution Portal,navigate to the My Apps tab. Select the app you'd like to edit and navigate to the Images & Multimedia tab for that app. Then, click the Edit button.

Promo_images_1

2.  Select Upload Image from the Promotional Image field. Choose the image you’d like to upload, and then save the image. Images must be 1024 x 500 in PNG or JPG format.

Promo_images_2
 

August 26, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Jeremy Cath, Kindle Technical Evangelist, is our author for this post.

The Amazon GameCircle API gives players more ways to connect with your game and with each other using Achievements, Leaderboards, andcloud-to-device Sync. Achievements add an engaging way for players to track their progress in your game, Leaderboards let them see how they stack up against their peers, and Sync allows users to save progress to the cloud so they can resume their progress across their devices.

One issue we have seen developers encounter with GameCircle integration is the CANNOT_AUTHORIZE exception when they are initializing the AmazonGamesClient service. This message can occur even if developers have registered the signature for their application with the GameCircle whitelist.

If you encounter this error, there are a number of things worth checking:

1.      Are you testing on Kindle Fire or on a Kindle Fire Emulator?
Amazon GameCircle features are only available on Kindle Fire and in the Kindle Fire emulator.

 

2.      Is the device signed in with an Amazon account?
GameCircle uses the account that the device is signed in with to authenticate the player against the service. Most physical devices will be registered and signed in, but if you are using the emulator, by default it is not registered or signed in (you can do that from the Settings | My Account option)

 

3.      Make sure the device has been updated to the latest version of the Fire OS.
It is important that you are running the latest version of the OS. To check this, go to the top menu, tap More, tap Device, click the Update your Kindle button if it is enabled.

 

4.      Make sure you're using the latest version of the GameCircle API.
The current version is 1.2.1, but you can check if this has changed in the GameCircle API documentation.

 

5.      Make sure you got a valid result from the key tool command you used to get the signature.
To do this, run the first part of the command line separately:

keytool -exportcert -alias androiddebugkey -keystore

[path to your keystore file]

 

 

This command should return a very long string that represents your certificate.  If the path to your keystone is wrong, it will return an error message. After you get valid results from this command, run the full command line to get the signature:

 

 keytool -exportcert -alias androiddebugkey -keystore

 

[path to your keystore file] | openssl sha1 -binary |openssl base64

 

 This will return your signature string.  Please check that this is the string that you have registered in the GameCircle Portal.


 

 

1.     Are youtesting on Kindle Fire or on a Kindle Fire Emulator?
Amazon GameCircle features are only available on Kindle Fire and in the Kindle Fire emulator.

 

2.     Is thedevice signed in with an Amazon account?
GameCircle uses the account that the device is signed in with to authenticate the player against the service. Most physical devices will be registered and signed in, but if you are using the emulator, by default it is not registered or signed in (you can do that from the Settings | My Account option)

 

3.     Make surethe device has been updated to the latest version of the Fire OS.
It is important that you are running the latest version of the OS. To check this, go to the top menu, tap More, tap Device, click the Update your Kindle button if it is enabled.

 

4.     Make sureyou're using the latest version of the GameCircle API.
The current version is 1.2.1, but you can check if this has changed in the[GameCircle API documentation][link to API doc]

 

5.     Make sure you got a valid result from the keytool command you used to get the signature.
To do this, run the first part of the command line separately:

keytool -exportcert -alias androiddebugkey -keystore

[pathto your keystore file]

 

This command should return a very long string that represents your certificate.  If the path to your keystone is wrong, it will return an error message. After you get valid results from this command, run the full command line to get the signature:

 

keytool -exportcert -aliasandroiddebugkey -keystore

[path to your keystorefile] | openssl sha1 -binary | openssl base64

 

This will return your signature string.  Please check that this is the string that you have registered in the GameCircle Portal.

August 07, 2012

Lauren Stark

One question developers commonly ask us is how they can grow their business by introducing their app to new Amazon customers. The Amazon team is here to help. Each day this week we’ll offer a tip on how to market your app on Amazon.

Marketing Tip #2: Submit your app to our marketing team for consideration for a featured marketing placement. 

 

We constantly strive to introduce Amazon customers to new apps they’ll love, thus helping our developers grow their businesses. We highlight apps through our storefronts on mobile devices, Kindle Fire, and Amazon.com and through marketing vehicles like e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.  For example, as I write this, featured placements include “Highly Rated Apps and Games” and “Featured New Releases,” and your app would be considered for these placements as applicable.  Your app may also be considered for seasonally relevant placements like summer travel, back to school, or learning apps.

If you are interested in a featured placement through our marketing vehicles, we invite you to tell us more about your mobile app by completing our marketing request form available through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal

Follow these steps to complete the form:

1) Check the Amazon Specific ID Number (ASIN) for your app on the Amazon.com site.

 

ASIN

2) Navigate to the marketing section of the FAQ page. 

 

FAQ Screen shot (2)

3) Click the link to the form available under the question “How do I get my app marketed?” 

 

Marketing FAQ v2

4) Submit information about your app for our consideration by filling out the form.  Please include the ASIN number you recorded from the Amazon.com site. 

 

Request Form
 

August 06, 2012

lisamar

One question developers commonly ask us is how they can grow their business by introducing their app to new Amazon customers.  The Amazon team is here to help. Each day this week we’ll offer a tip on how to market your app on Amazon. 

Marketing Tip #1:  Start with your best foot forward.  Write an effective app title and description.

 

The title and description of your app is a key opportunity to impress potential customers.  By writing an effective description, you can generate excitement about your app and increase the number of customer downloads of your app.  This is your chance to sell your app to customers! 

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.

  • 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 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 would enjoy or need.

 

Check out the recommendations we shared with you last year here on the blog for writing an effective description.

Do:

 

  • Always use proper punctuation and grammar.
  • Introduce your app clearly and succinctly.
  • Describe your app's most notable features. 
  • Use conversational language.
  • Think about your target customer and highlight features that will appeal to that customer.
  • Explain how and why your app will benefit users.
  • Show off—don't forget to include the attributes that make your app stand out and feel free to do so in detail.

Don't:

  • Refer to your app only as "this app" or "an app"—use your app's full name at least once in your product description
  • Make false, hyperbolic claims—this type of marketing rarely works and may hurt your app in the long run
  • Just write one single sentence—there's more to your app
  • Simply list your app's features, explain why these features are awesome and worth adding to a customer’s app collection
  • Exercise atypical or inappropriate language that could mislead or confuse customers
  • Use excess punctuation that could distract from the information you are conveying.

 

Editing App Descriptions from the Distribution Portal

1) To edit your app description from the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal, navigate to the My Apps tab. 

My Apps

2) Select the app you'd like to edit and navigate to the Description tab for that app.

Description Tab

3) Edit your app description and save it.

Edit Description
 

July 19, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Meet Amazon at Casual Connect Seattle from July 24-26!

Happy Hour at the Diller Room- July 24, 2012 6:00-8:00 PM

Join us for drinks (two drink tickets provided) and hors d' oeuvres at the Diller Room on July 24th from 6pm-8pm. Mingle with representatives from the AWS, Amazon Mobile App Distribution, and GameCircle teams and enter a drawing to win a Kindle Fire.

You can register for the Happy Hour event on this page or just simply drop by. Please remember to bring your Casual Connect Conference badge for admittance.

The Diller Room is located at 1224 1st Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.  The location is one block west of Benaroya Hall on the corner of 1st and University.

Amazon Speaker Sessions at Casual Connect

 Join us for two conference sessions hosted by Amazon speakers:

  • Monetization Trends for Mobile Games with Aaron Rubenson, Director, Amazon Appstore for Android- Wednesday, July 25 at 10 AM.
  • Optimizing Games for Kindle Fire with CJ Frost, Developer Evangelist- Thursday, July 26 at 11:30 AM.

Amazon Tables at Casual Connect

While you are at the Casual Connect conference, please stop by our tables - #B29 and #B30. We'll be at the tables from 8AM-6PM.

July 17, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Kindle Fire development resources are now available to our developer community! These resources provide detailed documentation, best practices, an emulator, and sample code to make it easy for you to build great applications for Kindle Fire customers.

Our documentation details how to set up your development environment, create a great customer experience, and optimize and test your apps for Kindle Fire. We also provide a Kindle Fire emulator to help you more easily lay out and test your apps, and sample code that illustrates our best practices for performing specific tasks.

It’s easy to get started building and optimizing your apps for Kindle Fire. Visit the Kindle Fire Development Resources page on the Distribution Portal and start building today!

June 19, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

We’re pleased to announce that you can now submit apps for distribution in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, using the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. We’ll begin distributing apps in these countries later this summer (and we have more countries planned in the near future). 

The Amazon Appstore in the U.S. has had a very successful year with millions of customers discovering and downloading apps and games. We continue to welcome new developers onto our platform, and since launch, we’ve grown to tens of thousands of apps—with more coming every day. Our recently launched In-App Purchasing API is already helping developers like Mobile Deluxe, G5 Entertainment, and Social Gaming Network delight their customers and generate significant revenue. Amazon now offers developers the opportunity to experience similar success with app sales outside the U.S.

Now is a great time for new developers to sign up and become familiar with the program. You have the ability to select the countries where you would like your apps to be sold and set your list prices by marketplace. If you are already participating in the program, your apps will automatically be made available for sale internationally by default. And you can easily change international availability for your apps via the Distribution Portal if your apps should not be sold in select countries. Developers allowing Amazon to sell apps internationally are responsible for ensuring their apps comply with all applicable export and import restrictions and the laws of the countries in which the apps are sold.

Though Amazon will not require apps to support multiple languages, we encourage you to consider localizing your apps with language translations and to think of creative ways to deliver great experiences to your international customers. Just as in the U.S., if you sell apps in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, you will benefit from Amazon’s trusted 1-Click purchasing as well as the easy-to-integrate In-App Purchasing API.

Today we are also announcing two changes to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution agreement. First, building on the success of the April In-App Purchasing Service launch, and to simplify our global terms, Amazon will be aligning the revenue share for paid apps with that for in-app products sold using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing Service. Starting July 1, you will earn 70% of list price on each paid app sale. This is a change from the prior terms under which you earned either 70% of the app’s sales price or 20% of list price (whichever was greater). To put it differently, starting in July, you’ll receive 70% of the list price for all sales, regardless of whether you monetize your apps up front (paid apps) or downstream (using our In-App Purchasing Service).  

Second, we will be adapting the terms of the distribution agreement to provide more flexibility around timing for app submissions. You will now control which apps you will make available to Amazon customers, and when, as well as the countries in which your apps may be sold. As a reminder, it’s your responsibility to ensure your list prices do not exceed the lowest prices at which your apps and in-app products are sold in similar stores. To review the full agreement, including the two changes described above, please follow this link.

If you don’t already have a developer account, it’s easy to join and we’ve waived the annual fee for 2012  it’s free to register for a developer account. Sign up now, and start submitting your apps for international distribution later this summer!

We’re pleased to announce that you can now submit apps for distribution in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain using the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal.  We’ll begin distributing apps in these countries later this summer (and we have more countries planned in the near future).   

 

June 19, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

We’re pleased to announce that you can now submit apps for distribution in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, using the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. We’ll begin distributing apps in these countries later this summer (and we have more countries planned in the near future). 

The Amazon Appstore in the U.S. has had a very successful year with millions of customers discovering and downloading apps and games. We continue to welcome new developers onto our platform, and since launch, we’ve grown to tens of thousands of apps—with more coming every day. Our recently launched In-App Purchasing API is already helping developers like Mobile Deluxe, G5 Entertainment, and Social Gaming Network delight their customers and generate significant revenue. Amazon now offers developers the opportunity to experience similar success with app sales outside the U.S.

Now is a great time for new developers to sign up and become familiar with the program. You have the ability to select the countries where you would like your apps to be sold and set your list prices by marketplace. If you are already participating in the program, your apps will automatically be made available for sale internationally by default. And you can easily change international availability for your apps via the Distribution Portal if your apps should not be sold in select countries. Developers allowing Amazon to sell apps internationally are responsible for ensuring their apps comply with all applicable export and import restrictions and the laws of the countries in which the apps are sold.

Though Amazon will not require apps to support multiple languages, we encourage you to consider localizing your apps with language translations and to think of creative ways to deliver great experiences to your international customers. Just as in the U.S., if you sell apps in the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, and Spain, you will benefit from Amazon’s trusted 1-Click purchasing as well as the easy-to-integrate In-App Purchasing API.

Today we are also announcing two changes to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution agreement. First, building on the success of the April In-App Purchasing Service launch, and to simplify our global terms, Amazon will be aligning the revenue share for paid apps with that for in-app products sold using Amazon’s In-App Purchasing Service. Starting July 1, you will earn 70% of list price on each paid app sale. This is a change from the prior terms under which you earned either 70% of the app’s sales price or 20% of list price (whichever was greater). To put it differently, starting in July, you’ll receive 70% of the list price for all sales, regardless of whether you monetize your apps up front (paid apps) or downstream (using our In-App Purchasing Service).  

Second, we will be adapting the terms of the distribution agreement to provide more flexibility around timing for app submissions. You will now control which apps you will make available to Amazon customers, and when, as well as the countries in which your apps may be sold. As a reminder, it’s your responsibility to ensure your list prices do not exceed the lowest prices at which your apps and in-app products are sold in similar stores. To review the full agreement, including the two changes described above, please follow this link.

If you don’t already have a developer account, it’s easy to join and we’ve waived the annual fee for 2012  it’s free to register for a developer account. Sign up now, and start submitting your apps for international distribution later this summer!

We’re pleased to announce that you can now submit apps for distribution in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain using the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal.  We’ll begin distributing apps in these countries later this summer (and we have more countries planned in the near future).   

 

April 18, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Michael Ritter, Vice President Licensing & Distribution at Social Gaming Network, is our guest blogger for this post.  SGN connects people around the world through great games, including Skies of Glory, Fluff Friend Rescue, Warp Rush, Bird's the Word, and Night of the Living Dead Defense.


We decided to participate in the Amazon Appstore In-App Purchasing beta program because Amazon is a ubiquitous and trusted ecommerce platform with disruptive devices, so we felt it was a perfect storm of opportunity.   Amazon's in-app purchasing solution created a great way for us to reduce friction and drive more revenue from our games, as tens of millions of people already have made purchases with Amazon.  Specifically, the Kindle Fire’s integrated storefront and marketplace work seamlessly and help drive mobile game distribution.  Through in-app purchases we are able to add additional content to our games, which help deepen the player’s experience and increase their enjoyment.  

With our games we have tried a mix of revenue models, including paid, paid with in-app purchase, and free with in-app purchases.  Our strategy largely depends on the type of game and expected game play behavior.  In our Amazon games, the model revolves around the use of in-app purchases of virtual goods, although we are starting to experiment with ad-based games whereby users will have the ability to purchase the option to disable ads.  We feel the freemium strategy coupled with in-app purchases provides the greatest ability to delivery quality games to a large audience, while also providing free content for casual players and the ability to upgrade for those players looking for a richer experience.

From the consumer’s point of view, Amazon has done an exceptional job creating a natural and seamless purchasing process that allow users to easily make a purchase and continue playing the game. From a developer’s point of view, we found Amazon’s technical support team to be exceptional. They were attentive, helpful and very responsive to supporting and walking us through the installation process.  

Overall, I’d say that offering IAP in your games/apps is a great way to drive revenue as well as provide enhanced content for users to enjoy.   The Amazon Appstore SDK and In-App Purchasing APIs are well worth installing, whether your game is paid or free.

April 16, 2012

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

What is code obfuscation?

If you are ready to submit your app to the Amazon Appstore for Android, you might consider obfuscating your code. Obfuscating your code modifies your source and machine code to be difficult for a human to understand if your app gets decompiled. If you are concerned about your app being reverse engineered, using a tool to obfuscate your code can help a great deal.

Caveat

Not all of your source can be obfuscated, however. If you are implementing In-App Purchasing for your app, the Amazon Appstore relies on certain methods being available to call and provide you with information about a purchase request. If these methods get obfuscated and renamed, the Appstore will not be able to send information to your app. This post is a brief walkthrough on adding code obfuscation to your project.

Proguard

For android apps, Proguard is a code obfuscation tool that is provided to you once you download the Android SDK. The program shrinks and obfuscates your source code.

Setting Up Code Obfuscation for your Project

Prerequisites

This walkthrough assumes you have the Android SDK and Amazon In-App Purchasing API installed and your project already completed.

For help on installing the Android SDK, please refer to their website at http://www.developer.android.com/sdk/installing.html. Download the Amazon In-App Purchasing API by going to http://developer.amazon.com/

Enabling Proguard for your App

To enable Proguard for your Android app, refer to the following documentation from the Android SDK: http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/tools/proguard.html

Edit the build.properties file inside of your project, and add the following line (if you don’t have this file in your project directory, make one):

proguard.config = <relative or absolute path to proguard.cfg file>

 ‘Keeping’ the In-App Framework Intact

When incorporating the in-app framework into your library, you will need to specify classes to ‘keep’ and not obfuscate. Add the following lines anywhere in your proguard.cfg file.

-dontwarn com.amazon.**

-keep class com.amazon.** {*;}

-keepattributes *Annotation*

-dontoptimize 

Finalizing and Releasing Your App

Now that you’ve fully set up your proguard.cfg and build.properties file, you can run Proguard through the ant  build script for your project.

Obfuscation with another Program

If you are using another program for code obfuscation, to ensure that in-app functionality is preserved, make sure your program does not obfuscate any class under the com.amazon.* namespace, including method names and identifiers. Your obfuscation program must also preserve annotations.

Conclusion and Additional Resources

The code in this article serves as a walkthrough for enabling and using Proguard for release candidates of your app. Sample apps that include the code from this article are provided in the In-App Purchasing API. Again, you can download the SDK by logging into http://developer.amazon.com/