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Deprecation Notice for Amazon Maps SDK v1.0 and v2.0

The Amazon Maps API v2.5 will replace the existing Maps SDK v2.0 on all Fire OS 5 and above supported tablets starting October 26, 2020. Maps SDK v1.0 and v2.0 will be deprecated and no longer receive support after October 26, 2020.

Version Deprecations and Timelines

If your app supports Fire tablet devices running Fire OS 5+ (Android API level 22 or higher) and also uses the Amazon Maps API, you must recompile your app with the new Maps SDK v2.5 before October 26, 2020, for your app to continue to support an in-app maps experience.

Documentation for integrating the Maps SDK v2.5 is available here: Getting Started with the Amazon Maps API (v.2.5). You can download the the Maps SDK v2.5 from the SDK Downloads page. The Release Notes indicate which classes are deprecated and which are new.

Submitting a Recompiled App with v2.5

When you submit your recompiled app, specify a future go-live date as October 26, 2020, because that is when all successfully tested recompiled apps will go live. In the developer console, you can specify this future go-live date on the Availability & Pricing tab in the section titled, "When would you like publishing to start?

The reason you can't go live immediately with your Amazon Maps v2.5-SDK-enabled app is because the Fire OS version necessary to support v2.5 requires a maps service that isn't yet available for the majority of tablets. This service will be available on Fire OS build 7.3.1.5 for Fire OS 7 tablets, which will be released to Fire tablets currently running Fire OS 7 on August 30, 2020. (Releases are rolled out incrementally through over-the-air (OTA) updates until reaching 100% rollout on August 30.)

Tablets running Fire OS 6 will also be upleveled to Fire OS 7 (the uplevel date is still to be determined). When these Fire OS 6 tablets are upleveled, you can test the Maps v2.5 SDK on four different tablet models (assuming the model is available in your marketplace).

Tablets running Fire OS 5 won't receive the necessary maps service update until October 26, 2020. These Fire OS 5 tablet devices won't be upleveled to Fire OS 7, but they will support the new Maps SDK.

Amazon Maps will not function on Fire tablets running Fire OS 4 or earlier. This only includes a small number of tablet models released between 2011 and 2013. You can browse the list here: Identifying Fire Tablet Devices. Users will need to upgrade their Fire tablets to a newer version to enjoy in-app maps experiences.

See Fire Tablets that Support the Maps SDK v2.5 for more specific details.

The recommended approach for testing is to buy an existing Fire tablet with Fire OS 7 and start testing as of August 30, 2020. The two tablets available for this are as follows:

The Fire HD 8 (2020, 10th gen) is available in most marketplaces: amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, amazon.de, amazon.co.jp, amazon.ca, amazon.fr, amazon.it, amazon.es.

When the Fire OS 6 tablets are upleveled (date TBD), you'll be able to use two other Fire tablets as well. These tablets are currently running Fire OS 6 but will be upleveled to Fire OS 7:

Resubmitting Your Maps v2.5 App

After implementing the Maps SDK v2.5, you need to resubmit a new version of your app, along with any metadata updates (e.g., small icon, large icon, screenshots, descriptions, etc.) using the Amazon developer console before October 26, 2020.

Set the go-live date for October 26. (If you immediately publish your app, it will work on Fire OS 7 tablets as of August 30 but won't be compatible with the Fire OS 5 tablets until October 26. Most developers submit one APK for multiple Fire OS versions. However, if desired, you can submit different APKs that target different Fire OS versions.)

Key Dates to Remember

Keep these key dates in mind for the deprecation of v1.0 and v2.0, and the transition to v2.5:

Key Date Task
Before 26 Oct, 2020 Recompile and submit the app for Fire OS 5+ devices
Oct 26, 2020 All recompiled apps for Fire OS 5+ devices will go live
Oct 26, 2020 Maps SDK v1.0 and Maps SDK v2.0 will be deprecated from all Fire Tablets

FAQ

Here are some common questions about Maps v2.5:

Q: As a developer, I have created an app using Maps API targeting a broad range of Amazon Fire tablet devices, which use Fire OS 2 to Fire OS 7. To ensure that every one of my customers can still use my app without any issues, what are the actions I must take and by when? Should I create different versions of my app against Maps SDK v2.5 targeting different devices and Fire OS versions? Please specify timelines per device and Fire OS versions.

A: You will need to recompile your app and submit it to Amazon developer console before Oct 26, 2020. All successfully tested apps will go live on Oct 26, 2020. Amazon does not need developers to submit different versions of the apps for different generations of Fire OS 5+ devices, unless you want to support Fire OS 4 and lower by removing Maps SDK from the app.


Q: Apart from the no-op changes described in the release notes, what UI considerations should I should make? I read that Amazon Maps SDK v2.5 retains no-op implementation so that existing developers will not face compilation issues, but will my app look different on the same devices now? Please specify per device and Fire OS version.

A: All Fire Tablets running Fire OS 5+ will be compatible with the Maps SDK v2.5 as of October 26, 2020, and will have the same UI. The key changes in the UI are the map tiles UX, map tile colors and labels format, and points of interest will have 2D images instead of 3D images.


Q: To improve my own workflow and the user experience of my customers, what is the best step-by step plan for updating and releasing new versions of my app by date, Fire OS version and device?

A: Refer to the release notes and Getting Started to recompile your app. Below are the key dates to note:

  • Recompile and submit your app for Fire OS 5+ devices – before 26 Oct, 2020
  • All recompiled apps for Fire OS 5+ devices will go live on – Oct 26, 2020
  • Maps API v1.0 and Maps API v2.0 to be deprecated from all Fire tablets on – Oct 26, 2020

Q: Are there any actions that my customers should take (for example, uninstall, re-install my app, or update their OS)? Please specify per each device, Fire OS version, and clarify by when.

A: For all Fire OS 5+ devices, developers will have to push an app update, after which customers will need to install your app update via the Appstore client to continue using Map features on Fire OS 5+ Fire Tablets. Ensure you are retaining customer app data during the update. It is the developer’s responsibility to retain any customer app data during the update.

Q: Can I use an emulator to simulate the required Fire OS build to make the Maps SDK v2.5 work before the August 30 and October 26 timelines?

A: No, Amazon does not have emulators for Fire tablets. Additionally, the App Testing Service (ATS) will not determine compatibility either. The best approach is to buy a new Fire tablet with Fire OS 7 and start testing as of August 30, 2020.