Thursday, December 13, 2012

Amazon announces new APIs and resources for its own mobile app developer program

On the same day that the new Google Maps app appeared in the App Store, and that Google announced access to its SDK for geolocation developers, Amazon has announced new APIs for its own mobile app developer program. Coincidence?

Amazon spelled out for major APIs and resources for mobile app development:

A/B Testing Service
Make changes in real time, view results, and iterate without releasing new versions of your APK. This free service is easy to implement, and scalable since it's built on Amazon Web Services.

Amazon Device Messaging API
Send push notifications from the cloud to Kindle Fire tablets running your app, keeping your users up to date and involved. Amazon Device Messaging API is currently in beta. To request access, click here.

Amazon Maps API
Now available to all developers, the Maps API gives you access to interactive maps and custom overlays in your mobile apps on Kindle Fire tablets.

Unity Plug-ins for GameCircle and In-App Purchasing APIs
If you build your games with Unity, use these plug-ins to rapidly add both In-App Purchasing for virtual goods and GameCircle for leaderboards, achievements, and Whispersync for Games.
Amazon also announced that mobile apps can now be purchased from Amazon in Japan, and that crash reports are now available in the Reporting section of the Mobile App Distribution Portal.

But what caught my attention was that Amazon has put up some tips for developers when developing for their 8.9" Kindle Fire. If you've been developing for the iPad a developer would consider the tips, found here, rather obvious. But many developers continue to consider Android merely a mobile OS and are not developing interesting native apps for Android tablets. This might be Amazon's response.

If you question my assertion that Android tablet development continues to lag, just search for magazines that Google has labeled as "Interactive" in Google Play. My last search came up with 16 titles. 16.