Android developers building apps for the Amazon Appstore have a bevy of new tools to help leverage the rapidly growing Kindle Fire tablet ecosystem, Aaron Rubenson, Director Amazon Appstore for Android said at the AppNation conference this week.
Kindle Fire is the best selling item on Amazon.com, Rubenson said, and the newest tool developers have is an A/B testing kit that allows them to build multiple versions of an app for simultaneous release. The API can help speed up things like game development by letting developers test different versions of their app without having to start over again to make each new version.
Amazon Appstore Downloads Growing
Amazon apps have increased over 500 percent in the last year, so Rubenson came to the AppNation event to try to convince more developers to build apps for Amazon's popular tablet devices. Tools like A/B testing, and the ability to test out new apps right on Kindle Fire devices are the kind of unique attributes that could convince them.
Rubenson highlighted Amazon's focus on games and apps for children, but also the company's ability to market and distribute apps on its media-focused platform. Specifically, he touted features like the FreeTime feature included on the newest versions of the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. It allows moms and dads to set up custom profiles for kids (for a fee of course) where certain features are turned off, and specific apps can stay live for kids to enjoy.
For developers, this walled garden approach could help attract more business for their apps and games, a point Rubenson tied to the growing numbers of Amazon Appstore visitors.
Amazon's latest comScore numbers.
Amazon's 2012 App Development Tools
A/B testing is a handy addition to Amazon mobile development tools that have come out already in 2012. The A/B testing API not only allows for multiple versions of apps to be deployed to specific sets of users, the final app version goes out to all users without an update.
Test Drive, the famous app tester long available on Amazon.com has recently come to the new Kindle Fire devices as well, but several other tools have come out over the course of the year. GameCircle, Amazon's home for gaming apps, has a more prominent position on Kindle Fire devices, and the ability to start a game on one device, and finish it on another (Whispersync) is also unique.
Amazon has an uphill battle against the iOS and Android systems, but focusing on niches like kids and games seems like a good idea. The company's tablets are doing very well, and Rubenson made sure to remind developers to think about how their apps will look on the larger screens. Given those devices are media consumption devices even more so than the iPad, for specific app segments, it seems like good advice.