Publishing Kindle Fire Apps by Fred@MySkylla.com
The Kindle Fire is a tablet device, most Android tablet apps will run on the various Kindle Fire devices, subject to different screen sizes, hardware features, and software implementations. Specifications The current Kindle Fire OS 3.0 “Mojito”, is built from the Android open source kernel (Android 4.2.2 – Jellybean) and runtime libraries. Per Amazon, 75% of the tablet apps tested that run on Android also run on Fire OS, with no Additional Development Required The easiest process of making your app available to the Kindle Fire is to join the Amazon Store. Amazon will automatically scan the app to see if it’s suitable for the Kindle Fire OS. The submission process is similar to submitting to Google Play (Market) or the BlackBerry PlayBook Market.
Amazon has turned the Kindle into a multi-media tablet from its original incarnation as simply an e-book reader. Amazon promotes their market as having "Powerful Marketing Features: Market your apps to tens of millions of customers using Amazon’s proven marketing and merchandising capabilities. Submit your app once for the potential to reach customers on Kindle Fire, the Amazon Appstore mobile client, and online at the Amazon Appstore."
So you might ask why the Amazon Kindle Fire? Well the answer is that PC sales are caving with Smartphone and Tablet sales dominating the Consumer Electronics market. iPad sales are being cannibalize by the iPad mini, and Android smartphone & tablets are dominating the market.
I went to several stores and asked about the various tablets trying to get an understanding of which devices users were choosing and why. I understand that my observations are very limited but they have the thing of truth. The general consensus was that Apple users wanted the iPad mini. Book readers wanted the Kindle. Users that choose Android wanted the freedom. The 7″ Samsung tablet is currently more popular than the Nexus 7″. The Nook seems dead in the water with little to no sales. The Microsoft Surface tablet has some interest. Many are waiting for expected releases of new tablets for the upcoming Christmas Shopping season. From this I concluded that the Kindle Fire is an important player in the tablet market and that App Developers need to learn to the skills to release their apps for the Amazon Kindle Fire Market.
Kindle phone coming soon, but not yet.
C|NET Article: “A bunch of new Kindle Fire tablets are on the way, according to NPD DisplaySearch. Watch your back, Google.”
Kindle Fire doesn’t use Google services, so it does not have Google Play (Market) installed. Instead, it uses Amazon’s Appstore for Android. Kindle Fire users can add most Android app's via the Amazon Appstore or by Sideloading. Sideloading is basically just going outside the Amazon Market, something most Android users are familiar with. There are fewer apps available for the Kindle Fire but most of the popular ones are available.
Amazon Kindle Fire 6.2.1 Update Dec. 21st, 2011
Here and excellent articles that talk’s about the compatibility issues. Nov 15th PCMAG Mobile, “How To Run Almost Any Android App On the Kindle Fire“.
Tablet Market Share (2Q13)
- iOS 50.7%
- Google Play
- PlayBook – Blackberry
- Kindle Fire – Amazon 4.6%
- Nook – Barnes & Noble
Kindle App Development
- Development Environment – Eclipse
- Testing Your App
- On a Kindle Fire – If you don’t already have a Kindle Fire device, you may wish to get one. The Kindle Fire ($139 to $379) is relatively cheap compared to most Android smartphones. It’s cheap enough to seriously consider acquiring at least one for testing purposes, but then you’ll have to choose among three and then Wi-Fi only or 4G LTE (AT&T or Verizon)
- Virtual Device (Kindle Fire Emulator on Eclipse)
- Connected to the PC via a USB Cable
- Amazon's Developer Program costs: Free, There is no registration cost. You can create an app developer account for free and submit your app.
- No Google – Kindle Fire has no Google Services.
When developing Kindle Fire apps you must use the Android API and not the Google APIs version. Any Google specific intents will fail.
Official Google apps that require logins won’t work. Translate, YouTube and Maps work, because they don’t require logins. However the new versions of Google Maps uses Google Services therefore they won’t work.
Here’s what doesn’t run.
- Google Play (Android Market)
- Google Books
- Google Maps
Hint: Use Amazon Maps
- Hardware & OS
Kindle Fire apps will runs on devices with different screen sizes, hardware features, and software implementations. To help ensure that your app works well across a broad array of devices, query the features of the device hardware or software and be responsive to the features that are available.