What You Need to Know About Creating Kindle Fire Apps

Kindle FireAmazon is keeping itself competitive in the mobile device market with its own app store and three versions of its app-supporting Kindle Fire. Developers will have to pay attention to this fragment if they don’t want to lose users. But, as with all devices and manufacturers, developing for the Kindle has its own specific set of considerations. With that in mind, here are some things you need to know about Kindle apps (from Amazon and Kinveyposts).

  • Apps are available on the Kindle Fire and both Kindle Fire HDs
  • Kindle Fire runs on a custom variant of Android 4.0.3
  • Amazon’s Mobile Store is separate from Google Play. You’ll need to submit your apps to both stores. Unlike most Android apps, Kindle apps must go through an Amazon Mobile Store review and certification process before they become available for download. Learn about the approval process.
  • Kindle Fire comes in multiple screen sizes and resolutions. In commercial terms, the Kindle Fire has a 7″ LCD screen while the HD edition offers a 7″ and a 8.9″ option. To accommodate this, apps should support 1024×600, 1280×800 and 1920×1200. Screen sizes and densities conform to Android standards (Small, normal, large or extra large size and low, medium, high and extra high density). You can learn more about these considerations in the 8 Tips for Android Testing.
  • Amazon offers separate APKs for each Kindle device.
  • Amazon’s new Device Targeting feature will make it easier for developers to deal with Kindle fragmentation. “Mobile app developers can use device targeting to build multiple versions of their software so that the correct version is installed from Amazon’s Appstore for Android, regardless of the device.”
  • Available Memory sizes include8GB, 16GB and 32GB.
  • The Amazon Mobile App Distribution Blog regularly posts tips to help developers get the most out of the Kindle. Recent topics have included “Optimizing for the Kindle Fire HD’s Camera” and “Optimizing for Soft Key Support.”

Don’t expect to just push your Android apps into the Kindle market and have everything go well. Instead, treat the Kindle family like a whole new operating system, with its own fragmentation issues and need for testing.

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