Making Kindle Fire apps with Andromo

edited June 2013 in Announcements

The Kindle Fire is an extremely popular tablet created by Amazon. The device is based on the Android OS however it locks the
users of the device to the Amazon Appstore for all of
their apps. Since its release, it has gone on to sell over 7 million units making it
number two in tablet sales behind Apple’s iPad.

Given the huge numbers of users, the Kindle Fire and the Amazon Appstore represent
an Android market that Andromo developers should explore. After all
the Kindle Fire runs an OS based on the Android OS which means
that developers can bring their apps to the Amazon Appstore with
almost no changes. The only issues a developer may encounter
surround Amazon’s Appstore approval process and the
requirements necessary for that approval - in particular they don't allow your apps to mention or link to Google Play in any way. With the release of
Andromo 3.1.0 Andromo
developers can now fully target the Amazon Appstore and
be approved in a reliable way.

The Story So

The story previous to Andromo 3.1.0 was one of headaches and
rejected apps for Andromo developers attempting to add their app to
the Amazon Appstore. While Andromo made steps to improve support
for Amazon kindle devices (as it became clear that it was something
our developers wanted to target) it wasn’t enough. We tried a
few different approaches including the 3.0.8 update which
automatically translated Google Play activity links to
Amazon App Store links when it detected that the app was running on
a Kindle. We wanted to let people build one app and then be able to
upload it to any Android store they wanted, but as time went on it
became clear that this approach wouldn’t work.

The reality is that if you are going to develop apps for Google
Play and for Amazon at the same time you are generally going to
have to provide special builds for each app store. Builds that
target each app store specifically, regardless of what device they
are running, and will therefore pass the Amazon Appstore approval

The Solution

The addition of the Target setting on the App Info
tab in Andromo 3.1.0 solves this problem and lets you easily add
your apps to the Amazon Appstore. This setting allows you to build
a version of your app that targets a specific marketplace. It
changes the destination links for Google Play activities, PDF
dependencies, share text, etc. so they point to either Google Play
or the Amazon appstore.

As hinted at above if you want to add your app to both the
Google Play and Amazon Appstore marketplaces you will need to build
your app twice, once for each app store. In general this means
following these two steps:

  1. Build your app with the target set to Google Play.
    When the build is done, save the file to your computer with a name
    that lets you know it was built for Google Play. E.g.

  2. After that is done edit your app and set Amazon Appstore as your target. Save your changes, and build the
    app again. When this build is done save the apk file to your
    computer with a name that lets you know that it was built for the
    Amazon Appstore: app_xxx_yyy_amazon.apk.

Now you are ready to add your app to each app store.

Doesn’t Work

AirBop is not supported on Amazon devices as they do not have
the necessary Google Services installed. If you want to use AirBop
you will have to disable it when you target the Amazon

Any links to Google Play in your HTML code. If you are
attempting to promote or link to something in Google Play in any
HTML Archive or Custom Page activity, you will have to edit your
code so that it points to the correct app store that the target
setting refers to.


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