Amazon updates Appstore Developer Portal FAQ for Kindle Fire
Amazon has added their developer FAQ with a section specific for the Kindle Fire, covering requirements and the submission process for those who are getting ready for Novembers big launch. For the most part, it's a pretty standard read -- an overview of the process, the device specific requirements (they even tell developers how to set up the Android SDK emulator -- 600x1024 px display, 169 LCD density, API 10 and 512MB RAM), and content guidelines. If you have any plans to develop and submit apps to Amazon for the Fire, you should hit the source link and have a read.
For the rest of us, let's have a look at a couple highlights from the "infamous" Amazon developer agreement's Q&A about the Fire:
Amazon will be reviewing each app in the appstore for compatibility with the Kindle Fire. This will be done automatically, and if any issues are found during the testing, developers will be contacted with more information. They say app approval for new apps will "generally take a week", but some apps will take longer.
The have a list of no-nos, which your application can't require (as in, need for correct operation) to run. This list includes a gyroscope, camera, WAN module, Bluetooth, microphone, GPS, or micro-SD. In addition, if your app uses Google's mobile services, like cloud to device messaging, they need to be removed "gracefully". Amazon gives us an example of graceful as "an error message such as "This feature is not currently available on this device". There's also a notice that Google's in app billing won't be supported, but they're working on their own solution.
There's also two interesting notes about content in addition to their normal guidelines. No themes or wallpaper apps will be allowed, or any app "that manipulates the user interface of the device", and that the "Kindle Fire does not support apps that require root access". The former, while a little surprising, makes a lot of sense -- they want Amazon content to be front and center. The latter is a bit less clear, as there are already apps on the Amazon appstore that require root access. These may be blocked from the Fire, or it may just be confusing wording. We'll have to wait and see.
Here's the part where I start bitching about open -- but not this time. Amazon makes no bones about what they are, which is a for profit business. They don't claim to be anything else (at least not at the retail level) so I'm good with these decisions. They can, and should, curate their user's experience any way they see fit, and a lot of people will benefit from it. Tight control will guarantee a level of consistency that a whole lot of people want. They should be allowed to have it.
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Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.