updated 07:12 pm EDT, Wed July 25, 2012
Assembles team to help tailor offerings for Kindle Fire
Reuters today carries word that online retail giant Amazon is making a big push to attract app and game developers specifically to its Kindle Fire platform. The retailer is looking to make its current Kindle Fire -- and perhaps future iterations of its tablet -- more attractive to developers and thus build a software ecosystem to rival those of Google and Amazon. To that end, the company is taking extra pains to make sure software is optimized to run on Amazon's devices.
Amazon is said to be pouring considerable resources into the Kindle Fire app ecosystem. The company has assembled a team meant to assist developers with design, testing, launching, and marketing of apps and games for its device. While this team existed prior to the Kindle Fire's launch last September, it is said to have stepped up its developer recruitment efforts in the months since.
Amazon's tablet runs on a forked version of Google's Android operating system and is capable of running many of the apps featured on Google's Play Store and other outlets. The software, though, has been altered to make the Amazon App Store the default option for apps; users must modify the device's settings in order to access other stores. This gives Amazon the ability to curate most of the apps that will run on its device much in the way that Apple is able to do with its App Store.
The company recently rolled out an array of new features for developers, including in-app purchasing, cloud syncing, and a gaming leaderboard. Amazon is also said to be more willing to share user data with developers than either Google or Apple. This means that developers can see reports on the number of downloads and in-app purchases being made on their products.
The company's moves toward attracting developers, should they prove successful, may wind up making its forthcoming products more attractive. Amazon is thought to be preparing to release as many as six new Kindle Fire variants, ranging from the size of Google's Nexus 7 to that of Apple's iPad, in the coming months. Any such release would no doubt be accompanied by a renewed marketing push like that seen with the original Kindle Fire, and a vibrant app ecosystem would make the device all the more attractive to potential customers.