Amazon.com has opened a new portal that aims to help developers create Android apps for its Appstore and take advantage of its cross-platform APIs with the help of better tools and documentation.
The retailing giant seems hell-bent on giving Google a run for its money with the Appstore. In the last 10 months it has made its competitor to the Google Play Store available worldwide, adding the ability for developers to submit Web apps and sell physical goods in their apps.
The new developer portal is the latest step in Amazon's mobile push. First of all, the company has streamlined the application submission process. Developers can simply drop their APK application package file in the updated testing widget and see if what they have written is compatible with the Appstore. When an app has passed the test, the submission process can start directly from the results page, Amazon said in a blog post on Thursday.
Amazon has also made an effort to improve the portal's documentation section. There is now a page where developers can find all of the Appstore APIs, and see what platforms they are compatible with. Developers can see that the Analytics API is compatible with both Android and iOS apps, for example.
There is also a dedicated page for the tools and services that Amazon thinks game developers will find helpful, including game engine plug-ins and cross-platform APIs, according to the blog post. The portal has dedicated pages for HTML5 and iOS developers, as well. Amazon's API and services for the latter includes analytics, testing and GameCircle, which lets developers add features such as leader boards.
Amazon has like so many other companies realized the importance of mobile, and making itself relevant to developers is an important part of that, according to Tim Shepherd, senior analyst at Canalys, who thinks that Amazon's Appstore has become a credible alternative to the Google Play store.
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