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Amazon wants make it easier for mobile app developers to integrate cloud services into their apps. The company today unveiled a quartet of new services all targeted at developers who want to build cross-platform applications for mobile devices.

Mobile_CognitoThe move is a strike against Microsoft Azure Mobile Services, which is also designed to give developers a simple way to integrate a cloud back-end into mobile applications. Microsoft is trying to differentiate itself in the cloud space by remaining competitive with Amazon on price, but also creating products like its recent Machine Learning service that have a shallower learning curve.

Amazon’s attempt to more neatly package up its mobile services should make its already-popular cloud platform a more appealing choice to mobile developers who want to build a cloud backend to their app but balk at the idea of having to sink a lot of time into developing it.

Mobile_AnalyticsThe first new Amazon service is Amazon Cognito, which allows developers to create and manage user identities using AWS.

With Cognito, users can work within an app as a guest, and can then sign in to an app with their Amazon, Google or Facebook account. Cognito will then manage all of the complexities of keeping a user’s app data in sync across all of the devices that they use.

In addition, the company launched Amazon Mobile Analytics, which allows developers to track events in their mobile apps so they can get quick feedback about how people are using their software. The service allows developers to easily track a number of events and metrics, including user retention, and in-application revenue.

pp_img_3_col_sns_1_378x171AWS users can get started using the Amazon Mobile Analytics service for free, and they won’t be charged, so long as they use the service to log fewer than 100 million events every month. That pricing move is a strike against growing app analytics services like Flurry, as well as analytics tools built into Android and coming to iOS with Apple’s launch of iOS 8.

Amazon’s Simple Notification Service also got a boost with a new Time to Live feature for mobile push notifications. Now, a developer can send a push notification to customers during a particular time window up to two weeks in length. That means a customer won’t have to get a notification for an event that has already happened while SNS couldn’t reach their phone.

The new services can be accessed with the AWS Mobile Software Development Kit, which creates a single, cross-platform set of tools that allow developers to easily integrate Amazon’s services into their mobile apps. The SDK will give users access to the new Cognito and Mobile Analytics services, as well as S3, DynamoDB, Kinesis and Amazon SNS for Mobile Push.

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