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Jeff Bezos announces the Fire
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announces the Fire

Amazon is offering Android developers up to $15,000 in Amazon Coins digital currency to attract more apps to the Amazon Appstore for its upcoming Fire smartphone, which the company announced earlier this week.

FirePhone-D-Right-App-GridOf course, there are a few catches before developers can get their hands on all that digital cash. Amazon is offering 500,000 coins (equivalent to $5,000) for each app developers submit to the Appstore. Developers can then use those coins to provide incentives for customers who purchase their app or in-app-purchases, such as rebates on purchases, or incentives for completing achievements.

But developers won’t be getting Amazon’s free money without a little work. Apps will need to take advantage of some Fire-only features in order to qualify for Amazon’s bounty. Here are the requirements they’ll have to meet before Amazon will pay up:

  • All apps must implement an app widget using the Home API to display contextual information when the app is brought to the forefront on the device Carousel.
  • Non-game apps must implement either (or both) of the left and right panels using Foundation Controls or Dynamic Perspective SDK.
  • Games must use the Dynamic Perspective SDK to create an in-game experience that responds to a user’s motion relative to the device.  Note that games that merely replace swipe-based controls or gyro functionality with head tracking will not qualify.  The game must use head tracking to implement an in-game experience.  Examples include the ability for a user to pan and zoom the field of view in a game by moving the device back or forward or the ability to rotate the device about any axis to change the viewing angle of the surroundings.

The move is a clear attempt to try and shore up some of the Fire’s shortcomings out of the gate: a lack of third-party app support compared to the Google Play Store and iOS App Store, and a potential lack of apps that take advantage of the phone’s unique features.

This promotion means that developers who rely on their apps to make money will have the tools they need to try and attract paying customers on day one of the Fire’s availability to the public. But it remains to be seen how many of them will want to take advantage of this offer.

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