By Zach Walton
The Kindle Fire HD is pretty awesome, isn’t it? The new 7 and 8.9-inch tablets are likely to give Apple a run for their money. Like all hardware, however, the true strength of these new tablets are in the apps. To that end, Amazon is giving developers all the tools they need to start making Kindle Fire HD apps today.
Amazon has released a number of development resources for developers interested in creating apps for the Kindle Fire HD. Some of these tools are similar to those used for the Kindle Fire so experienced developers should have no problem making the switch.
If you’re new to Kindle Fire development, you’re going to want to check out the development resources section. I would also suggest that experienced developers take a look over the resources for a refresher. After that, you’ll want to grab the Amazon Mobile App SDK which includes the In-App Purchasing API, GameCircle API and Maps API.
Before you get started on your app, you’ll want to figure out which device you’re targeting. Amazon allows developers to offering separate APKs for all of their devices alongside regular Android devices. While you’re at it, you can use Amazon’s resources to localize your app for other territories like the UK or Italy. Finally, you’ll want to integrated Amazon Web Services into your Kindle Fire app through the AWS Android SDK.
Before you submit your app, you’ll need to test it on the Kindle Fire HD emulator that Amazon has just released. This will allow you to test and debug your apps without having to actually own a Kindle Fire HD.
Once you have everything finished, you’ll be ready to submit the next great app to Amazon’s Appstore. Just hit up the Mobile App Distribution Panel and you’ll be ready to go.
The Kindle Fire has already proven to be a great source of revenue for developers and the Kindle Fire HD will most assuredly continue that trend. Interested developers should try to get their apps out sooner rather than later. The Kindle Fire HD 7-inch and the retooled original Kindle Fire both launch next week.
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Amazon will launch a touchscreen version of its Kindle e-book reader in the UK at the end of April.
The Amazon Kindle Touch, which features a six-inch touch screen, will go on sale on 27 April. Prices start at £109 and the device is available for pre-order now. Amazon has not given any indication of a UK launch date for its Kindle
Fire tablet computer, which has been on sale in the States since November. There are two models of Kindle Touch available – one with wi-fi connectivity the other with an additional free connection to the 3G network.The wi-fi-only Kindle Touch goes on sale at £109, while the 3G-capable Kindle Touch 3G will cost £169.Competitors such as Sony and Kobo already offer touchscreen e-book readers. The Kobo eReader Touch features a six-inch touchscreen and costs £79.
The Kindle Touch has been on sale in the US since November, with a ’sponsored’ version of the wi-fi-only model available there for $99 (£62). This model displays adverts as the Kindle’s screensaver, but there is no word on a similar model becoming available in the UK. When using the Kindle Touch, readers can turn the pages of an e-book by simply tapping on the screen – something which Amazon says makes it possible to hold the device comfortably in one hand.
The device comes with a battery that Amazon says can last for up to two
months. It has 2GB of internal storage, of which approximately 1.25GB is available for storing books.
Amazon says that amount of space will hold up to 1,400 books. The new Kindle also comes with a feature called X-Ray. Tap on the screen and you can see all the passages in a book that mention, for example, a particular character. Two other models of Kindle are available in the UK. The wi-fi-only entry-level model costs £89, while the Kindle Keyboard 3G sells for £149. The new device is 11% smaller and 8% lighter than the Kindle Keyboard 3G, though it is slightly heavier (213g v 170g) and larger (172mm length v 166mm length) than Amazon’s entry-level model. The Kindle Touch will make a lovely affordable gift.