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Showing posts by Peter Heinrich

March 02, 2017

Peter Heinrich


A relatively small group—tiny, really—of mobile gamers generate an unexpectedly large percentage of total revenue for mobile games. In fact, across app stores globally, only 11.5 percent are considered “power-users,” spending more than $25 per month. An even smaller fraction of these power-users can spend up to thousands per month.

A common misconception about power-users is that they are indiscriminate spenders who can afford anything offered to them. However, in many cases, power-users are anything but. They may not even realize how much they have spent in a game over time. Power-users are better defined as players who are passionate about the content you’ve created.

[Read More]

February 07, 2017

Peter Heinrich


Last week we presented a webinar on using Amazon Appstore services from within your Unity app. Its extensibility and ease-of-use have made Unity the predominant game development framework, and Amazon Appstore provides several plug-ins to enhance your code. It doesn’t take much to integrate key features like achievements and leaderboards, mobile ads, and in-app purchasing. Our webinar walked through plug-in set up, initialization, and calling of API functions.

[Read More]

January 20, 2017

Peter Heinrich


Unity touches 770 million gamers all over the world through games made using their engine. If you are one of the millions of developers who create with Unity every day or are considering developing with Unity, you won’t want to miss our latest free webinar: Integrating Amazon APIs in Unity.

In this webinar you will find out how easy it is to incorporate Amazon APIs, such as in-app purchasing, mobile ads, and multi-screen support, into your Unity app.[Read More]

November 07, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Here is a recap of new posts for the week of October 31st on the Amazon Developer Blog:

Voice Control Belkin Wemo Devices with the Alexa Voice Service

Belkin Wemo launched new capabilities through the existing Alexa Voice Service (AVS) API, making the same smart home voice controls accessible on the Echo available on all third-party products with Alexa. Belkin makes a variety of high-quality Wemo switches that consumers use to control a number of devices in the home, from floor lamps and ceiling bulbs to fans and home audio speakers. Read more about how Wemo is building a smart ecosystem of connected devices for the home.

Developing for VoiceView Screen Reader: Getting Started

Last month we published VoiceView, an accessibility feature for Fire OS that enables vision-impaired users to navigate the Fire TV user interface, discover content, access settings, and control playback in the core Fire TV experience. To get started with VoiceView, the first thing developers need to do is make their apps compatible with the Android accessibility framework. Available API’s  such as “Orientation Text”, “Usage Hints” and “Described By” will allow developers to create a truly accessible experience for customers.

Boost App Revenue in a Surprising New Way: By Helping Others

Seeds found that non-paying users are 58% more likely to spend when their purchase is for a good cause, and these newly converted payers go on to spend an average of $25. With Seeds, developers can offer an IAP item at its regular price with the extra bonus that a portion of the proceeds from that purchase go on to fund a microloan to an entrepreneur in a developing economy. To get started with Seeds, go to their website and click on the Get Started link to download the SDK.

Earplay: An Interactive, Audio-Only Storyteller, Made Even Better by Alexa

Earplays are interactive audio stories you interact with using your voice. Earplay's goal is to make tools to let authors focus their creativity on story production not writing code. To do that, they’ve built a content publishing system to publish titles to various mobile channels. The rapid adoption of the Amazon Echo and growth of the Alexa skills library excited the Earplay team to create a working Alexa skill prototype over a single weekend. Earplay plans to release a new version soon, opening up even more stories to Alexa users.

Introducing Detail Pages on to Increase Discovery and Use for Your Alexa Skills

Last week we unveiled a new way for customers to browse the breadth of the Alexa skills catalog and discover new Alexa skills on On-Amazon detail pages improves discovery so that a customer can quickly find skills on Amazon and enables developers to link customers directly to their skill with a single click. This is our first pre-login discovery experience for Alexa skills!

Introducing Fire App Builder for Amazon Fire TV

We expanded on last year’s Web App Starter Kit—a template solution for Fire TV using web technologies—to offer our latest a native Android solution: Fire App Builder. Fire App Builder is a Java framework that allows developers to quickly build immersive, native Android media applications for Fire TV without writing code. Fire App Builder consists of several files designed for use with Android Studio. To start, download or clone the Fire App Builder project from Github.

Want Amazon Developer blogs delivered to your inbox? Stay in the loop on the latest industry best practices, Amazon promotions, and new launches by subscribing to our weekly blog summary here. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.


November 01, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Here is a recap of new posts for the week of October 24th on the Amazon Developer Blog:

Alexa Skills Kit SDK and Sample Skill Templates Add Support for Multiple Languages

Amazon Alexa announced support for Alexa in two new languages: English (UK) and German. In order to easily add all three supported languages to your skills, the Alexa SDK, Fact, Trivia and How To skill samples have been updated for Node.js. You can find these updated samples at the Alexa GitHub.

Troubleshooting the Login with Amazon WordPress Plugin

The previous post in our Login with Amazon (LwA) series walked through setting up the LwA plugin for WordPress. In this post we cover troubleshooting login errors with the plugin, focusing on how to set up curl and ensure that it is working correctly.

How to Build a Portable Voice Controlled Drone for Under $500

Joel Evans from Mobiquity writes about how Mobiquity built a portable voice controlled drone for under $500 using Amazon Alexa. To make the magic happen, he chose to use Raspberry Pi 2 as the main device, a Bebop Drone, and an Amazon Echo Dot.

[Read More]

October 25, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Here is a recap of new posts for the week of October 17th on the Amazon Developer Blog:

Announcing Alexa State of the Union and Hands-on Workshops at AWS re:Invent 2016

Alexa VP and Head Scientist Rohit Prasad will present a State of the Union on Alexa and recent advances in conversational AI at AWS re:Invent 2016. The Alexa team will also offer six hands-on workshops to teach developers how to build voice experiences.

Building Retroids with GameMaker:Studio – Part 9: Achievements

Our “Building Retroids” series has come to an end. Now is the time to unlock achievements for your users with GameCircle Achievements configuration. Achievements and trophies are available on most platforms today and help build engagement with your players.

[Read More]

October 10, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Here is a recap of new posts for the week of October 3rd on the Amazon Developer Blog:

Rapidly Create Your Alexa Skill Backend with AWS CloudFormation

For advanced developers who wants to level up skill creation by adding automation, version control, and repeatability to skill deployments, you can now programmatically create your skill backend using AWS CloudFormation.

Building Retroids with GameMaker: Studio – Part 7: Implementing Whispersync for Games

Our “Building Retroids” series continued last week with a look at implementing basic Whispersync for Games features to make your GameMaker: Studio game more convenient and fun for your players.

[Read More]

October 06, 2016

Peter Heinrich

We’ve all heard stories of mobile games that explode in popularity, only to become irrelevant and obscure months later. The key to ensuring your mobile game doesn’t become just another a “flash in the pan”, you have to think about longevity. How can you build a game that keeps people coming back for more?

A world of shrinking attention spans

Let’s face it: if your game gets stale and boring, users will leave—and fast.

It’s not enough to release a product, then sit back and watch what happens. Instead, you need frequent content updates to keep players engaged and coming back.

Smart developers today understand that the mobile games that ultimately succeed are those that continue to grow and evolve in meaningful ways—over time—with fresh content, new features, and exciting game play experiences. This can be delivered to users in the form of downloadable content, such as new game levels, or user-created content (think Minecraft worlds and Trivia Crack tidbits).

[Read More]

September 28, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Today Amazon announced the all-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, the most powerful streaming media stick available. The next-generation Fire TV Stick is 30 percent faster than the original best-selling version, offers access to more than 300,000 movies and TV episodes, and includes the Alexa Voice Remote—for only $39.99. Now sporting a quad-core processor, it has the horsepower to let your high-performance apps and games shine.

We’re also optimizing the on-device experience for customers, making it easier for them to discover new content. The all-new Fire TV Stick offers new and upgraded features including, personalized recommendations, notifications and Alexa powered voice search that allows customers to launch apps and games by name using their voice. Engage new customers and expand your reach to the living room with Fire TV Stick. Submit your app now to make sure it’s available when the new Fire TV Stick ships on October, 20th.

[Read More]

September 26, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Do you ever wonder why some apps get tens of thousands of downloads in the first month and others get less than 1,000, or maybe even none? It’s not all about the marketing budget; it turns out that the app listing plays an important role. In reality, the majority of app downloads are not paid or incentivized downloads, but instead driven by how appealling app store listings are to potential new customers.

The Amazon Appstore has seen its share of app detail pages and we have a few ideas on what makes a detail page successful—leading to download and purchase—and why some pages fall short. In our upcoming webinar, Optimize Your Appstore Presence to Maximize Downloads,  we’ll share guidelines for getting the most from your app store presence, and how to avoid common mistakes that are potentially costing you revenue.

You don’t need to spend money to generate income from your app listing, but you do need to follow the best practices that can lead to increased downloads.

Join me, Peter Heinrich, on October 3rd to learn how to optimize your Amazon Appstore presence in order to maximize downloads. At the end of this webinar you will learn:

  • Best practices for creating an optimized app detail page.
  • Guidelines that are often overlooked.
  • How to create a promotional video for your game.

Reserve your spot today!

Register for 7:00am PDT (3:00pm BST) on Monday, October 3, 2016

Register for 1:00pm PDT (9:00pm BST) on Monday, October 3, 2016


September 21, 2016

Peter Heinrich

We are delighted to announce VoiceView, our new Amazon Fire TV screen reader. With VoiceView, blind and visually impaired customers can navigate and discover content, access settings, and control playback in the core Amazon Fire TV experience.

We encourage you to make your app compatible with VoiceView by December, 20th 2016, which is the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) compliance deadline.

As per the CVAA, certain applications that deliver video content need to be accessible to blind and visually impaired customers. In order to provide accessibility to the user interface, the CVAA identifies 11 essential functions (Page 38) that, if present in the non-screen-reader experience, should have the option to be voiced aloud.

Our Amazon Fire TV developer documentation describes how to fully leverage VoiceView in order to create a great experience for our blind and visually impaired customers. Customers can turn VoiceView on or off by holding the Back and Menu buttons for 2 seconds. In the few months that VoiceView has been available on Amazon Fire TV we have learned a lot and will release a new version of VoiceView before the end of the year.

If you have any technical questions or need developer assistance as you build support for our shared customers, please contact us (select app submissions and updates from the subject dropdown menu) or visit our developer forums.

Fire TV Developer Documentation


September 20, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Here is a recap of new posts for the week of September 12th on the Amazon Developer Blog:

Announcing the Winners of the Internet of Voice Challenge

The Internet of Voice Challenge on has officially come to a close and we were impressed with how developers connected Alexa with Raspberry Pi. Kudos to Terren Peterson—who developed Roxie the Voice-Activated Pitching Machine—for winning the first place.

Building Retroids with GameMaker – Part 4: Fire TV Remote and Controller Selection

In part 4 of this series, Jon Pulsipher walks through setting up your Amazon Fire TV game for use with the Fire TV remote and how to select the current control in a one player game.

Announcing the Alexa Winner of the hack.guides() Tutorial Contest

Hack.guides() Tutorial Contest is over and the winner tutorial is “Control your fish tank from anywhere in the world with Alexa voice control”. This tutorial did a great job of breaking down components into separate sections and including videos to show the results of testing each piece of the solution.

Alexa and Amazon Echo Now Available in the UK and Germany

Amazon launched Alexa, Echo, and the all-new Echo Dot in the UK and Germany. Developers and hardware makers around the world can now create Alexa skills for UK and German customers with the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) or integrate Alexa into their hardware with the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) starting in early 2017.

How to Build a Multi-Language Alexa Skill

With Alexa and Echo in the UK and Germany, Alexa is now multi-lingual. Watch this tutorial that shows you how to deliver the right content to your customers in each of the supported regions—all from a single code base. 

Want Amazon Developer blogs delivered to your inbox? Stay in the loop on the latest industry best practices, Amazon promotions, and new launches by subscribing to our weekly blog summary here. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.


September 12, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Here is a recap of new posts for the week of September 5th on the Amazon Developer Blog:

14-Year-Old Girl Creates CloudStatus Alexa Skill That Benefits AWS Developers

Meet Kira Hammond, the 14-year-old creator of CloudStatus—an Alexa skill that summarizes information on the AWS Service Health Dashboard. Kira wrote CloudStatus with AWS Lambda, using Amazon EC2 to build Python modules for Requests and LXML.

Building Retroids with GameMaker – Part 3: Handling Controllers

In part 3 of the Building Retroids with GameMaker series, Jon Pulsipher takes a closer look at handling controllers, focusing on connectivity loss, analog thumbsticks, triggers, and home buttons.

Introducing the All-New Fire HD 8 Tablet

Amazon introduced the all-new Fire HD 8, the next-generation Fire HD tablet designed from the ground up for all-day entertainment. Fire HD 8 also introduces Alexa, the cloud-based voice service, for the first time on Fire tablets—just press and ask to play music, launch games, read audiobooks, and more—coming soon.

New Video: Using Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) in Alexa Skills

Watch this 20-minute video walks through adding SSML support to your Alexa skill and how to pause Alexa’s speech, change how she pronounces a word and how to create and embed your own audio tags.

Want Amazon Developer blogs delivered to your inbox? Stay in the loop on the latest industry best practices, Amazon promotions, and new launches by subscribing to our weekly blog summary here. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.


August 29, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Here is a recap of new posts for the week of August 22nd on the Amazon Developer Blog:

Coding Smart Home Skill Adapter Directives Using Node.js

J. Michael Palemo walks through the fundamentals of the directive language—the communication protocol used between your skill adapter and the Smart Home Skill API— and how to develop a smart home skill adapter from scratch using Node.js.

Building Retroids with GameMaker: Studio – Part 1

In his first post in a multi-part series, Jon Pulsipher chronicles his journey using GameMaker: Studio to build a new game, Retroids, for Amazon Fire tablets and Amazon Fire TV devices. Stay tuned for the next installment in his series.

Developer Spotlight: How One Developer’s Passion Project Led to Lexi, the Alexa-Enabled Mobile App

Thaddeus Ternes, a veteran iOS app developer, decided to build a mobile prototype for himself as a way to interact with Alexa before buying an Echo. What started off as a personal project quickly turned into an app his friends and professional network wanted to test out and buy—Lexi.

Appstore Posts Editors’ Choices, Game of the Week

Contributing editors from Appstore Posts—a companion blog designed to help consumers (and developers!) find future classics—highlighted another great batch of their favorite Amazon Appstore mobile games. This week’s top pick: Vainglory.

New Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) Feature: Audio Streaming in Alexa Skills

We launched a new Alexa Skill Kit feature—streaming audio support for Alexa skills including playback controls. This means you can easily create skills that play audio content like podcasts, news stories, and live streams.

Webinar: What’s Working in Merch by Amazon

Join Mike Hines on Tuesday August 30th to learn how to find success while connecting with your fans using Merch by Amazon. Reserve your spot today to learn how to profit from your IP with Merch by Amazon.

Want Amazon Developer blogs delivered to your inbox? Stay in the loop on the latest industry best practices, Amazon promotions, and new launches by subscribing to our weekly blog summary here. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.


August 24, 2016

Peter Heinrich

Check out the latest crop of noteworthy games highlighted by the contributing editors over at our companion blog, Appstore Posts. They work hard to find recent releases—and classics alike—that deliver fun on mobile devices. Many of the games are also available through Amazon Underground, making them completely free to customers while still generating revenue for developers.


Thanks to games like League of Legends and Dota 2, the multiplayer online battle arena genre (MOBA for short) is currently standing on top of the gaming world. Appstore gamers who want to play a quality MOBA on the go should add the fantastic Vainglory to their device. Join us as we dive deep into the game and showcase all the reasons why this incredible title deserves to be our Game of the Week! Read More


EDITORS’ CHOICE: 9 Innings: 2016 Pro Baseball

Baseball is synonymous with the summer season, but you can play this sport year round thanks to awesome games like 9 Innings: 2016 Pro Baseball. The authentic sights and sounds, a slick card system that mixes things up, and a variety of interesting modes will keep you in the dugout for a really long time. Read More


EDITORS’ CHOICE: Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Edition

This epic adventure has a clever twist: you role play as a group of players who are engaged in a virtual role playing session. It’s an inventive way to present familiar RPG tropes, and it’s entertaining to watch the action unfold in this way. The game also pays proper tribute to the genre with the expected mix of fighting, casting, and looting, so fans of dungeon-crawling titles will definitely be pleased. Read More


Everything about Flow Free is simple. It’s design, presentation, objective, and even name are all free of unnecessary fluff, resulting in a lean, mean puzzle machine. Your goal is to draw a line between matching dots—orange to orange, red to red, for example—but with one key twist: none of the lines can cross over each other. Read More

EDITORS’ CHOICE: Hidden Mahjong: Flower Power

Mahjong games come in two flavors: one is based on the popular competitive tile game that originates from China, while the other is a relaxing single-player puzzle experience. Hidden Mahjong: Flower Power falls into the latter category, offering Android gamers level after level of tile matching goodness. All you have to do is tap two matching tiles together. It sounds easy, but getting to the bottom of the pile requires a lot of patience and forethought. Read More


Smashy City casts you in the role of a giant monster set loose on a thriving city with only one goal in mind: destruction! Thankfully, the action and visual style is cartoony and whimsical, so you don’t have to feel guilty for demolishing an entire city. Once you’ve picked your monster, you can thrash your way through blocky cityscapes, breaking down buildings while avoiding enemies that want to bring your shenanigans to a halt. Read More

Check out Appstore Posts

Subscribe to Appstore Posts today to stay up to date on what’s new and noteworthy on the Amazon Appstore. And as always, join us here for the latest developer news and information on Amazon technologies like Fire tablet, Amazon Fire TV, and Alexa.

-peter (@peterdotgames)


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