In July we announced the new Amazon Fling SDK which allows developers to create engaging second screen experiences by connecting the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick to mobile devices. We continue to add new features to this SDK including the ability to remotely discover Fire TV apps directly from your iOS, Android, and Fire mobile devices by leveraging a new API called Remote Install. Remote Install can detect Fire TVs on the same network as a mobile device and allows developers to prompt the user to launch the Fire TV’s Appstore Product page directly to their app or game.
To illustrate how Remote Install works, let’s assume you have a game already published in Amazon Appstore for Fire TV as well as on iOS or Android. If you are on the same network as the Fire TV you can have the mobile version of your game automatically prompt the player to install it on the Fire TV. Here was what that would look like.
If the user accepts your prompt from the mobile device, the game will trigger the Amazon Appstore on the Fire TV to launch your game’s product page so they can finish the installation process. By linking the two version of the game together you can help insure that your Fire TV game is easier to discover by people playing it on other mobile devices.
How Does It Work?
At a high level, Remote Install allows you to discover Fire TV devices on the same network. Once a Fire TV is discovered from a user’s mobile device or tablet you can check if your application is installed on that Fire TV and prompt the user to also install the Fire TV version of your app or game. This is important for developers looking to increase the user base of their cross platform apps. By leveraging Remote Discovery’s ability to run on iOS and Android devices, you gain a new way to drive user acquisition for your Fire TV products. Conveniently, you can simply add Remote Install to your existing app or game without the need of fully implementing the rest of the Amazon Fling SDK’s APIs. Let’s take a look at what you need to know for getting it up and running.
Implementing Remote Install
There are only a few steps for creating or modifying your controller mobile app to support Remote Install:
- Modifying your Android manifest to include network permissions (Android only).
- Initializing underlying framework and discovering available players on Fire TV devices.
- For a selected Fire TV device, add logic to check if your app is installed on it.
- Add UI flow to allow the user to initiate install of your Fire TV app.
Once your app discovers Fire TV devices running the Remote Install service, your app gets an object that implements the RemoteInstallService interface. You can then use the RemoteInstallService object to install an app or check the version of an app on the Fire TV device. You can check the version of your app using the getInstalledPackageVersion API. Once your app has called the installByProductId method, the Fire TV will launch the Appstore page associated with the provided ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number). The user will then need to finish the installation with a Fire TV remote. The need to use the remote to complete the purchase provides the user control of the process. If the ASIN is invalid the Fire TV will show an error popup.
Get Started Today
You can read more about how to install and configure Remote Install here. In addition to Remote Install you can also leverage the ability to remotely send the content of your app or game directly to Amazon Fire TV by implementing the full Amazon Fling SDK. To get started, sign up for a free developer account on the Amazon Appstore and check out the following links:
- Jesse Freeman (@jessefreeman)