Downloads from Amazon’s Appstore increased more than 500 percent in one year, the company said in a press release about a new developer product today. As usual, however, Amazon didn’t provide an exact figure on the number of applications downloaded, so we really can’t surmise just how large that figure is. We’re not surprised, however, since the company now not only sells the Kindle Fire, but also the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. Plus, millions of Android phones can also access the store.

Amazon also said that the number of GameCircle enabled games has more than doubled since the service was introduced, and the number of software developers incorporating in-app purchasing options more than double during the third quarter of 2012. In related news, 23 of the top 25 applications available in the Appstore take advantage of in-app purchasing.


Amazon Launches New A/B Testing Capability for App Developers
A/B Testing is the latest in a growing list of new services and tools that enable developers to grow their business using Amazon’s end-to-end platform for building, monetizing, marketing and distributing their apps and gamesSEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 6, 2012– (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon today announced the beta launch of a new, free A/B Testing capability for Kindle Fire developers. With A/B Testing, developers can test simultaneous treatments of their apps, receive data about what’s worked best, and quickly adjust their apps to take advantage of this customer learning. A/B Testing is the latest developer service that Amazon has launched (along with Achievements, Leaderboards, Whispersync across devices, In-App Purchasing, and 1-Click Purchasing) that make it simpler than ever for app developers to concentrate on the differentiating parts of their apps rather than the undifferentiated infrastructure and engagement components. Starting today, developers can download the A/B Testing beta SDK at:“Apps are living products continuously being updated, modified and improved, and with millions of potential active users, developers know that seemingly small changes can have a large impact on customers. Our A/B Testing service is essential for developers because it will help offload the overhead costs of building, maintaining and running scalable tests,” said Mike Frazzini, Director of Amazon Games. “We’ve drawn from our years of experience conducting and refining our own A/B testing on to bring developers a testing product that will give them the capability to perfect their apps, retain customers, and grow their business.”

“A/B Testing helps us understand exactly what our customers want so we can offer the best games possible and we think Amazon’s A/B Testing is going to be an important tool in building great games for customers,” said Mike Lehne, CTO, Concrete Software. “Amazon has been great to work with. The team has been responsive, quick, and helped make sure our A/B testing implementation went smoothly so we could start analyzing results right away. We think A/B Testing is going to help us make Wordsplosion even better, something we know our customers are going to be very excited about.”

“Our team is integrating Amazon’s A/B Testing service and we believe it will become a key component of our game development process,” said Adam Schroeder, CEO, Difference Games. “We have always wanted to add A/B testing to our development toolkit but didn’t want the hassle and cost of running our own service. Amazon’s A/B Testing service is built on AWS and scales effortlessly so we can spend our time focused on iterating our games and not running the service.”

A/B Testing is free to all developers and is the latest in a series of new services and tools that make it even easier for developers to build their mobile and tablet apps quickly, integrate features to make more money, and distribute their apps through the Amazon Appstore for Android and on the growing family of Kindle Fire devices.

“Amazon offers the best end-to-end solution for app and game developers,” said Aaron Rubenson, Director of Amazon Appstore for Android. “Developers can use Amazon Web Services’ building blocks as the infrastructure for their games. To enhance customer engagement, they can add features like GameCircle’s Leaderboards, Achievements, Friends, and Whispersync. Amazon’s In-App Purchasing allows developers to generate additional income. Finally, since discovery can be a major challenge for app developers, we’re providing more and more ways to help developers reach customers on Amazon, Kindle Fire devices, and in our Appstore. We’re working hard to make lives easier for developers, and to give them more ways to grow their business.”

Recently Added Tools and Features for Developers:

  • GameCircle (Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends and Whispersync state across devices) – Amazon GameCircle, which is now available to all developers, is a set of highly useful services that make it easier to create more engaging gaming experiences. Developers no longer have to spend time developing, building, and operating these services themselves. Rather, GameCircle makes Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends and Whispersync APIs accessible, simple and quick for developers to integrate, and will give gamers a more seamless and entertaining in-game experience. The GameCircle API is available in the Amazon Mobile App SDK, and for download on the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal.
  • New Maps API – The new Amazon Maps API is now available to all developers and makes it easy to integrate mapping functionality into apps that run on the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. The Maps API offers two core features: Interactive Maps, which embed a Map View enabling customers to pan, zoom and fling around the world, and Custom Overlays, which allow developers to display the locations of businesses, landmarks and other points of interest with customized markers and pins. The Maps API is already being used in popular apps like Zillow, Hipmunk, Evernote and Trulia.
  • Test Drive on Kindle Fire – Test Drive enables customers to try out apps before buying them. Amazon has offered the ability to Test Drive apps on the web for more than a year, and this popular feature is now available on the Kindle Fire HD 7”, Kindle Fire HD 8.9” and Kindle Fire (2nd generation). More than 20,000 apps are currently Test Drive enabled.
  • Kindle Fire Emulator – Amazon now offers emulators for Kindle Fire HD 8.9”, Kindle Fire HD 7″, and Kindle Fire so developers can test and debug their apps even if they don’t have the devices. This allows developers to be confident that their apps’ user interface, navigation and flow through the application are functioning as intended. These emulators also include support for some of the Kindle Fire unique capabilities such as GameCircle, In-App Purchasing, and Maps.
  • Unity Plugins: Amazon recently launched free Unity plugins for the In-App Purchasing and Amazon GameCircle APIs, making it even faster and easier for developers using Unity (one of the most popular tools for building mobile games) to add these features into their games and apps.
  • Localization Support – Developers can now localize their apps by adding marketplace-specific pricing as well as language translations for their apps, in-app purchasable (IAP) items and subscriptions.
  • Developer Forums – The new Developer Forums gives developers a place to ask questions and have discussions with other developers in the Mobile App Distribution Program. Developers can find the Forums at

Recent Stats and Facts:

  • App downloads in the Appstore have grown more than 500 percent over the previous year.
  • The number of GameCircle enabled games available on Kindle Fire has more than doubled since the launch of Kindle Fire HD.
  • Total downloads of the SDKs for In-App Purchasing and GameCircle have more than doubled since the Kindle Fire HD launch and availability of the Kindle Fire HD development resources.
  • The number of developers with In-App Purchasing incorporated in their apps more than doubled in the third quarter of the year (from the start of the quarter to the close of the same quarter).
  • In October, 23 of the top 25 grossing apps used Amazon’s In-App Purchasing technology.