Amazon Accepting HTML5 Web Apps in Appstore

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-08-07

Amazon Accepting HTML5 Web Apps in Appstore

Amazon announced that it is now accepting HTML5 Web applications in its Appstore.

Amazon on Aug. 7 launched Web app support in its Mobile App Distribution Program. Developers can now submit URLs for their HTML5 Web apps and mobile Websites and have Amazon offer that content to millions of Kindle Fire and Amazon Appstore customers just as they do with native apps, Amazon said.

Moreover, developers can submit and distribute mobile Web content without using third-party software or doing any native app development, and they can take advantage of Amazon’s In-App Purchasing API for JavaScript, which provides them with the option to build sales of digital goods into their apps. And now customers can find new Web apps in the Amazon Appstore, including Dream Pet Link from Spil Games and IGN Video Game Reviews and News & Previews from IGN Entertainment. Developers can get started with the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program by visiting

Web developers and content publishers have historically faced numerous challenges when building, optimizing and distributing Web apps for mobile devices. Previously, third-party software was needed to convert mobile Web content to native apps to participate in an app store, and on-device debugging was a chore required to get strong performance on a wide variety of Web runtimes. Amazon is removing these roadblocks for developers.

“We’ve heard from developers that making their web apps available for mobile devices is hard because many times it means rewriting their app, which takes extra time and often requires third party tools,” said Mike George, vice president of Amazon Appstore, Games and Cloud Drive, in a statement. “By launching support for HTML5 web apps in the Mobile App Distribution Program, we’re giving web developers the tools they need and all the benefits that native apps already enjoy in the Amazon Appstore and on Kindle Fire. This opens up new possibilities—starting with faster discovery, access to tools for increased monetization, and the ability to reach new customers for greater exposure.”

Amazon enables developers to submit URLs and metadata for their HTML5 Web apps and mobile Websites directly to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal. Amazon distributes the mobile Web content through the Amazon Appstore to millions of Amazon customers using Kindle Fire and Android devices in nearly 200 countries.

“Web apps represent one of the largest growth sectors for games, so we are thrilled to see Amazon innovating in this space by adding web apps to the Amazon Appstore,” said Rob Grossberg, CEO of TreSensa, a game development company that optimizes games for the mobile Web, in a statement. “Now we are able to offer all our games to millions of Amazon customers worldwide. What’s more, we can implement frictionless game monetization by leveraging Amazon’s updated In App-Purchasing API for JavaScript.”

Amazon officials said developers benefit from native-like experiences on Kindle Fire with a new, faster Web runtime, based on the open-source Chromium project. The runtime supports the latest HTML5 features and includes standards-based extensions, enabling developers to build a Web app once and deploy it across multiple platforms without requiring platform-specific changes. For good measure, the new runtime includes Web developer tools enabling on-device debugging on Kindle Fire. Also, the In-App Purchasing API for JavaScript enables Web developers to easily build sales of digital goods such as subscriptions, level upgrades and digital currencies into their Web apps.

Amazon Accepting HTML5 Web Apps in Appstore

“Amazon’s new web app initiative has opened up a brand new avenue for us to reach customers through the Amazon Appstore,” said Erik Goossens, CEO of Spil Games, a publisher of online and social games, in a statement. “With the addition of web apps to the Mobile App Distribution Program, we are able to offer our games to millions of customers worldwide using the same discovery and launch experience that native Android apps enjoy.”

“We believe HTML5 is the software platform of the future,” said Ashley Gullen, founder of Scirra, a popular HTML5 game framework, in a statement. “We're really excited that Amazon supports HTML5 and has taken the innovative and valuable step of using state-of-the-art browser technology to allow development of web apps that are listed alongside traditional ‘native’ apps. It also opens the door to sophisticated HTML5-powered engines like Construct 2, and we're proud to be launching immediate support today."

IGN Entertainment, a leading provider of game reviews, news and videos, plans to take advantage of the new Web app opportunity with Amazon. “Our goal is to make IGN available on all screens where people play or read about games,” so IGN is glad to be launching an app on Kindle Fire, said Todd Northcutt, vice president of product at IGN Entertainment, in a statement. “Amazon’s innovative approach made it an easy decision to bring IGN to the Amazon Appstore with minimal time and development effort on our part.” Northcutt also praised Amazon for “making the mobile app ecosystem more accessible to millions of content publishers worldwide.”

Amazon said it offers a complete end-to-end ecosystem for developers building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games. Amazon’s capabilities in this space include:

  • The ability for app developers to use Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) technology platform for their infrastructure needs. Building blocks such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon DynamoDB allow developers to focus on what differentiates their app rather than the undifferentiated heavy lifting of infrastructure.
  • GameCircle, which includes capabilities like Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends and Whispersync for syncing games across devices, and leads to better engagement with games.
  • Login with Amazon, which allows developers to easily reduce sign-in friction for their customers, leading to higher engagement and order conversion.
  • In-App Purchasing on Kindle Fire, Mac, PC and Web-based games. This enables developers to offer virtual items in their apps and games while allowing their end users to simply use their Amazon accounts to make the purchase.
  • A/B Testing, which helps developers improve app functionality with the ability to simultaneously test two different in-app experiences to determine which is more successful prior to launching to a broad audience.
  • Game Connect, which lets developers list their virtual goods for sale on Amazon, increasing discoverability of their games and making the purchase of virtual goods as easy and convenient as possible for customers, leading to increased monetization for developers.
  • Amazon Appstore submission for distribution to nearly 200 countries globally enables developers to reach millions more of Amazon customers worldwide.


Rocket Fuel